11 March – 1 July 2017
Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham
Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham’s joint project Shaped by Stone pursued closely related trains of thought about the importance of stone, firstly in the landscape, as a subject for admiration and contemplation, then as a useful commodity in the built environment, and finally as a medium in and for art, at many levels. Inspired by Norwegian philosopher-ecologist’s notion Arne Naess’s notions of ‘deep ecology’, the artists are pursuing a multi-layered interpretation of stony landscapes as a means of a total integration between nature, art and human experience.
Mario Popham’s photographic image of the former stone quarry, Tegg’s Nose outside Macclesfield is part of en environmental study by him and Tom Baskeyfield, looking at how built and natural, industrialised environments inter-relate.
‘Over Millennia we have shaped stone: chipped, cut, split, crushed – turned hillsides into quarries – turned strata into streets. Like many other towns this process is the foundation of Macclesfield. The pink and blue-ish Gritstone of Tegg’s Nose has been quarried for hundreds of years…..’
Mario Popham and Tom Baskeyfield’s project has produced new interpretations both of a landscape and the town which has borne fruit through the new works of art which have been inspired by this landscape.
Tom Baskeyfield’s series of graphite images of stone setts of the roads and pavements of Macclesfield have transformed them into beautiful images in the much more delicate medium of relief paper, glinting with detail and preciousness in the changing light of the gallery.
Sibylle Eimermacher is another artist who is fascinated by geology. She has been inspired by the stones in quarries of Scandinavia, producing new images in photography and folded paper which interpret the durability of stone through a fragile and delicate medium.
On the stony path: stones and environment
In King’s Lynn, our herman de vries exhibition, ‘on the stony path’, in 2017 started a series of exhibits and associated discussions about stone: bringing into focus connections between art in the gallery and the stones of the landscape. It has inspired us to look afresh with a contemporary audience at the stony historical environment, newly interesting and relevant, and maybe not as robust and enduring as we might have thought.
Nearby, later in that same year, Richard Long set about creating a spectacular exhibition of new works for the grounds and house at Houghton Hall. His work exemplified how an artist can have a vision, originating in the landscape, which enables completely transformative thinking about the environment.
Richard Long’s North South East West in the Stone Hall at Houghton during the summer of 2017, was a supreme example of the creation of art from the environment, integrating a tamed landscape within the elite craftsmanship of a grand house, introducing a whole series of visual dialogues between wild and cultivated, modernist and historical, black and white,inside and outside, luxury and simplicity, geometric and irregular. It was very thought-provoking in so many ways about skills, resources, money, materials, contexts… https://www.houghtonhall.com/richard-long-at-houghton/