Shaped by stone

11 March – 1 July 2017

Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham

Shaped by Stone was a small exhibition from a large and ambitious project by Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham. Through it they pursued several closely related trains of thought about the importance of stone. Firstly they explored it in the landscape, as a subject for admiration and contemplation. Then as a useful commodity in the built environment. Finally, they explored stone as a medium in and for art, at many levels. For subsequent work, see their artist pages here.

Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham Shaped by Stone
Shaped by Stone: Introduction on view in Upstairs at GroundWork

Inspired by Norwegian philosopher-ecologist’s Arne Naess’s notions of ‘deep ecology’, the artists pursued a multi-layered interpretation of stony landscapes. They used it as a means of a total integration between nature, art and human experience.

Mario Popham Teggs nose
Mario Popham, Tegg’s Nose

Mario Popham’s photographic image of the former stone quarry, Tegg’s Nose outside Macclesfield was part of an environmental study. He and Tom Baskeyfield, looked 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 Macclesfield

New interpretations of both landscape and town

Mario Popham and Tom Baskeyfield’s project produced new interpretations both of a landscape and the town. As a result, both of them made many new and innovative works of art inspired by this landscape.

Tom Baskeyfield Stone rubbings
Tom Baskeyfield’s series of graphite images of stone setts of Macclesfield

Tom Baskeyfield made a series of graphite rubbed images of stone setts of the roads and pavements of Macclesfield. These ‘drawings’ in the delicate medium of paper, glinted with detail and preciousness in the changing light of the gallery. Stone had become altogether transformed.

You may purchase the artists’ book from the project here:

Sibylle Eimermacher

Sibylle Eimermacher is another artist fascinated by geology. She showed several works along-side the stony path and Shaped by Stone. You can see her work on her artist profile page here.

She has been inspired by the stones in quarries of Scandinavia, producing new images in photography and folded paper. Through a fragile and delicate medium she interpreted the durability of stone afresh. You may purchase her artist’s book arising from this work here.

Sibylle Eimermacher talking in 2017
Here is Sibylle Eimermacher talking about her work The Meandering Eye (Co Seegers is sitting nearby on the left)

Stone: more thinking about stones and environment

All the stone on display in 2017 brought into focus connections between art in the gallery and stones outside. It inspired us to look afresh with a contemporary audience at the stony historical environment, newly interesting and relevant. Also, stone was maybe not as robust and enduring as we might have thought.  We made a whole new resource from this working with geologist, the late Robin Stevenson. See the pages here.