This years work sees me exploring more around culture and industry within the landscape, through installations of objects and paintings but also through photography. Tacking the likes of ecology, ruins by employing an untraditional approach to painting in my investigations of relationships between nature and culture, with an emphasis on the stereotypes of women within landscapes of nature. Landscape has always evoked experiences ranging from awe-inspiring to contemplative. Tracing the origins to the 18th century and the enlightenment notions that nature is controllable, to the 19th century believe of its transcendental power. In my work landscape and the environment, is used as a framework to investigate further the relationship between nature and culture. I have called this “Post-Landscape” to suggest a way of rethinking traditional landscape conventions and posits a new kind of interaction with the landscape. I wish to critically examine ideas around eco-feminism, gendering nature and the social implications of the control of land, that created a false sense of control over women through the patriarchal use of language and thus established themselves “men” as culture and women as nature.
Action paintings, ink on paper, real wet turf, lifts in buildings.
...We forget that battlefields are one kind of landscape and that most landscapes are also territories...on small scale they involve...a sense of place, on a large scale they involve war.... (the landscape is) not just where we picnic but where we live and die...Rebecca Solnit, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, 2001
To Solnit the “landscape” gives rise to the social, political, and philosophical landscapes we inhabit, and it is this direction my research and artwork has been heading in during this final semester, looking at the interrelationships between nature and culture.
During my time in Glasgow and its surrounding landscape, what could be seen was decay and memory within, layers and layers of stories, broken down and forgotten. Mixed with the progress of technology.
“Post Landscape - this Land is not a women”
Steel sheets, ladies army clothing, paintings and objects. This body of work that uses the female gaze to examine the landscape not just in traditional ways but also exploring the land as a means to extract connections through the objects within and how women are more than nurturers.
Having such a personal connection to the work has helped me dig a bit deeper to see what it was that really interested me about these subjects, and it came to me that all the women in my family dating back quite far were independent work working women and mothers, even though they worked in very male dominated areas, of milling, engineering, manufacturing and the army they had no choice, and many working-class women still don’t have a choice today.
The steel holds a natural force of rigidity that refers to both industry and masculinity, it is this that I am playing with by creating an organic form by bending the metal creating unnatural curve and tension. This analogy also represents the bending of womanhood to patriarchal systems within cultures. Creating tiny differences within the work makes a huge conceptual difference. Forcing the metal objects to interrelate, one upright one lower or bending, exposing the structures of hierarchy.
These are found object that are painted by nature and its elements being found in this way stops it being a contrived work, yet there is a purposeful collective cut in each piece referencing traditions in industry in the North, and how that has also become a relic of a certain time, of our colonial past, of slavery and holding other countries to ransom..