Intervention: The Project So Far

Intervention 2002 to 2017

Intervention is about the groynes on Bexhill beach that run to Groyne 121 and I have photographed them since 2002, both fascinated and amazed by their change over time. This work forms the primary source for a solo exhibition to be held at Martyrs Gallery, Lewes, in March 2018.

Intervention 2018 will see me back on the beach, finding and recording what has changed and rediscovering what remains. The work on this project continues, photographs are being taken, notebooks and charts filled in, files organised and backed up.

This video summarises the work so far.

Lost in Execution: Woodland Sculpture

Lost in Execution is about the importance of process and this exploration continues into 2017. A plan is just one element of a process: a movement from an idea sketched on paper to that which is physical. However, the item produced from the plan is never final or finished. It changes over time as it is extended, altered or decays.

I am working on an idea for some sculptural work in Highwoods, a local woodland.  A woodland is a dynamic, natural, system with a human process imposed upon it. It is neither natural nor wild in its wider sense – it is man-made. This woodland is the product of earlier pre-industrial use.  The form and shape of the woodland are managed by human intervention and with determined outcomes for that intervention, such as coppicing for wood. It is our use of the landscape that creates our idea of a `natural’ environment. Current management of the woodland is to support and encourage biodiversity

Woodland Lines

A recurring theme in my work in the woodland has been `lines in the landscape’: the lines that mark the edge of the woodland, the paths through the wood,  the power lines that force a clearing through the wood. In 2016 I produced work that involved making marks in the landscape that had both a functional and artistic purpose.

The Woven Path

The Woven Path – September 2016

 

The Woven Path

Woodland Time

Time is a recurring theme in my work.  As I reflect upon the growth cycles of the different trees, all of which have to been coppiced at different times for best yield, I think about how different pieces I could produce will have different time frames – hours, weeks, months, seasons. Seasons seem to be most apt when thinking of this growing and changing environment.

Woodland Intervention

My previous intervention in the ecosystem of the woodland has been part of woodland management to encourage biodiversity. The trampling of the bracken to form a spiral was part of an essential cutting back of the bracken to allow a wider diversity of plant life to take hold in an area that was being overwhelmed. However, the spiral mark was consumed by the natural environment as the seasons changed.

The Woven Path

The Woven Path (digitally enhanced)

 

In this new work, I want to involve material and processes that form an integral part of managing the woodland.  I want to do this in such a way that the work itself integrates into the natural processes of the woodland. Some of the artwork may only last for hours, others may last for weeks,  months or seasons.

Intervention: Groyne 76

Fascinated by change, what better way to spend time than photographing groynes of the inter-tidal zone of Bexhill beach.

These images are of one post top, situated in Groyne 76.

This piece explores intervention on our shoreline, using two temporal distortions. Compressing time, I present one post top, photographed over six years, with seven images. Slowing time, I concurrently present the same post dealing with the waves of a bi-diurnal and lateral tidal flow.

 

Much of our landscape exists in its current form as a result of our intervention. Groynes are an example of this, existing in the rigours of the splash and inter-tidal zones.

This exploration has only just begun, the more I look the more I see and the more I want to know. Exploring and recording both for its own sake and for the metaphors it gives me with which to consider our relationship with this planet – our beautiful, powerful, fragile, life support system.

Click here to see a collection of prints showing the changing face of a post top.

Intervention: Animation Idea

An animation idea. I have photographed and recorded the changing faces of the post tops for many years and, I admit, I am struggling to find a suitable way of presenting these portraits to illustrate their change over time.  So, as well as presenting collected images of individual post tops (shown here) I am now working on an animated series of images.

I start with a view of the sea splashing against the groyne (and my boots). It will be interesting to see where this goes, but, at the moment, I am enjoying exploring the process.

 

 

Faceless Portrait: Me Meditation

I will be presenting `Faceless Portrait: Me Meditation’ to members of the De La Warr Pavilion Crit Group on Thursday 29 June. I am looking forward to discussing this work with the group.

Using digital space and objects, in a digital 3D environment, I am exploring its potential to weave a narrative to examine the sense of self in a portrait. The images enclosing the bust present aspects of personality, while camouflaging and then influencing our perception of the image. The face is disrupted, but not excluded – it is a faceless portrait.

Inside looking out.
I collect, make, and see.
My face is not me.

Me meditation
Kinaesthetic centring.
Ignoring the boot

 

I am working on a number of these portraits and will post them on YouTube throughout June.  

Your comments are always welcome.

Intervention: Post Top Portraits – Change Over Time

The sets of posts and planking running down the beach to the sea are an intervention in a dynamic system. They stand in the flow of sea and shingle and change the way it moves. Eddies of shingle build against them, flow over them and are battered against them by the sea.

This collection brings together images of a single post top, photographed over a number of years.
The title of each piece identifies the groyne number, and the years in which the post top was photographed.

There is often a tendency to hold on to the idea of permanence and not recognise change that happens gradually over an extended period of time. Gradual change, often unobserved is a core element of this work and acknowledges how the `natural’ world is changed in a managed environment and provides a perspective of change and the requirement to maintain an intervention in a dynamic system.

This work records the necessary tenacity of life and any structure on the beach in the intertidal zone, the dynamics of changing systems and the impact of coastal management.

Faceless Portrait: The Very Centre

Faceless Portrait: The Very Centre, is my submission for the Sussex Open 2017.

Using digital space and objects, in a digital 3D environment, I am exploring its potential to weave a narrative to examine the sense of self in a portrait. The images enclosing the bust present aspects of personality, while camouflaging and then influencing our perception of the image. The face is disrupted, but not excluded – it is a faceless portrait.

Inside looking out.
I collect, make, and see.
My face is not me.

The very centre.
Dad is every thing I am.
Nothing left unused.

 

Lost in Execution: Nexilis Weave One and Nexilis Weave Two

During May, two pieces from my Lost in Execution were selected to be part of `A Splash of Colour’, a contemporary watercolour exhibition at Murmurations Gallery, Bexhill.

Nexilis Weave One and Nexilis Weave Two
Media: Watercolour with digital media
Size: 25 x 33 in

Nexilis is a cyclical exploration of the balance between pattern and chaos. I explore an idea circling around its centre in a series of tangents both approaching and withdrawing. The tangents interweave locking into each other. Earlier explorations creating warp and weft for the future.

 

Faceless Portraits: Seeming Restriction and Random Compromise

Faceless Portraits now looks at another role – another narrative that is an integrated part of my life. The digital head remains the same but a different camouflage image is imposed. This is Seeming Restriction (FP02)

Each Faceless Portrait is a separate book in a series – a new narrative as I examine this individual’s life and my sense of self. 

In Random Compromise (FP06), I enclosed the head in a virtual `glass case’. To encase something in a glass is to present the contained object as precious and so requiring protection. It presents a physical barrier to full access at the cost of a visual one. It suggests a perceived value but this is redundant in a digital environment where there is no physical access. In the digital world, this encasement is purely a narrative device.

Interestingly, as I am the subject of this representation, placing the head in a glass box induced an unexpected sense of claustrophobia.

Faceless Portraits: Father-Son Bonding

The initial head I created in Blender, was a generic head – little more than a balloon shape. So I made a representation of a specific individual: however the self-portrait was all about the objects placed on the “head”. With this head, I wanted a classic 3D bust as the starting point.

Having made a digital, yet traditional, representation of a head I looked to camouflage it with a set of photographic images from `Faceless Portraits’ a series of photographs I produced in November last year and shared on Twitter.

Inside looking out
I collect, make, do and see.
My face is not me.

The images wrapped around the face present aspects of personality that are missing from a traditional portrait, but they also camouflage and influence perception. This process of influence based around the most easily perceived aspect is usually with the face as the principal influence.

The wrapped image reveals something of the person without the traditional access of a sculpted head. The resulting image disrupts rather than excludes the face.

 

In following the traditional form of display, the head is placed upon a pedestal. It becomes a gallery item but it has no physical reality. The 3D pedestal becomes an object on which to place the head and also a surface on which to place text; just as would be seen in a traditional gallery.

 

I am playing with the metaphor of the form of gallery display. I am questioning issues to do with reality and its representational narrative. What is the nature of narrative in the digital world?