Since finsihing the fine art course at University College Falmouth in the summer of last year I have spent my time developing the frame work for an artist residency with the National Trust. It came at a time when, given our geographical distance from everywhere, I was beginning to feel fairly isolated. I knew if I were to stay in Cornwall I would have to adopt a fairly innovative approach in my art practice. I set about to capitalise on Cornwall’s geographic isolation by using the landscape, so often referred to in artists work in Cornwall, to address subjects that were important to me. Prior to UCF I worked in nature conservation before returning to study the remainder of my fine art degree that I had left in late1998 [brought about by a severe hearing loss].
On many occasions during my career in nature conservation I had found myself approaching and trying to tackle projects from a creative perspective. This wasn’t always practical and left me feeling that in some cases much more could be achieved if we were able to blur the boundaries between art and non-art disciplines and work more closely when working toward similar/connected goals.
The ideas I had through this time involved amalgamations of working processes and creative solutions. These were mostly time consuming and laborious visual proposals that did not fit into the conventional budget constraints of a nature conservation organisation for example. Whilst at UCF the dynamics of my course and home life meant that they had to be shelved further still. In this time I worked sporadically on the conceptual nature of these ideas.
On leaving UCF I began to develop these ideas afresh and saw that a residency with the NT as being the best way to pursue them. The residency lasts for a year and CUT/STACK/BURN is the first of four seasonally based projects responding to the properties on the lizard and Penrose estate, Helston.
Project outline:CUT/STACK/BURN is a performative re-enactment of a redundant rural activity - furze cutting for domestic fuel (or gorse outside of cornwall). The project uses art installation as a platform to develop a visual conversation about the implications and absence of sustainable approaches in the management of land and its resources. Our current use of energy in an age of climate change becomes a focal point and pivotal issue in this visual debate.