Green Shades – Residency in the Rainforest
At the end of this year I am going to take up a TRELEX artist’s residency in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest for one month. This will connect me to everything that is at the heart of my art practice which is primarily about nature, making images using combinations of media and pondering our relationship to it in the shadow of climate change. I presented a paper on this subject and looking at my practice in relation to the poet John Clare at the John Clare conference at Oxford Brookes University in 2014 and will continue written research during the residency as well as making work.
Afterwards I am looking to have an exhibition of my work and research findings from the residency, sometime in 2016.
I see the residency as staging an encounter with nature in its most intense form, to be in a place so charged with its own presence that it drowns out the clamour of humankind. I will observe, watch and listen, make images, record, write and see what happens. My objective is to pay deep attention.
The rainforest carries with it such a host of associations and metaphors; the contested notion of the heart of darkness, the mythic garden of Eden and a potent symbol of the tragedy of the environmental crisis. It is also the site of the greatest tract of natural growth and biological diversity on earth. It thrills me to think of this but of course I don’t really know what I will find when I’m there. In this sense for me it is a journey into the unknown, a largely unknown ecology and an unknown self.
At this stage I envisage the resulting exhibition to consist of works on paper that I will have made whilst there, paintings that I will make on my return and documentation of site specific work. I expect also to include a written aspect of my research and findings.
I’m crowdfunding for support in getting me to the Amazon but equally, I strongly wish to involve others and to share my experiences and the work I will do. I hope to post regularly and write a blog while I’m there.