Garden Room Gallery
June 15 – July 4
an exhibition of work by Rachael Allain, Margaret Harland and Charlotte Price
My artistic methodology allows for a reflection on the ruptures that exist between photographic lens and lens less optical devices. My photographic and film practice is informed by a fascination with the vast complexities that shape natural order into the reality we all know. To be human is to be fixed, embedded and immersed in the physical, literal tangible day-to-day world. I’m interested in phenomenology; based on two distinctions. The first is between the inner and the outer: the inherent sphere of conscious experience and the transcendent field of external objects. I see inherent repetitions that punctuate the materiality of our existence, creating cycles and systems of rhythm that inform every part of our lives. The second is between concrete and abstract entities: the real things existing in space and time and ideal essences. Through this visual instigation, focusing my ideas around coastal sites in the South West of England, I am be able to reveal these spaces in between, these phenomenological elemental experiences.
My practice and explorations have been based on the river valley systems of Dartmoor. I have sought a way to represent the ephemeral natural world, coupled with the phenomenological understanding of ‘being’ in the land, and my sense of wonder at what I encounter. Cyanotypes fascinate me as they contain no perspective, no horizon and convey ambiguities of scale. The traces of life that I find on my wanderings, the fleeting, small and often unobserved, are transformed into sculptural forms surrounded by blue.
The other strand of enquiry has been to find a photographic language to convey the notion of a ‘place-outside-of-place’, spaces of the mind, in response to mental health issues within the family, myself included. I started to question reality, just what is real? “Even an ordinary, healthy brain does not always give us a true picture of the world, because it has no direct connection to the physical world around us. Our brains have to make inferences about the world through information received through our senses. Simultaneity, the usage in art of multiple views that reveal different perspectives, as opposed to single point perspective, has been behind much of my searching and experimentation over the past years in an attempt to convey this strangeness of being, the spaces of the mind.
My work is derived from an on-going documentation of my presence on the ancient pathways of a moorland landscape where I often walk. The broken and bruised plants that edge these routes are ubiquitous yet insignificant in the annals of the plant world. They trace the journeys I make and those of previous travellers.
The prints allude to a Victorian fascination for the natural world. I collect and press the plants before printing them. The plants will go through the press several times but each impression is individual as there is a degree of deterioration at every printing.
The Earthen series reflect a fascination with the microcosms of nature that are revealed when the earthy clod, from which the plants have grown, is printed. The dead plant matter embedded in the soil compacts nature’s detritus into multiple layers. The detail recorded is exquisite.
The Lichen series has developed over recent months following the route of a Drovers path on the higher ground of the moor. There the omnipresent lichen holds fast to the granite that is itself rooted in the ancient forest of Dartmoor. The Lichen’s slow growth here and in suspension, as a net of lace, from the oldest hawthorn trees bears witness to the passing of time.
The idea of nature and the land connecting my presence to the past is a source of continual wonderment.
During August, Menuhin’s Violin will be installed in the space.
This is a new commission from Live Music Now, who say:
Live Music Now have commissioned a collaborative musical-sculptural installation that will celebrate Yehudi Menuhin and his unique legacy in Live Music Now, the organisation he established forty years ago this year.
Composer Richard Barnard and visual artist Heidi Hinder will work with Live Music Now, the Foyle Menuhin Archive at the Royal Academy of Music, Dartington Hall, and schools across Devon to develop this celebration of live performance, creative vision and collaboration, inspired by Menuhin’s life and work.
The project will be an artistic distillation of the history, ethos and current work of Live Music Now:
- Breaking down barriers between audience and performers
- Opening up music to more people
- Enabling people to interact with music and musical instruments in new ways
- Celebrating live performance
- Exploring ideas of music and the mind, its effects on memory and health
- Responding creatively to audience’s reactions and interactions
- Celebrating Yehudi Menuhin as a performer and recording artist
- Celebrating Menuhin’s influence and legacy
Audiences will be able to glimpse inside ‘Menuhin’s Violin’ as they listen to a specially composed soundscape, echoing with the memories and music of this world-renowned violinist.
We’re currently selecting artists for the next season of exhibitions starting in September 2017.
For more information and to submit a proposal, go here.
How to find us
Find your way to Dartington Hall
Park in the main car park (there is a small charge). Then walk DOWN the hill until you see the large blue sign for SPACE. Walk towards the buildings at the end and find us upstairs. There are signs in main reception directing you to the gallery.
If you have a blue badge, there are three parking bays available outside SPACE. They are quite often in use, so if you’d like us to reserve one for you please ring us on 07968 208583, or email us. Although the gallery is on the first floor, the building is fully wheelchair accessible.