Of the Earth: Art, Photography, Writing and the Environment

Plymouth University 24th & 25th October 2014 organised in collaboration with the University of Sunderland

Of the Earth was a major conference exploring art, design, writing and the environment and is organized to coincide with the showing in Plymouth (UK) of the WALK ON exhibition, a reflection on the last 60 years of ‘walking art’

Conference Programme

Of the Earth set out to identify how the history, theory and practice of art, design, and writing is becoming increasingly aligned to environmental issues and politics. A large part of the conference was given over to a review of contemporary research and artistic practice which explored the delicate poise between the human mind and the natural world – the world in which we live.


Of the Earth is the result of collaboration between artists and academics in Plymouth and Sunderland. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising the conference and all the participating artists and researchers.

Collaborating Organisations

Land/Water and the Visual Arts (Plymouth University)

Land/Water consists of artists, writers and curators who embrace diverse creative and critical practices. Land and Water are inextricably inter-related: water forms part of the substance of land; land forms riverbeds and the seabed. As a research group it operates as a forum for interrogation of nature and culture, aesthetics and representation. We are centrally concerned to critically re-appraise imagery and practices relating to land, landscape and place. As artists, writers, curators we work individually exploring space and place as a point of departure for experimenting in new modes of communication through picturing. Within the group there is particular emphasis and expertise in lens-based media. We generate work that addresses a range of issues. These include environmental change, sustainability, journey, site and regional specificity. In addition a forum for theoretical and methodological debate is constructed through research events, exchange exhibitions (with other HE Institutions), conferences, symposia and publications. www.landwater-research.co.uk.

W.A.L.K (University of Sunderland)

W.A.L.K. (Walking, Art, Landscape and Knowledge) is a research centre at the University of Sunderland and consists of artists, writers and curators exploring the varied practices of ‘art walking.’ The relationship between art practice and walking has attracted critical attention in a number of disciplines in recent years, including anthropology and tourism as well as art history. However, ‘art walking’ has yet to be properly defined and interrogated as an artistic practice that has a considerable history as well as a vibrant present. In this context, W.A.L.K. aims to foster new critical dialogues, artistic exploration, exhibition opportunities and research mentorship.

WALK ON (Sept 20 – Dec 13 2014))

A touring exhibition brought to Plymouth thanks to a partnership between Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University; Plymouth Arts Centre; Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art. Details and opening hours: www.walkonplymouth.org WALK ON was curated by Mike Collier of WALK (Walking, Art, Landscape and Knowledge) and Cynthia Morrison-Bell of Art Circuit Touring in collaboration with Alistair Robinson, Curator, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland.

Conference Organisers: Mike Collier (exhibition co-curator), Carol McKay, Walter Lewis (University of Sunderland), Liz Wells (Plymouth University), Michele Allen (artist and researcher)


Walk On  School of Art and Media and Peninsula Arts Plymouth International Book Fair
Peninsula Arts Gallery Plymouth University Roland Levinsky Building 10.00-20.00 Friday; 10.00-17.00 Saturday Scott Building foyer ‘collecting, walking, thinking’ Steve Thorpe, exhibition10.00-18.00 Friday (Saturday by arrangement) Roland Levinsky Building, Crosspoint 10.00–22.00 Friday and Saturday Talks:
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery North Hill/Drake Circus 10.00–17.00 Friday and Saturday Scott Building floor 1 Exhibition of work by members ofLand/Water and the Visual Arts 10.00-18.00 Friday (Saturday by arrangement) The Customs House *20.00-21.00 Friday Barely Imagined Beasts Country* 14.00-15.00 Saturday Four Fields* 15.30-16.30 Saturday
The Gallery At Plymouth College of ArtTavistock Place 09.00-17.00 Friday Roland Levinsky Building Simon Pope Talk 17.30 Saturday The Shock of the Fall * 16.00-17.00 Someone Else’s Skin* 17.30-18.30 Tickets available from Peninsula Arts Box Office
Plymouth Arts Centre 38 Looe Street 10.00–20.30 Friday and Saturday    

Friday 24th April

10.00-12.00 Registration, (Roland Levinsky Building, Crosspoint)

10.45-11.00 Welcome, Alan Schechner, Head of School of Art and Media, Plymouth University. (Attrill Gallery, Plymouth City Museum)

11.00-12.45 Keynote presentation, Jules Pretty The Edge of Extinction: Reflections on Methods of Engagement with the Land. (Attrill Gallery)

12.45-13.30 Lunch (RLB 305) and book signing with Jules Pretty (RLB 306)

13.30-15.30 Panel presentations; 3 parallel sessions (RLB and Scott buildings)

15.30-16.00 Tea + coffee break (RLB 305) and book signing, Gina Glover (RLB 306)

16.00-17.30 Panel presentations; 3 parallel sessions (RLB and Scott buildings)

17.45- 19.00 Keynote Presentation, Harriet Tarlo and Judith Tucker, ‘”Off Path, counter path”; contemporary collaborations in landscape’. (RLB LT2)

19.00-20.00 Drinks reception, Peninsula Arts Gallery (RLB) hosted by Land/Water and the Visual Arts

20.00- 21.00 Reading, Sir Andrew Motion, ‘The Customs House’. Prior Booking required (RLB LT1)

Saturday 25th April

9.00-11.00 Panel presentations; 3 parallel sessions (RLB)

11.00-11.30 Tea and coffee

11.30- 13.00 Panel presentations; 2 parallel sessions (RLB)

11.30-12.30 Talk: ‘Barely Imagined Beast Country’ Plymouth International Book Festival. (RLB

12.45-13.50 Lunch (RLB 305)

13.50-15.00 Keynote Presentation, Jem Southam ‘Walking Stories’. (RLB cinema)

15.00- 15.30 Plenary Discussion, and close (RLB cinema)

15.30-17.00 Talk, Plymouth International Book Festival (RLB)

16.00-17.00 Talk, The Shock of the Fall, Plymouth International Book Festival (RLB)

17.30-18.30 Two talks: Someone Else’s Skin Plymouth International Book Festival; Simon Pope, Peninsula Arts (RLB)

Other Events

11.00-12.15 Keynote #1

Professor Jules Pretty (OBE)
The Edge of Extinction: Reflections on Methods of Engagement with the Land.
Chair: Liz Wells

This keynote talk reflected on how direct methods and styles of engagement with land and nature can result in new insights and stories. These have the potential to change us and reshape our finite planet. Once, our ancestors walked the world. Then came domestication of animals, the wheel, and now the car. Settlements and transport were rearranged beyond our control, and walking became hard.

For his latest book, The Edge of Extinction (Cornell Univ Press, 2014), Pretty chose to start in the Pacific and migrate west across continents to explore how and why people still live close to nature, land and sea. He sought clues for moderns about ways of living that will not condemn cultures and economies to extinction. He walked and travelled by pirogue, skidoo, skiff, canoe, air-boat, horse-trap, cable-car, jeep, car, van, truck, train and plane. Sleep came in tents and farmhouses, cabins and houseboats, bleak administration blocks and distinctive hotels. Food was shared: muttonbirds and mutton, pike and catfish, moose and porcupine, crawfish and flounder, noodles and breakfast grills. He met and travelled with people defending nature-based cultures, proud of their relationships with the land, and only willing to join the modern world on their terms. Lessons for moderns may lie in some of the stories from these places.

There is some journeying to be done. Paths to be explored and new ones made. Each year, the pine leans a little further. After night, the dawn comes. There is mud, but the birds are singing. The waves come and go, but the ocean is still there.

Jules Pretty is Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex, where he is also Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex. His books include The Edge of Extinction (2014), This Luminous Coast (2011), The Earth Only Endures (2007), and Agri-Culture (2002). He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, former Deputy-Chair of the government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, and has served on advisory committees for a number of government departments and research councils. He was a member of two Royal Society working groups that published Reaping the Benefits (2009) and People and the Planet (2012), and was a member of the UK government Foresight project on Global Food and Farming Futures (2011). He received an OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, and an honorary degree from Ohio State University in 2009. More details at www.julespretty.com.

Location: Attrill Gallery, Plymouth City Museum
13.30 – 15.30 – Panel 1 Edgelands: ruins and contested spaces
Chair: Carole Baker

Ian Thompson (Newcastle University)
UrbEx and ‘Ruin Porn’: Sublimity and the 21st century Picturesque.

The paper considers the thesis that the 21st century craze for urban exploration (UrbEx or UE) and its associated aesthetic valorisation of ruined and abandoned buildings shares many common features with both 18th Picturesque tourism and late nineteenth-century adventure sports, particularly rock-climbing.

Ian Thompson is Reader in Landscape Architecture at Newcastle University and currently studying for an MA in Photography at the University of Sunderland

Kate Corder (Artist)
An exploration of plant material in relation to human processes of land cultivation Picturesque.

In this presentation I explore plant material as autonomous vibrant structure producing fertile forms in art through concepts of human cultivation, abandonment and degeneration. This research process leads to construction of walking events on contested land surrounding Heathrow and opens up dialogues on airport expansion and land cultivation history.

Kate Corder is an artist and curator and was awarded a PhD in Art Practice from the University of Reading in 2014. www.katecorder.net www.ellamontt.wordpress.com www.cultivationfield.org

Michelle Allen (Artist)
Trees not Tarmac: stories from the M65

This paper will discuss a recent installation created using photographs and accounts collected from protesters involved in the M65 road protest (Lancashire 1994-95) alongside my own recollections of the campaign. I will reflect on the role of photographic representation in the protest, and the subsequent transitions in my own practice away from studio based art towards collaboration and socially grounded subject matter as a way of representing environmental issues.

Michele Allen is an artist and researcher based in Newcastle upon Tyne. She recently completed an AHRC funded PhD by photographic practice from the University of Sunderland in association with Locus+

Location: Scott 114
13.30– 15.30 – Panel 2, Interdisciplinary practices and ecological imperatives contested spaces
Chair: Heidi Morstang

Maartje van den Heuvel (Leiden University)
Images as Ecological Arguments
Dutch Natural Climate Buffers photographed by Loek van Vliet

Loek van Vliet photographed four recently reshaped Natural Climate Buffers in the Netherlands. These ecologically healthy zones, that are now ready for climate change, look like ‘authentic’ landscapes from Dutch historical landscape painting. Thus, these photographs provide nature and environmental organizations with a new, artistic argument for ecological change.

Art historian and curator Maartje van den Heuvel researches contemporary photography on the very artificial Dutch nature, against the background of the tradition of Dutch landscape painting.

Jethro Brice and Seila Fernandez Arconada (University of Bristol)
Riding the Tide – Socially-engaged art practice for a living landscape

How does socially-engaged art support and challenge narratives of resilience and community engagement in the context of a changing climate and extreme weather events? What critical frameworks can artists adopt to address wider questions of power, equality and visibility and generate meaningful relations across perceived boundaries when working with groups and individuals in changeable landscapes?

Jethro Brice is an artist exploring sense of place through socially-engaged and academic collaboration, to develop new approaches for an unsettled future and a contested past: www.jethrobrice.com

Seila Fernández Arconada is a multidisciplinary artist-researcher based in Bristol (UK). Her ongoingprojects include art-research collaborations with science and arts exploring collaborative creative methods. For more info: www.seilafernandezarconada.com

Sally Bream (University of Sussex)
Walking through the Landscape of Pevensey Levels – Seeking Climate Change

This paper explores how climate change might be identified and documented by photography while walking through the landscape at Pevensey Levels. This area of drained marshland has been shaped by environmental, social and political decisions that are made in terms of the landscape’s geographical location, geology and anthropocentric climate change.

Sally Bream is studying a Ph.D. in Creative and Critical Practice (Photography) at the University of Sussex in the School of Media, Film and Music

Location: RLB 306
13.30– 15.30 – Panel 3 Extraction and environmental degradation
Chair: David Chandler

Geof Rayner (Photofusion Photography Centre London)
The Metabolic Landscape: perception, practice and the energy transition

The word metabolism derives from the Greek metabolē, meaning change; today it refers to the energetic processes underlying all life. The Metabolic Landscape is one changed by human intervention and by the extraction and use of energy. The Energy Transition, the shift from a low to high energy use society, has brought enormous benefits but in transforming the landscape, brings other, more worrisome implications.

Dr. Geof Rayner is author of Ecological Public Health: Shaping the Conditions for Health (with Tim Lang), Routledge 2012. He is one of the founders, and current chairman, of Photofusion Photography Centre London. His is visiting research fellow at City University London and formerly Professor Associate in Public Health, Brunel University.

Nicky Bird (Glasgow School of Art)
On a Scottish Rural Edge

My contribution centres on a specific landmark in Scotland known as the ‘Five Sisters’ on the edge of West Calder, a small town in West Lothian. 240 metres high, the Five Sisters are spoil heaps, products of a long gone oil shale mining industry. They have since been the subject of Land Art, Geo-Science, and community-led town planning.

Nicky Bird is an artist who investigates the contemporary relevance of found photographs, archives and specific sites creating artworks that collaborate with people who have significant connections to a hidden history.

Christopher Orchard (Charles Sturt University & University of Tasmania)
The Traumatic Landscape: Investigating Somaterratic and Psychoterratic Cultural Responses in Contemporary Landscape Photography.

This paper investigates the application of Somaterratic and Psychoterratic issues to the practice of contemporary landscape photography. The larger implications of the research are to continue the photographs and craft objects generative discourse, particularly where they are in a direct relationship with environmental factors, and where they are subject to altering psychological factors.

Christopher Orchard is a Lecturer in Photography at Charles Sturt University and a PhD Candidate at the University of Tasmania Australia.

Location: Scott 102
16.00 – 17.30 – Panel 4 Materiality and the image; a process of reconnection?
Chair: Ines Rae

Agnieszka Kozlowska (artist)
Taking Photographs Beyond the Visual

The paper will present the recent practice-led doctoral project concerned with the ability of photographs as physical traces to express the experience of remote natural locations more fully than it is possible by means of purely visual representation. The work combines papermaking and image-formation in a single process executed entirely on-site.

Agnieszka Kozlowska is an artist whose practice investigates the possibility of conveying an embodied experience of remote environments through a photograph as a physical trace rather than purely an image.

Victoria Ahrens (Birkbeck College, University of London and UAL London)
Hats on the Paranå: Landscapes of Longing and Belonging

Working with a series of rediscovered snapshots of the Latin American landscape, my research is centred on discourses of memory, the ruin and nostalgia. I create photo-etchings and press transferred collage installations of spaces at the borders of political and social history. My work is about glimpses of topographies, which become reduced through a constant mediation in print. We long for these sublime experiences of landscape, yet they do not be-long to us. Taking an image I have called ‘Hats on the Paraná’ (c. 1930) as my starting point, I will discuss our longing for wholeness through the image of landscape, while the image itself slips from our grasp, belonging as it does to another time.

Victoria Ahrens is currently studying for her AHRC funded PHD in Art Practice at Birkbeck, University of London.

Location: Scott 102
16.00 – 17.30 – Panel 5 The tactile earth
Chair: Walter Lewis

Marina Velez (Plymouth University)
Sensing Through Things: objects as agents of connectivity and expansion of consciousness

In the context of proximity to the land, certain objects can be contemplated as carriers of knowledge and value. Analysing the cognitive, aesthetic and experiential processes that are activated by sensing through these objects can highlight the attachment people have with their land, their culture and one another and this idea can be used as a metaphor, both poetic and political, for the development of what Capra calls eco-literacy.

Marina Velez is a Phd candidate in Fine Arts, Plymouth University. Her research project is titled ‘Value in the aesthetic field: practice as a catalyst for translation, meaning and worth.’

Rosalinda Ruiz Scarfuto (University of Sunderland)
l’intrus-trespas*. Miguel Barceló: an artist delves in-to Earth

This is a survey of the work of contemporary Spanish artist Miguel Barceló. The Iberian Artists (1925) discovered the sturdy reality of Spanish earth capturing “tactile landscapes.” Fast-forwarding, beyond Paris & Naples influences, Barceló continues the trend by crossing over the Mediterranean (middle-earth) to Africa, probing into the realm of organic art. * Trespasé: my own term to describe our form of trespassing on Earth in a passive style, indifferent to its role in our lives, like passing through an art gallery without a base of cultural sensitivity and consequently missing the point of the artist and its creation.

A published poet, Rosalinda Ruiz Scarfuto holds a B.A. in Social Ecology from University of California, a Masters in English Philology, Spain and has travelled/lived extensively in Asia.

Location: RLB 306
16.00 – 17.30 – Panel 6 Touristic challenges and photographic methods
Chair: Gursewak Aulakh

Minna Pöllänen (artist)
You Are Here: Touristic Strategies and Landscape

The paper You Are Here: Touristic Strategies and Landscape is based on visual artist Minna Pöllänen’s practice and research, which questions codes of behaviour associated with landscape tourism. By re-interpreting devices such as observation decks, viewfinders and nature trails, and by organising vernacular sightseeing tours Pöllänen examines our relationship to both rural and urban environments.

Minna Pöllänen (b.1980) is a Finnish visual artist living and working in London. Pöllänen’s practice combines and moves between photography, site-specific works and participatory projects.

Harry Hall (University of Sunderland Postgraduate Researcher)
Chin (Leaving): a photographic investigation into the experience of urbanisation in a nomadic community

For over 1,600yrs Kharnack nomads herded goats on the Changtang Plateau in the Himalayas. Since 2007 their population has dropped from 45 families to 14 as the nomads have moved to a town.My practice led photographic research employs inter-subjective phenomenological methodology and reflective practices to represent the qualitative experience of this on-going urbanization. It has led to new insights into how climate change and associated social pressures are driving nomadic depopulation.

A former mountaineer, Harry Hall is a photographic researcher and PhD student researching processes of social change and modernization in isolated communities.

Location: Scott 114
17.45-19.00 Keynote #2
Chair: Judith Robinson

Judith Tucker and Harriet Tarlo
Off path, counter path”: contemporary collaborations in landscape

Poet, Harriet Tarlo, and artist, Judith Tucker, have walked and worked collaboratively together since 2011 on “Tributaries” (W. Yorks) and “Excavations and Estuaries” (the Humber). They reflect here on whether inter-disciplinary collaborative practice might be a means to explore more open, environmentally aware engagements with landscape and place, might work counter to inherited nostalgic, grandiose or sentimental presentations of “the art of walking” to offer audiences with fresh perspectives of the complex relationship of our bodies to the environments through which they move. They draw on their own shared practice and that of others such as Frances Presley and Irma Irsara, Thomas and Laurie Clark and Deirdre Heddon’s and Misha Myers’ Walking Library.

Harriet Tarlo is a poet and academic with an interest in land, place and environment. Publications include Poems 1990-2003 (Shearsman 2004), Nab (etruscan 2005) and Sound Unseen with Judith Tucker (Wild Pansy, 2013). She is editor of The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry (Shearsman, 2011).  Exhibitions of texts in collaboration with artists, Jem Southam and Judith Tucker, have appeared at The Lowry, Salford, Tullie House, Carlisle; Musee de Moulages, Lyon and The University of Minneapolis. She is Course Leader for the long-established M.A. Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

Judith Tucker is an artist who considers place through drawing and painting. She has exhibited extensively both in the UK and abroad.  Recent exhibition venues are very wide ranging and include Lyon, France; Brno, Czech Republic; Minneapolis and Virginia, USA.  She is in the School of Design at the University of Leeds where she runs the B.A Art and Design and supervises her PhD students. She is co-convenor of two place –based networks Land2 and Mapping Spectral Traces.

Location: RLB Lecture Room 2
9.00 – 11.00 – Panel 7 Climate change and the archive
Chair: Carol Mckay

Chrystel Lebas
Drawing from the Salisbury Archive at The Natural History Museum in London: Observing Environmental Change in British Landscape

This presentation will focus on the research made during my residency at the Natural History Museum funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation in London, revisiting the Edward James Salisbury Archive. I will be looking at the relationship between art and science; working with the archive and drawing from my own experience in the field in collaboration with botanists, biologist and geographer. Also looking at the use of photography by scientists and in this context Ecologists, as a recording tool.

A graduate from the Royal College of Art, Chrystel Lebas was born in France, now she lives and works in London. Her photographs and films have been widely exhibited, published and collected by major institutions.

Tyrone Martinsson
Dialogue with history in an Arctic landscape

This is a visual investigation concerned with environmental photography and narratives with a foundation in the understanding of a dramatic change in the wild landscape of Arctic Svalbard. The result is a visual record – photographic documents and artistic representations – interpretations of historical photographs through, fieldwork, archival research and re-photography.

Photographer and practice based photo historian. Works as researcher and Head of Research at Academy Valand, University of Gothenburg. Special field of interest is photography and the environment.

Heidi Morstang
Prosperous Mountain – From ancient Egyptian funeral processions to global seed storage in the Arctic

The presentation will include questions around global seed storage, climate change and political interests in the High Arctic region. The focus is on the relationship between landscape and humanity through the portrayal of the Arctic winter landscape, and the human intervention through endeavors of mining, transport and global seed storage.

Heidi C Morstang works with moving image, photography and experimental documentary. She is a lecturer in photography at Plymouth University and co-convener of Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group.

Location: RLB Cinema
9.00 – 11.00 – Panel 8 Mapping and creative arts practices
Chair: Michele Allen

Luce Choules (artist)
Fieldwork In Practice: shared geographies

This paper discusses fieldwork in artistic practice, both as a method for creating and documenting events, and a means for making works and sharing outcomes – activities underpinned by observing social movement, interpreting data and mapping co-ordinates, research intertwined with practice and delivered through collaboration with others.

Luce Choules’ art deals with an exploration of the Earth’s surface – unfixed topographical features and fluent spatial dynamics, envisioned as the activated spaces of landscape to be surveyed and mapped.

Véronique Rolland (London College of Communication)
54°0 13.176 N 2°32 52.278 W, The Heart of Britain

The Heart of Britain concerns the findings of the centroid point of Britain which is the point where a cardboard cut-out of Britain and its 401 islands could be perfectly balanced on the tip of a pencil. The idea initially came about as a reflection on the Scottish independence referendum and what it would mean in terms of mapping.

Véronique Rolland is a visual artist who lives and works in London. Her work approaches our relationship to Nature, time, transition and ecology

Inge Panneels (University of Sunderland)
Beyond the Map: Of the Earth

The advent of the Space Age has heralded an unprecedented access to images of the Earth and by implication, our understanding of our planet, and our place within it. This paper proposes to examine the use of the world map, informed by scientific images of the Earth, by contemporary artists as a potent symbol for voicing opinion, express environmental concerns, make political statements or make social commentary.

Inge Panneels is an artist and academic at the University of Sunderland and will start an AHRC funded PhD at Northumbria University in October 2014.

Location: RLB 304
9.00 – 11.00 – Panel 9 Walking, creativity and critical potential
Chair: Mike Lawson-Smith

Blake Morris (University of East London. Postgraduate Researcher)
Walking as a Transversal Tool: Hamish Fulton and Deveron Arts

Felix Guattari conceptualises an ecology that ‘questions the whole of subjectivity and capitalistic power formations.’ Working through Guattari’s notion of transversal tools, I will examine the critical potential of walking art through Hamish Fulton’s project 21 Days in the Cairngorms (2010), and Deveron Arts’ The Walking Institute.

Blake Morris is a postgraduate researcher at the University of East London, and a founding member of the New York City based Walk Exchange.

Fergus Heron (University of Brighton)

This presentation involves a series of photographic works exploring the commonly encountered and often overlooked, rather than focusing upon the remote and sublime. The work considers questions of land, landscape and environment to create pictures that aim to articulate multi – layered ideas of the cultural, natural, modern and traditional.

Fergus Heron is a landscape artist making work between urban and rural places. He studied at the Royal College of Art and has exhibited internationally.

Karen Shepherdson (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Walking to work

In examining how walking informs my own work, this illustrated paper will argue for a reappraisal of the parochial and specifically how walking to work or – walking to make pictures – can contribute to and inform creative visual practice. Drawing upon earlier writings of John Piper, I will explore how as a photographer I shifted from being on to being within the landscape.

Dr Karen Shepherdson is principal lecturer in photography at CCCU and Director of both the South East Archive of Seaside Photography and the Old Lookout Gallery in Broadstairs.

Location: RLB 306
11.30–13.00 – Panel 10 Performed perspectives
Chair: Kayla Parker

Alfonso Borragán
The Litofagos: Body minerology and the profanation of the earth.

Litogafos are a series of works based on the body absorption of stone. We remember the mouth as a site of nurture, breath, aggression, appetite, language, and even knowledge: through our mouths we originally come to know the world and differentiate our selves from it.

Alfonso Borragán, multidisciplinary artist. Born in Santander. Lives and works in London. He is only interested in art which provides a vehicle for an experience. He devises situations and artefacts that broaden perception both physically and in an experiential sense. His creations are consumed with the experience, which at times dilates the work and expands it through oral transmission, the source of human growth, the communication of stories and memory.

Tony Hill
Sculptural Film-making of Landscape

I will present 2 experimental short films, ‘Downside Up’, and ‘Laws of Nature’, both of which explore ways of seeing landscape through the medium of film. I will screen the films and talk about some of the ideas that went into their making.

Born in London in 1946, Tony Hill studied Architecture and Sculpture and makes experimental short films that are somewhere between sculpture and cinema, between photography, site-specific works and participatory projects.

Location: RLB Cinema
11.30–13.00 – Panel 11 Literary and philosophical engagements with place
Chair: Chris Cook

Mark Riley (University of Roehampton, London)
Mindfulness, Landscape and Walking – Re-imagining the Site of Wittgenstein’s Hytte

The paper will focus on one location; the site of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Hytte in Norway and the landscape in which it is situated. It is to this place that Wittgenstein regularly returned throughout his life, to think, reflect and write. I will explore what remains at the site and its immediate surroundings through field notes and images in order to record and reflect on the topography of Wittgenstein’s thinking place.

Mark Riley is a senior lecturer in Photography at University of Roehampton London. He has contributed a chapter entitled, ‘Disorientation, Duration and Tarkovsky’ to Schizoanalysis and Cinema (edited by Ian Buchanan and Patricia MacCormack) and published by Continuum in 2008.

Guy Moreton (Southampton Solent University)
Sustaining an out-of-placeness: some remarks on landscape, literature and photography

Edward Thomas’s long and solitary walks allowed him to fill notebooks with acute observations of the changing landscape near to, and far beyond his home in Hampshire in the early part of the twentieth century. Arguably, these landscapes both consoled and sustained him, emotionally and intellectually. My own walks have attempted to uncover, obliquely, the complex relationship between landscape and thought. That places remind us of other times, of other experiences – of a ‘sustained out-of-placeness’ (Macfarlane, 2012) as creative condition – is a thread that ties and unties much of my photographic work.

Guy Moreton is an artist and Associate Professor of Photography in the School of Art and Design, Southampton Solent University. Recent exhibitions include ‘Unrecounted’ at Showcase, Southampton with a publication essay by Robert Macfarlane. MacCormack) and published by Continuum in 2008.

Location: RLB 304
13.45- -15.00 Keynote # 3
Chair: Walter Lewis

Jem Southam
Walking Stories

Walking Stories features a catalogue of walking narratives across millennia, which will act to contextualise contemporary approaches to photographing the land. In particular the talk will consider how different states of walking influence the nature of an individual’s engagement with their world.

Jem Southam was born in Bristol in 1950 and studied photography at the London College of Printing before working at as designer and photographer at Arnolfini. Since 1986 he has lived and taught in Devon, and is currently Professor of Photography at Plymouth University. His published works include: The Red River 1989; The Raft of Carrots 1992; Rockfalls, Rivermouths and Ponds 2000; The Painter’s Pool 2005; The River/Winter 2012

Location: RLB, Cinema
15.00-15.30 Plenary discussion and close
Chair: Carol McKay