'The Action Of Water'
130 Vicar Lane residency
Residency: September to December 2017
Exhibition: 1st to 7th December 2017
a collaboration with
East Street Arts
West Yorkshire Archaeological Services
Shakespeare Primary School
Burmantofts Senior Action
Leeds Print Workshop
For The Action Of Water, I worked with West Yorkshire Archaeological Services to use their 2013-14 survey of the Victoria Gate site in central Leeds as the starting point for new work.
I was especially interested in the archaeological classification systems that look at overlapping categories and with the layers of material uncovered during surveys. There is a clear parallel with printmaking techniques here and I wanted to see if new categories would emerge. The main approach was to use the finds from the survey as tools for mark-making, experimenting with various simple techniques: applying ink directly to finds, mixing detritus with ink, using shadows to cast new shapes, taking rubbings from surfaces.
Fundamentally, although we can better understand history through their study, the finds no longer serve the purpose they were made for. This final work builds on that basic fact, creating repeating patterns and textures on long scrolls which mirror the trenches dug during the survey. Texts taken from the survey documents and workshop sessions reflect shape, texture and pattern, rather than the specific finds they originally related to. Simple cyanotypes further extend the narrative. I am interested in how this approach leads to a new life for the finds and how that might relate to contemporary experience of place.
A lo-fi film walk-through of the installation.
Three scrolls showing how the text sections were printed.