In the Open: collaborative artworks around place, landscape and environment

Judith Tucker and Harriet Tarlo

 

There is an ever more urgent preoccupation with complex and controversial environmental issues.  How might we understand ideas of place in a time of accelerating environmental change? How could we work together to respond? Do artists and poets have anything to show us about the potential of collaboration?

1. In the Open – poster from Sheffield designed by Paul Wilson

 

Between 6th and 29th September 2017 SIA and Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, U.K. hosted In The Open: collaborative artworks around place, landscape and environment, an exhibition of work by over 60 artists from around the world curated by Judith Tucker and Harriet Tarlo. This photo essay reflects some of the work and energy of this show. This overlapped with the ASLE-UKI & Land2 Conference 2017: Cross Multi Inter Trans conference and included readings and performances in the gallery spaces.

All the work in this two-venue exhibition was made by at least two collaborators across a wide range of disciplines to explore ideas around place, ecology and environment. Some of the work was made by established collaborative pairs, for example: Thomas A Clark and Diane Howse, Kevin Greenfield and Inge Panneels, Andrea Thoma and Deborah Gardner, Judith Tucker and Harriet Tarlo. Other works in the exhibition resulted from the curators inviting expressions of interest from artists and poets eighteen months in advance and then acting as brokers and pairing people up. Dan Eltringham and David Walker Barker, Laura-Gray Street and Anne-Marie Creamer, Barbary Howey and Ann Fisher-Wirth, Rebecca Thomas and Elizabeth-Jane Burnett all made new work in this way.

The resulting exhibition included art and text in a wide variety of media and scale, including artists’ books, paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations and moving image. The artists had taken their points of departure from many locations: Los Angeles to Malta, from Ilkley Moor to the Mississippi Delta, from Langsett to Singapore. All kinds of fieldwork had taken place with artists and poets exploring meadows, fields, disused canals, deserted quarries, high cliffs, coasts, seas, parks, orchards, forests, bogs, street signs, city walls and industrial buildings. Their work took audiences on journeys along rivers from tiny streams to expansive deltas, from places as high as Snowdon to deep underground in an abandoned mine. Others conflate real and imagined places, working simultaneously with possible past, present and futures. The works reflect, resist and critique the long traditions and aesthetics of landscape art and writing, reinterpreting, in a contemporary idiom, notions of the romantic, picturesque and gothic. Others are more speculative and ruminate on wider issues of social and environmental change and offer possible future propositions. Whilst there was inevitably consideration of environmental degradation, as a whole the exhibition was not elegiac and the slow looking, the slow making, the slow writing and a deep concern with particularity of place seems to offer a sense of hopeful new/old ways of being in the world.

Click on the images below to see a larger image.

11. From Longdendale Lights to Shining Clough, words by Laura-Gray Street and moving image by Anne-Marie Creamer, 2017

12. Read These Leaves animation by Bethan Hughes, words by Caitlin Stobie, 2017

15. Bal na vodi (Dancing in Water), music by Barry Snaith, moving image by Eirini Boukla, 2017

21. Recycled Gardens words by Peter Jaeger and images by Josh Scammell  2017

 

The artists in the exhibition were

Kim Anno, Steve Baker, Christine Baeumler, Iain Biggs, Emma Bolland, Trevor Borg, Eirini Boukla, John Bowers, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Anthony Catania, Clare Charnley, Luce Choules, Thomas A. Clark, Anne-Marie Creamer, Martin Cromie, Barbara Cumbers, Amy Cutler, Clare Davies, Gail Dickerson, Filippa Dobson, Laura Donkers, Dan Eltringham, Adrian Evans, Katy Ewing, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Deborah Gardner, Abigail Goodman, Gordian Projects, Kevin Greenfield, Lucy Sam Haighton, Steven Hitchins, Gillian Hobson, Rachel Hosein Nisbet, Barbara Howey, Diane Howse, Bethan Hughes, Linda Ingham, E. Jackson, Peter Jaeger, Andrew Jeffrey, Natalie Joelle, Jan Johnson, Jane Le Besque, Brian Lewis, Longbarrow Press, Anna Mace, Christine Mackey, Sean Martin, Peter Matthews, Gavin Maughfling, Mary Modeen, Moschatel Press, Sheila Mullen, Camilla Nelson, Ruth O’Callaghan, Martina O’Brien, Evelyn O’Malley, Mark Pajak, Inge Panneels, Kayla Parker, David Power, James Quinn, Anna Robinson, Anna Marie Savage, Beth Savage, Joshua Scammell, Alan Smith, Barry Snaith, Jem Southam, Judith Stewart, Caitlin Stobie, Laura-Gray Street, Harriet Tarlo, Chris Taylor, Andrea Thoma, Rebecca Thomas, Min-Wei Ting, Nick Triplow, Judith Tucker, Veronica Vickery, David Walker Barker, Carole Webster, Wild Pansy Press, Louise K. Wilson, Paul Wilson, Lucie Winterson, Jon Wrigley.

List of works above

  1. In the Open – poster from Sheffield designed by Paul Wilson.
  2. Installation at Sheffield Institute of the Arts
  3. Installation at Sheffield Institute of the Arts
  4. Installation at Sheffield Institute of the Arts with Adrian Evans, Carole Webster and Steve Baker.
  5. Installation at Sheffield Institute of the Arts featuring Dan Eltringham, David Walker Barker, Harriet Tarlo and Judith Tucker
  6. Installation at Sheffield Institute of the Arts with Kevin Greenfield and Inge Paneels.
  7. Installation at Bank Street with Thomas A Clark and Diane Howse
  8. a slow air 1 words by Thomas A. Clark, photography by Diane Howse, 2016.
  9. a slow air 1 words by Thomas A. Clark, photography by Diane Howse, 2016.
  10. Damage      Poison      Beauty     Ooze, words by Ann Fisher-Wirth, paintings by Barbara Howey, 2017
  11. From Longdendale Lights to Shining Clough, words by Laura-Gray Street and moving image by Anne-Marie Creamer, 2017
  12. Read These Leaves animation by Bethan Hughes, words by Caitlin Stobie, 2017.
  13. Field Notes / Field Study,words by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and images by Rebecca Thomas, 2017
  14. Field Notes / Field Study,words by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and images by Rebecca Thomas, 2017
  15. Bal na vodi (Dancing in Water), music by Barry Snaith, moving image by Eirini Boukla, 2017
  16. Searching for Jossie: Surface & Underground in the Landscape of Langsett & Midhope, words by Daniel Eltringham, images by David Walker Barker, 2017.
  17. Searching for Jossie: Surface & Underground in the Landscape of Langsett & Midhope, words by Daniel Eltringham, images by David Walker Barker, 2017.
  18. Thrift Jem Southam with David Chandler, Liz Nicol, Math Southam and Katelyn Toth-Fejel, 2014
  19. Thrift Liz Nicol with Jem Southam, David Chandler, Liz Nicol, Math Southam and Katelyn Toth-Fejel, 2014
  20. Claude Glass: Snowdon, glass by Inge Panneels and photography by Kevin Greenfield, 2016
  21. Recycled Gardens words by Peter Jaeger and images by Josh Scammell 2017
  22. Of Plants and Planets, painting by Andrea Thoma and Sculpture by Deborah Gardner, 2017
  23. Of Plants and Planets, painting by Andrea Thoma and Sculpture by Deborah Gardner, 2017
  24. Outfalls, words by Harriet Tarlo and drawings by Judith Tucker 2017
  25. Artist books
  26. Private View

Copyright notice: Images above are copyright the individual artists and writers and may not be used without permission. In the first instance contact info.plumwoodmountain@gmail.com with any inquiries about reuse.

For further details on individual works please see the exhibition website.

Harriet Tarlo is a poet and academic with an interest in landscape, place and environment. Her publications include Field; Poems 2004–2014; Poems 1990–2003 (Shearsman 2016, 2014, 2004); Nab (etruscan 2005) and, with Judith Tucker, Sound Unseen and behind land (Wild Pansy, 2013 and 2015). She is editor of The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry (Shearsman, 2011) and special poetry editor for Plumwood Mountain 4:2 (2017). Critical work appears in volumes by Salt, Palgrave, Rodopi and Bloodaxe and in Pilot, Jacket, English and the Journal of Ecocriticism. Her collaborative work with Tucker has shown at galleries including the Catherine Nash Gallery Minneapolis, 2012; Musee de Moulages, Lyon, 2013; Southampton City Art Gallery 2013–14; The Muriel Barker Gallery, Grimsby; and the New Hall College Art Collection, Cambridge, 2015. She is a Reader in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.
Judith Tucker is an artist and academic; her work explores the meeting of social history, personal memory and geography; it investigates their relationship through drawing, painting and scholarly writing. She is senior lecturer in the School of Design at the University of Leeds. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad. Recent exhibition venues include London, Sheffield, Cambridge and many other regional galleries throughout the UK, and further afield Brno, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Minneapolis and Virginia, USA; and Yantai, Nanjing and Tianjin in China. She is co-convener of the Land2 and of Mapping Spectral Traces networks and is part of Contemporary British Painting, a platform for contemporary painting in the UK. Tucker also writes academic essays which can be found in academic journals and in books published by Rodopi, Macmillan, Manchester University Press, Intellect and Gunter Narrverlag, Tübingen.
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