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WALKING…LANDSCAPE…MEMORY

Salisbury Arts Centre Bedwin Street SP1 3UT www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk 01722 321744

SALISBURY ARTS CENTRE 7 JANUARY - 27 FEBRUARY 2016


WALKING…LANDSCAPE…MEMORY Every journey conceals another journey within its lines: the path not taken and the forgotten angle. These are journeys I wish to record. Not the ones I made, but the ones I might have made, or perhaps did make in some other place or time.

Jeanette Winterson

In 1975 Fay Godwin created a photographic document of the Wessex Ridgeway, the ancient path across the high chalk downlands of southern England. These brooding black and white images are a record of that point in time yet reach into the past. Humans have been walking and working this landscape for millennia, leaving traces both subtle and monumental. With 1975 also being the year in which St Edmunds church became an arts centre and 2016 the year Salisbury Arts Centre chooses the programming theme ‘People versus Planet’, these photographs offer an opportune starting point for an exhibition.


The twenty-one images selected from Godwin’s series are the most physical in the set; the stands of trees, towering stones and tracks through the mud. Until her death in 2005 Godwin was a passionate supporter of the Ramblers Association so it is fitting that accompanying her are three other artists who make work in response to their traverses through particular countryside environments.

The photographs and maps by Rob Irving are part of his recent doctoral research into the ritual and mythical landscapes of Wiltshire, particularly focussing on the stone circles at Avebury. In the forty years since Godwin captured this landscape, photography has evolved phenomenally. Irving’s bang up-to-date digital techniques enable sumptuous detail within his images. In some cases he shoots from practically the same viewpoint as Godwin and in doing so reiterates the allure of these locations. Irving’s practice


during the 90’s and 00’s as a crop circle maker fed his interest in ideas of concealment within an artistic practice. In his latest map works he utilises state-of-the-art LiDAR techniques to imagine new artworks hiding within historical sites already deeply drenched in stories.

Lydia Halcrow’s paintings present an abstracted reflection of her walks across Salisbury Plain. Her desire to recreate a sense of being in time and space when walking combines with a deep fascination for maps. The crisscrossing tracks she uses are lifted from satellite imagery of army tank tracks. These are collapsed into composite skylines from her own photographs of the area. In describing the new series of paintings created for Walking…Landscape…Memory she says ‘My walks on Salisbury Plain started out with a fascination with Imber, its current use and its history, I wanted to answer the question – how much can you sense the history of a place when you


Installation view: Richard Long, Rob Irving, Fay Godwin, Lydia Halcrow


Installation view: Richard Long, Rob Irving, Fay Godwin, Lydia Halcrow


walk through it and can you give a sense of this multilayered and ambiguous experience in a painting?’.

Beginning with A Line Made by Walking in 1967, Richard Long carved a niche for himself as an artist with a practice that is hard to classify. It is not quite Land Art. Or Conceptual. The genesis of his sculpture, photography and text works is always a walk. In a series of statements accompanying his 1980 exhibition at Anthony d’Offay gallery, Long said ‘A walk expresses space and freedom and the knowledge of it can live in the imagination of anyone, and that is another space too.’ In common with many artists who have made work in natural environments, Long’s work has been a point of reference for both Halcrow and Irving during their research.


Born and based for the majority of his working life in Bristol, Long has made many walking works within the South West of England. The two works included in this exhibition, made in Ireland and Japan, highlight the ubiquity of the walk as idea. The text work Kicking Stones traces a six day walk from Cork to Sligo in 1989. A Line in Japan 1979 has a placelessness in common with many of his works. The photograph itself does not convey the distance travelled for its making but the economical addition of those four words transports a western viewer half way around the world. These works contain tiny detail and wide expanses within them. After nearly fifty years of making work this way, Long still invites questions about the human relationship with our planet home.


Cover: Waden Hill, Rob Irving

Inside cover: No Road Here IV, Lydia Halcrow

Centre pages: installation view at Salisbury Arts Centre

Booklet design and text: Fiona Cassidy

Fay Godwin works on loan from John Creasey Museum and Collection of Contemporary Art

Richard Long works very kindly loaned by a private collector in Wiltshire

Š Salisbury Arts Centre Bedwin Street

Salisbury SP1 3UT

salisburyartscentre.co.uk

01722 321744


WALKING…LANDSCAPE…MEMORY

Salisbury Arts Centre Bedwin Street SP1 3UT www.salisburyartscentre.co.uk 01722 321744

SALISBURY ARTS CENTRE 7 JANUARY - 27 FEBRUARY 2016

Walking...Landscape...Memory catalogue  

Catalogue to accompany the Walking...Landscape...Memory exhibition at Salisbury Arts Centre from 7 January to 27 February 2016. Artists: Fay...

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