Lines found while walking
Over the course of many visits to the Merz Barn, in Cumbria, for artist residencies, group projects and events – I walked each time, mesmerised by and getting lost in Langdale Valley’s magnificent Landscape. The distinct outlines of the Pikes – with the view of Scafell Mountain, dominating the background, are unlike any other part of the Lake District. The lines and rhythms of the crags, summits, slopes and peaks, are quite specific to the place.
The exploration of place through walking is a central method in my practice. Visual research is collected through physical mediation of a new or familiar place – a meditative process and visceral experience, in this case perpetuated by a magnetic draw to the site.
Inspired by Kurt Schwitters’ daily constitutional to Loughrigg Tarn, I retraced his footsteps, to experience the walk through the largely unchanged landscape since his time creating the last Merz Barn, Cumbria (1945-48). The re-appropriation of photographs through installation and collaging upon surfaces – juxtaposes the internal and external of landscape and site to make the image – methods borrowed from Merz.
By reusing the lines found while walking, Landscape is subject – changed only by the editing of colour to make more intense an already dramatic composition. This work lasts only for a few seconds or minutes – interrupting the site momentarily, intentionally not changing or marking anything or leaving anything behind.