W a t e r W o r k s
Since November 2019, Coronavirus has affected virtually every area of society and appears to be only worsening. It has been almost impossible to avoid work being made during these, somewhat challenging, times being influenced in some way by Covid-19. This summer’s lockdown restrictions have taught me a number of things, one of which has been to appreciate what’s on my doorstep and to explore my immediate surroundings more. I’ve had the privilege of living along the Avon River for the past ten years and although I have explored the area a lot I have never before taken the time to understand, observe and immerse myself within the landscape. The frustrations of being unable to work and travel this summer provided me with the opportunity fully to appreciate the Avon and the abundant life that it supports.
Over the past weeks and months, in all weathers and different times of the day I have found myself walking a stretch of the Avon, between the Craig and Shooglie Bridges, sometimes filling half a roll of film and other days not taking a camera at all. Sticking to the relatively un-walked south banks I have become immersed within the landscape, growing fascinated by my presence within a mostly undisturbed abundance of natural cycles. This stretch of the river has become a refreshing constant, seemingly untouched in a world absorbed by the changing effects of Covid-19. The landscape, or more my studying of it, is showing me that nature continues and flourishes, almost unaware and unheeded by the pandemic.
The body of work is a site-specific project, aiming to convey my response to the never-ceasing flow of a mile-long stretch of river: observations of nature as the seasons change; and my own presence within the landscape. The images, taken on 35mm film, are developed on the riverbank itself and unfiltered water straight from the river forms a major part in all stages of the development process. I am drawn to this idea that the location and environment play a vital role in the work and this is enhanced by the fact that the first time the images are seen is knee-deep in the central link for the project, the River Avon itself.
The exhibition is in two parts, the first of these is situated in the Alison Green in the town centre of Strathaven and the extended body of work is displayed within a more natural setting and the site where it was created, along the River Avon via the Shooglie Bridge.