Mapping place

I’ve done a lot of stitching recently – over one hundred eyelets so far and I’m not even half way there! I stitch myself into a meditative state and as I stitch I think (probably over think). I turn over haphazard ideas  trying to fit things together.  Every now and again I jump up to look something up in a book. I thought it was worth putting down these latest ponderings about the Soundmark pieces that I am making at the moment – they are central to what I am trying to achieve. ‘A more profound engagement must depend upon more than the visual, upon those things that remain invisible’. Tacita Dean  ‘Hearing structure and articulates the experience and understanding of space’. Juhani Pallasmaa P1230247 Understanding an environment or place is to understand how you sense it. Its light, its texture, its atmosphere and its sound – eyes, ears, hands, feet. It’s about time spent and the changes that take place over time. Its ups and downs, nears and fars, louds and softs, movements, rhythms and silences. P1230246 An understanding is not arrived at by just seeing, or just hearing or just feeling but by a mixture of all the senses together. P1230243 Take walking for instance. Your feet feel the ground. Your ears hear your footsteps as they beat a continuous rhythm on its surface. Your legs feel the slope – up or down, and as you breathe deeply your temperature rises. All around you sounds, both near and far, come and go. Your eyes confirm all of these sensations. P1230240 To map these sensations as an artwork is not to suggest the visual alone but to integrate all these feelings. Ups and downs (height) become highs and lows (pitch). Large and small (distance) become loud and soft (dynamic). Events – visual, aural and textural – that occur one after the other (succession and duration) are rhythms that happen in time. The gaps between, either spatial or durational become silences. P1230236 I think of these as a type of 3-dimensional graph: height as up/down or pitch, breadth as time and rhythm, depth as distance, either large/small or loud /soft. Uniting all of these sensations is texture: the visual, aural and haptic qualities of air, land and sea – atmosphere and weather, rock, earth and water. P1230237 The lines, shapes and forms of my artworks recall the contours, movements, rhythms and textures of the environment – water on the beach and marsh, air waves, sea waves and sound waves. They bring to mind things I have seen or heard or felt. They don’t describe but are ambiguous and can have several meanings: of sound, of sight, of touch. P1230239 The photos are small watercolour drawings.  They contain impressions, feelings and hearings done from memory and with imagination.              

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