Sense of place – part II

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Undertaking a residency an artist travels with expectations of research they will carry out and ideas they will follow through. My ideas were about reflecting on landscape and my ways of reading it. I wanted to test how to approach unfamiliar landscapes. We use our internal navigating histories to negotiate surroundings we are familiar with. How do we undertake such navigations without this pre-knowledge of place?

My methodology developed over the week in Pietrafitta. Familiarisation began with using a meter wheel and compass, as planned, to mark out distance and direction. But these tools seemed too proscribed and too directly related to conventional map making. I wanted instead to explore map marking. I ended up recording my walking through the rural area by taking rubbings of textures that seemed to define the space and give recognition of the journey travelled: the concrete road, the tree bark, fences and so on. It is a more intimate and more abstract choice of markers for a map.

I also investigated the shape of a field not only by measuring its boundaries but also by walking all over it in all directions based on a random method of deciding directions. This performative, time-based work encompasses the ways landscape and surroundings can be evaluated differently.


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