Bookwork: “Lure” “Brisées”

Helen Sear (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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Abstract

Research Context
The works were made since 2011 as an enquiry into the local, rural landscape, both agricultural and managed forest environments, near to the artists home in Raglan, South Wales. The research developed from the artist’s ongoing engagement with the relationships and convergences of landscape and technology from a gendered perspective which formed her critical context PhD by practice at University of Wales Newport in 2009.

Research Imperatives
The underlying research question was: how does the “walked” or “felt” landscape, as opposed to the landscape of the technical sublime and the virtual environment, influence the point of view of the viewer and their location in relation to the image/object/video?

Other Relevant Details:
Project methods
The project began when Sear started to collect branches and twigs from Cuckoo Wood, close to her home in Wales. The title is a nod to the French Surrealist writer and ethnographer Michel Leiris’s 1966 work of the same name.

Methodologies were employed with a particular focus on the role of the artist as an activator of the viewed experience of the artwork. Literary references include the writers Timothy Morton, Roger Callois and Henry David Thoreau.

Brisées, form part of an enduring multi-media exploration of both the human and animal body, and their relationships with landscape. Figures, photographed in the act of cutting, are themselves consumed by their surrounding environments. Sourced from the Internet, and digitally manipulated, tensions between exterior and interior and vision and touch, are explored in an attempt to bring the viewing body back into the act of looking.

The monochrome, often pixelated images of woodlands in the book are sourced from the internet following a Google image search for the word ‘tree surgeon’. Each image features a placed orb which sometimes covers half of the picture surface. These spheres or distended egg-shapes appear arbitrarily placed but are delicately balanced in stripped ‘tree crowns’ through careful and deliberate positioning by the artist. Many of the images show ropes and ladders trailing inside the orbs as clues to their origin and hinting at the obscured figure.

Dissemination
Oriel Davies Gallery Newtown February 2nd – April 17th (http://www.helensear.com/Lure-Oriel-Davies-2013) (verified 25-09-2013) Oriel Plas Glyn-y- Weddw: May 5th- June 30th
Bay Art Cardiff: May 25th -21st June
Oriel Wrecsam: July 6 – August 31st
“Witnessing The Wilderness” (group exhibition) Wimbledon Space April 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2013

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