For much of 2016 I have been exhibiting at Art Gene, “an independent (inter)national Research Facility”, in Barrow in Furnace. I had a year long participation in their U-Hang exhibition programme. The exhibition consisted of a single image from my field project. Every month this image was updated with a new image taken in the previous month. The exhibition was like a small window from Barrow to the field I was recording just outside Edinburgh.
Exhibiting at Art-Gene has had a number of advantages, outside of the obvious exposure. It brought a visual consistency to my project. Due to exhibiting constraints every image had to fit in a portrait A1 poster frame. I appreciated this evenness of form required and returned to older images in the project to apply it to them. I now have a series of images that gel much better.
Committing myself to produce an image every month meant I had to be more disciplined. Previously I had probably been recording images of my field when it looked at its best. In the winter months it had been generally ignored. Suddenly I had agreed to produce an image every month and the first six months were over winter! This challenge only really dawned on me in late November when I was finalising the second image. By March I was pulling my hair out, the field hadn’t changed one iota, apart from the saving grace of some snow in January. During this period I imprinted the topography of this piece of land in my brain. I built up a list of stock points of view to use if inspiration didn’t hit. By the end I knew the field like the back of my hand. And now I have a more realistic record of the field over the year.
I would like to thank Art Gene for allowing me to exhibit in their lovely building. I would especially like to thank Ruth Pringle (U-Hang coordinator) for encouraging me to do this, believing in me and giving me this opportunity.
You can see the full field project here. The 12 images I exhibited at Art-Gene are above.