Some things do not change – I am still working on this series, trying to respond to the landscape in more than an oooo isn’t it pretty, or a purely practical factual way. These local hills are self contained, even a little out of place – chalk uplands happen across the South of the country, very few outcrops occur in the North. They are less dramatic than their more famous neighbours of the Moors and Dales, but have their own charm and character.
The latest effort has its own charm too. Somewhat eccentric and well hidden charm.
The premise was simple. The research I have done threw up contradictions, this landscape and attitudes to it are quietly dynamic. What we see are the results of time, fashion and economics , as well as the odd ogre events such as William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North. I wanted to include some of these things into the landscapes that I create.
This is the background, textured cloth backed with
calico and covered with machined excepts from Wm White’s 1840 History, Gazetteer and Directory of the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire. This describes the transition to enclosures and plantations of trees, also the changes in crops and land use. He was optimistic, changes were happening for the better, the place had a future. The rayon thread was perhaps a bit too subtle – an attempt to stain and dye took the newness off the cloth but no more. It also caused wobblage and bobblage of the surface fabric making it even harder to read! I can’t press it out yet – it would fix the marker pencil I’m using.
On top of this are going to be scraps and remnants from previous landscape work. Shredded and frying edges should help to bring the layers together….. still experimenting…
The foreground text is a translation from the Domesday Book about Pocklington, how it belonged to Earl Morcar valued at £56 but now to the King at £8. Many manors are described as “waste” – still not having recovered any taxable value since the Harrying. This is worked out from the remnant onto a layer of water soluble fabric (prob not a good idea). Strips of colour and texture are going to be added to give more form to the landscape so some of the words may well get lost, others may unravel (will), but a few may still be there. A little like the evidence of Norman occupation of the Wolds themselves.
More fragments and excepts are planned – the trees to the left are earmarked for Baines’s Yorkshire , but all of this is going to be worked over with a pictorial landscape- knowing how much to do and in which sequence is giving me a head ache. I have tried ways of stitching the layers but have yet to get it work, text on the water soluble is also hit and miss, the misses offer as many opportunities as the text does. So how much effort do I put into getting it to work? How do I wing it and just work with what happens?
And then framing this series ……. nightmare……
But new opportunity for workshops to be investigated, showing work at the Merchant Taylors for Residents Weekend v soon, some pieces to sort for Literature week for the gallery in town, and of course Open Studios to work for! So why don’t I feel busy?