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This is Landscape! - Reinterpreting Frenchman’s Creek

This Is Landscape!” was presented at Kestle Barton, May 2011. This was a series of 13 short films made in response to the place and the literary depiction of Frenchman’s Creek. I set out to record the landscape at a microscopic level in order to interpret the creek in a new way. I attempted to find space between the possibilities and difficulties of making work that is already heavily defined by a widely known cultural work. I collected sound samples and video microscope images to re interpret Frenchman's Creek and consider how our relationship changes with sites when our perceptions and our experiences of it, are influenced by cultural works already in place.' Extract from exhibition Catalogue.

This collection of films, using captured sounds and video images from a digital microscope were taken during numerous visits to a variety of environments at Kestle Barton, Helford and Frenchman’s Creek. They developed out of a desire to find new ways to look at, interpret and respond to the landscape and its meaning to us, particularly at sites where a heavy cultural presence is felt. It was an attempt to produce a response that has roots in the tradition of landscape art but at the same time side steps conventional expectations of representation. This Is Landscape!, takes this as a starting point and considers how our relationship changes when our perceptions of landscape and place, and in turn our experiences, are affected by cultural works such as Frenchman’s Creek. The affect of cultural activities such as writing, poetry and painting based on real places is not lost at Frenchman’s Creek. Sentimental, emotional or factual portrayals of a place may change its perceived characteristics permanently. By presenting an abstract interpretation of the landscape in an unsentimental way it provided the opportunity to address not only the notion of beauty and its relevance to this genre but to try and imagine places without their given histories. In addition to this was a desire to see the films develop without definable narrative so that it might encourage the audience to develop their own interpretations. A recurring interest in my practice is how we use the landscape and what we regard as an appropriate use of it. This new work commissioned for the exhibition allowed me to explore this further by considering how a creative work, such as Du Mauriers novel, affects the way we interact with place when a process of cultural embellishment has taken place.

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