My work is concerned with how we perceive land: how we romanticise, translate and define it. I look at how politics, ownership, management and commercial value all influence our surroundings and have made extensive investigations into the impact of human activities on nature and the environment.
Weather, water quality, air pollution, land ownership and management, sea level rise, habitat loss and decline of species are all subjects my work continues to examine, taking the form of installations, interventions, habitat creation, drawings, maps and walks.
Exploring the blurred boundaries between science and folklore, my work is also concerned with how our understanding of nature is fed by a confused mix of truth and fiction.
Commissions include Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Compton Verney, Newlyn Art Gallery, the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Grizedale Arts, the Bluecoat and Full of Noises. Awards include a Gasworks International Fellowship to CONA in Mumbai, India and a Lucas Artist Fellowship to Montalvo Arts Centre in California, USA. I have been invited on a number of residencies including to the Nirox Foundation in South Africa, the Museo Casa Rural di Carcente in Italy, and a Peak residency in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.
Most recently I worked in collaboration with artist Lubaina Himid for Tonspur (Austria) to create an 8-channel sound installation and series of posters exhibited in the Museum Quarter in Vienna city centre.
2018: Distance Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany.
2018: Alla Breve Museo Casa Rurale di Carcente, Italy.
2018: Rustic Oracles Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, Preston, UK.
2017: 66 Million Peter Scott Gallery Lancaster, UK.
2015: City Birds Atelier Sangatsu, Osaka, Japan.
2013: Urban Wild Cona, Mumbai, India.
2013: Still in Silence The Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK.
2013: Irrational Constant Nirox Sculpture Park, South Africa. Permanently sited work.
2012: I'm blue, you're yellow Everton Park, Liverpool, UK. Landlife commission.
2012: Hope's Whisper The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, UK.
2011: Diligent Observation Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK.
2007: Death Equals All Things - Omnia mors aequat Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, UK.
2005: Nightfall The Lowry, Salford, UK.
2003: Wait Prima Kunst, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Germany.
2002: Assured of Nothing Harbor Gallery, Boston, USA.
Selected Group Shows:
2021: Invisible Narratives² Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery, London, UK. Curated by Lubaina Himid.
2020: El Balcon Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, El Paso Texas, USA. Curated by Ivan Buenader, Proyecto Changarrito.
2019: Ruskin: Museum of the Near Future The Ruskin Library, Museum & Research Centre. Lancaster UK
2019: Animals of Manchester Manchester International Festival with Theatre of Research & Live Arts Development Agency
2019: Invisible Narratives Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall. Curated by Lubaina Himid.
2019: Land Acts Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen, Wales. Curated by Rebecca Spooner
2019: Beautiful and Brutal Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston. Curated by Charles Quick
2018: Climates of Change Halberstadt Biennale, Germany. Curated by Pippa Koszerek.
2018: Internationaler Waldkunstpfad Darmstadt, Germany. Curated by Sue Spaid and Ute Ritschel.
2017: Creating the Countryside Compton Verney Art Gallery. Curated by Dr Rosemary Shirley and Verity Elson
2017: Regions of Light Hestercombe, Devon. Curated by Tim Martin.
2017: Ecovention Europe: Art to Transform Ecologies, 1957-2017 Museum De Domijnen, Netherlands. Curated by Sue Spaid.
2016: A Place in Time Nirox Sculpture Park, South Africa. Curated by Dr Helen Pheby
2016: Change and Interchange: Landscape|Environment Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster UK. Curated by Richard Smith.
2015: A Green and Pleasant Land? Rural life in Art Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK. Curated by Lindsey McCormick
2014: Listening Landscapes / Landschaften Horen, Springhornhof, Neuenkirchen, Germany. Curated by Bettina von Dziembowski
2014: Listen Up! City wide sound installation in New Delhi, India. Curated by Diana Betancourt and Tim Goossens
2021: The Storm Tonspur, Micro Museum for Sound, MQ Vienna, Austria
2018: Pont-y-Ddôl Peak and Canal & River Trust, Wales
2018 Forewarning Commission and residency for Full of Noises (Barrow), Soundcamp (London) and Cumbria Wildlife Trust
2017: Landed (Cadastral Maps) SG2 research project looking at land ownership in Lancashire alongside Layla Curtis and John Angus.
2015 – 17: Particulate Matters In Certain Places commission looking at air quality in Preston, London and Glasgow.
2016: Snaphot, Colours of the Brecon Beacons Peak and Brecon Beacons National Park.
2015: Fair Warning RSPB. Sound installation
2014: Crocus Field Leftcoast and Avant Gardening. Marton Windmill Blackpool, UK. Permanently sited habitat creation.
2011: Emily Ivy Chrysalis Arts. Hackfall Woods, N Yorkshire. Collaboration with David Swift.
2009: Dead Wrens University of Aberdeen. Project commissioned by Dr Andrew Whitehouse, Anthropology Dept.
2006: Map Volume 1, Coniston Grizedale Arts. Research project investigating invisible boundaries around Coniston in Cumbria.
2018: Brownfield Research Centre, AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
2016 & 2017 & 2018: Lucas Artist Fellowship Program at Montalvo California USA.
2016: Peak, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. Funded by Arts Council Wales and BBNP
2014: Research residency at Beam, Wakefield, UK.
2013: Gasworks International Fellowship at Cona, Mumbai, India.
2013: Nirox Sculpture Foundation, South Africa.
2011 / 2012: Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, UK.
2010 / 2011: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK.
2011: Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
2008: Op zoek naar het Noordgevoel, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2006: Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, Cumbria, UK.
2005: The Lowry, Salford, Manchester, UK.
2019: Art and Class: Is everyone welcome? I organised and chaired an evening of talks and discussion about inequality in the creative industries for Into a Better Shape, Preston.
Speakers: Marlene Smith (artist and curator), David Obrien (author of Panic! report on inequality in the creative industries), William Titley (artist and co-founder of In-Situ), Rebecca Davies (artist and creator of The Oasis Social Club), Laura Robertson and Mike Pinnington (co-founders of The Double Negative)
2018: Imbalance Redressed I organised and chaired an evening of talks and discussion about the under representation of women in public collections for Into a Better Shape, Preston. Speakers: Christine Eyene (curator, critic and art historian), Lubaina Himid (artist and curator), Mark Doyle (Collections Manager of Touchstones in Rochdale), Hilary Robinson (Professor of Feminism, Art and Theory at Loughborough University).
2016: Inventory of species Hospitalfield, Arbroath Scotland. Invited to conduct an inventory of species.
2012 / 2013: Secret Preston Art I curated and organised an artist print project. Artists: Mark Dion, Lubaina Himid, Toby Paterson, Urs Luethi, Adrianne Neil, David Nash, Alec Finlay with Hanna Tuulikki, Katie Holten, Hemali Bhuta, Michael Lewy and Confidential.
2008 - 2010: Pest Publications Working in collaboration with artists Elaine Speight and Robina Llewellyn investigating artist-led spaces. Pest Publications was funded by Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.
2009: Morphic Resonance PSL, Leeds, UK. Project/ residency at PSL with Pest Publications.
2008: Castlefield Gallery funded research trip to Toronto, Canada for Pest Publications. Investigating artist-led projects.
2007: Co-founder of Prestival alongside Elaine Speight and Robina Llewellyn. Held over a weekend in July 36 artists were invited to show work and perform in 13 different venues across Preston city centre.
Selected Talks and Presentations:
2020: Arts and Place Now Online in conversation with Helen Pheby, Head Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
2019: Landscape Justice: Boarders & Boundaries Landscape Research Group, Lancaster. Invited speaker.
2019: Wildflowering for Natural & Social Gain Seminar, National Wildflower Centre and Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Liverpool. Invited speaker.
2018: Rethinking Landscape Whitechapel Gallery, London. Invited speaker.
2018: Greening Arts Practice professional development for artists organised by Chrysalis Arts, Gargrave. Session leader.
2017: Regions of Light Seminar, Hestercombe Gallery, Taunton, UK. Invited speaker.
2016: On the Edge: Eisteddfod Fringe Programme Abergavenny Wales. In conversation with BBNP Geologist Alan Bowring.
2016: New Ways of Seeing Symposium, Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, UK. Invited speaker.
2013: In conversation with Dr Rosemary Shirley, Capstones Theatre, Liverpool, UK
2012: In conversation with Dr Alexandra Harris at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, UK
Invisible Narratives Christine Eyene, Dr Ella Mills, James Green, Lubaina Himid, Magda Stawarska-Beavan, Rebecca Chesney. Published by Newlyn Art Gallery 2021.
Searching the Shadows Rebecca Chesney, Richard Mabey, Rosemary Shirley, Elaine Speight, Owen Mountford, Colm Bown, Gail Bell, Clarissa Corfe. Published by In Certain Places 2019. ISBN: 978-0-9930498-4-2
Practising Place, Creative and Critical Reflections on Place Elaine Speight, Lubaina Himid. Published by Art Editions North 2019. ISBN 978-1-906832-35-3
Uniformannual Published by Uniformbooks 2018. ISBN: 978-1-910010-17-4
Climates of Change (MKH Biennial catalogue) Ilka Leukefeld, Pippa Koszerek 2018
Ecovention Europe Art the Transform Ecologies, 1957-2017. Sue Spaid. Published by Museum De Domijnen Hedendaagse Kunst, 2018. ISBN: 978-90-75883-56-5
Waldkunstpfad Kunst Okologie (Waldkunstpfed exhibition catalogue) Sue Spaid, Ute Ritschel 2018. ISBN: 978-3-9819276-0-3
Creating the Countryside Verity Elson, Rosemary Shirley. Published by Paul Holberton Publishing 2017. ISBN: 978-1-911300-10-6
Accidental Death (Beam residency catalogue) Frances Smith, Rebecca Chesney. Published by Ganet Verlag 2015
Subplots to a City Elaine Speight, Charles Quick, Gerrie van Noord. Published by In Certain Places 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9930498-0-4
I’m blue, you’re yellow Richard Scott (Landlife), Elaine Speight, Dr Colm Bowe. Published by Gannet Verlag 2013
Hope’s Whisper (Bronte Parsonage Museum exhibition catalogue) Jenna Holmes, Rebecca Chesney. Published by Gannet Verlag 2012
Diligent Observation - A year of bees on the Bretton Estate (Yorkshire Sculpture Park exhibition catalogue). Dr Helen Pheby, Michaela Crimmin, Adrianne Neil, Rebecca Chesney. 2011. ISBN: 978-1-871480-88-7
Reviews / writing about my work:
2021 Frieze Andrew Durbin Critic's Guides June 2021
2021 The space in between: art, perception and memory : Christine Eyene. Newlyn Gallery exhibition catalogue.
2021 Remembering the Unknown | Knowing(s) You Remember : Dr Ella Mills. Newlyn Gallery exhibition catalogue.
2019: Colour in the Brecon Beacons Richard Mabey. Published in Searching the Shadows published by In Certain Places.
2016: Why Write Critical? Su Flowers. Published by the Double Negative in On Being Curious.
2016: Landscape, Portrait Emma Gelliott. Issue 10 CCQ Magazine.
2016: The Colour of Fresh Mountain Dew Melissa Hinkin. Published on Peak Art UK.
2015: On Being Out of Place Rosemary Shirley. Published on the Double Negative website.
2015: Green and Pleasant Land Jack Welsh. Review for Corridor8.
2015: Indefinable Cities Dominika Mackiewicz. Review for Thisistomorrow.
2013: Art and Ecology Michaela Crimmin. Published on The White Building website.