21st Mar 2014 - 19th Apr 2014
Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, London W5 5EQ
Fergus Heron, Helen Cammock, Martin Newth & Matthew Smith
This exhibition features the work of University of Brighton lecturer Fergus Heron and brings together work that explores how the English landscape might be depicted through photography, moving image and sculpture.
The works draw upon ideas of place and identity to consider histories, images and myths that have shaped the land and the way it is imagined today. The title of the exhibition makes multiple references: to a place where something real or imaginary happened or might occur; a landscape or attractive view of nature; a stage setting or act in a play or film.
Heron’s landscape photographs of commonly encountered England involve layered time and visibility. Charles Church Houses is an ongoing series picturing contemporary homes and their immediate environments in the county of Surrey. These domestic landscapes form versions of history where private property displays public social values. Common, Heron’s accompanying series, depicts an extensive nature reserve and recreational resource with a military history that is also used as a film location.
17 Hastings Avenue is the scene of Helen Cammock’s performance to camera and her mother’s home. With the backdrop of an English suburban landscape and framed by the window, Cammock is seen struggling to sing the hymn Jerusalem. The work reflects the artist’s ambivalence to William
Blake’s poem, subsequently, Hubert Parry’s anthem for England. The piece explores the complexities of Cammock’s experiences of being both British and of dual heritage.
Sentinel - The Thames at Dartford is one of a series of large-scale unique photographic works that Martin Newth has made by transforming Second World War pillboxes (small defensive bunkers) into giant cameras. By installing spectacle lenses in the position intended for the sights of a gun, images are projected directly onto photographic paper which is pinned inside the darkened chambers. The blood-red negative images show the views that the pillboxes have surveyed for the past 80 years and draw connections between the history of war, architecture and the landscape.
Mathew Smith’s sculptural works are scaled down models of lakes from the Lake District national park, filled with water, fish and aquatic plants. Ennerdale Water, Crummock Water and Buttermere have been reduced in size to resemble garden ponds, but have been carefully constructed to depict the intricate edges of the real lakes describing all their inlets and promontories. In combining the domesticated, cultivated nature of the garden with massive large-scale land formations created over thousands of years, these pieces represent the domestication and consumption of nature through tourism in such places as the Lake District.
Opening hours: Tues-Fri: 1pm-5pm