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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

19/07/21 - Making Landscapes

As I continue my isolation within my house, I also continue with exploring my environment. I have become my own Scott or Shackleton but instead of being enveloped in sea ice and unbearable weather conditions, I am one with the materialistic interior of 3 Greenside.

How has my isolation been so far? - not bad at all, the first week was hard as the chemo took its toll on my body, but from week two I found strength and also a daily routine which has kept me focussed and in good stead with moving out and on from this.

Moving onto the work; during the filming of 'Home', I was sat in my bedroom just looking at my surroundings. My bed caught my attention, more specifically, the creased and rippled bed sheets took my eyes gaze. There was something interesting about the natural placement of each fold and bend across the surface, an almost man-made landscape had occurred without my realisation as I made my bed that morning. The aesthetics were somewhat hypnotic as I could trace and move with each ridge or crevasse, there was a natural flow of movement that could lead and traverse the eyes gaze. Was my bed a micro landscape? A representation of the outside world? Had I just discovered a beautiful landscape untouched by humanity and only reserved for me? If this is the case then surely I document it, in order to revisit and transcend myself back there at a later date, where I can reflect on my experience with my own secular cathedral of land. .... of course this sounds insane! It is just a bed... right? One could say that actually my isolation has made me insane and i just don't know it yet, or is this conversation of grandeur on the bedsheets wondrous landscape the first sign of madness? Or could I say, 'what is a bed'? Brian O'Doherty extract from 'Studio and Cube: On the Relationship between Where Art is Made and Where Art is Displayed' (2007) discusses a key definition of how we can understand the bed.

'...the bed. Like the studio it is soaked with the personal; even when empty it crawls with imprints and residues of identity. It puts on the same horizontal plane the tortures or sex and the ecstasy of dying. The bed is the nocturnal baseline of out vertical endeavours. It seems to exert an extra gravitational pull. Heavy with sleep, we are weighed down into some archaeology of memory and forgetfulness until we are made weightless bu dreams or exploded bu nightmares.'

The sarcophagus of our own personal slumber chamber, the place where we find comfort, rest, pleasure, pain and health. Now one would say that sounds like a place of discovery but that place of discovery can also be found and made within natural landscape. My point here is, why do we need to be out within the vast natural world when there is still discovery to be made within our own personal landscapes of the home. In a philosophical sense, I could delve into Gaston Bachelard's ideas on the home and family but for the sake of this discussion I will reference his chapter 'Intimate Immensity' in which Bachelard discusses the phenomenological research towards psychological transcendence.

'One feels that there is something else to be expressed besides what is offered for objective expression. What should be expressed is hidden grandeur, depth. And so far from indulging in prolixity of expression, or loosing oneself in the detail of light and shade, one feels that one is in the presence of an 'essential' impression seeking expression; in short, in line with what our authors call a 'psychological transcendent'. 'The Poetics of Space' (1958)

On reflection from Bachelard and steering towards the outcome of the work, what I believe I have discovered is a series of images that look within and past the material state of the bed. The tangible material formations drive ones gaze around the image, taking you on a journey of discovery. The viewer is toured by line, light and shadow and in turn given a look into the aesthetics of a landscape, this landscape being one that can transcend the viewer to an undiscovered exterior landscape.

Multi exposed image consisting of four images

Singular Imagery

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