These exhibitions are a culmination of works from artists who attended a unique residency at YHA Lizard Point, Cornwall, the most southerly point in the UK. This residency took place in March 2019.
As part of their Lizard Beacons Communications Heritage Project, this residency was set up by Mayes Creative with Lumen Studios to help like-minded artists from multi-disciplines develop their practice in a relaxed, yet productive environment. Lizard Point, overlooking the Atlantic, benefits from natural darkness, natural beauty and is a great spot for viewing the Moon, stars and meteor showers. Staying on site, next door to the famous Lizard Lighthouse, artists had the opportunity to create works responding to the variety of astronomical sights found there, as well as be inspired by the rich communications heritage along this very special part of the SW coastal path.
The Lizard Artist Residency Exhibition – more about the artists
Museum of Cornish Life, Helston, CornwallRachael Allain
Title: After the Green Ray, I, II & III
3x 10 x 10 cm colour pinhole photographs on acrylic.After the Green Ray, I, II & III
is the unexpected outcome of a journey to the most southerly point on mainland UK, during the spring equinox, when there is equal day and night. I went in search of the horizon, trying to track the movement of the sun over the sea and experienced the Green Ray.I have been seeking this rare optical phenomenon for many years, inspired by the novel by Jules Verne, Le Rayon Vert
(1882), and Tacita Dean’s film entitled The Green Ray
(2001). The Green Ray only appears when the sky is completely clear at sunset, causing the light to refract, marking the boundary between the air and the sea on the horizon. I was not expecting to witness this rare sight, so did not attempt to record the phenomenon with any optical devices, instead, I witnessed the Green Ray.It was only later that I discovered something unusual. One of the films appeared to have an intense green caste on the frames, infused with light and a haunting mysterious quality. It transpired that the film was greatly expired and its chemical components unstable and consequently was unable to represent the usual full colour spectrum.Rachael Allain -Bio
Rachael is an artist/researcher based in the South West, UK. Her multidisciplinary practice incorporates experimental still and moving image, sound and installation. Rachael’s experiments explore phenomenology in relation to watery sites, the temporal, alchemical properties of analogue film as well as the virtual, scientific and digital data technology.Website: www.rachaelallain.comRuth Ander
Title: Lizard Light I, II and III
3x Framed CyanotypesI approached the Lizard Point Residency with an interest in how seafarers navigated in the past, often wrecking on Lizard Point of course. Most sailing was done close to coastlines, open sea sailing was relatively rare and navigators would ‘tick off’ headlands, either by memory or looking at their periplus- maps of sorts- to understand where they were.This idea of a visual memory and placing of oneself in context resounds with me. Whenever I go to a new place I have an urge to put myself in context too and so it was with Lizard Point. Almost without realising I started to walk, quite ritually, learning and placing the headlands, and my first act was to draw the rocks looking out from Lizard point. Spending time there impressed upon me the light of the open sea and the overwhelming feeling of ‘falling off the edge’, into the unknown, clinging onto the last dribbles of land- Mulvin, Taylor’s Rock, Man of War, Shag Rock, Vellan Drang, Enoch Rock, Bumble Rock, Pen Olver….Taking inspiration from ancient periplus and Japanese prints of the coast, my work is an attempt to navigate the coast of the Lizard by making simple maps of the rocks and headlands.Ruth Ander- Bio
After completing a BA (Hons) in Illustration at the University of the West of England, Ruth has continued to evolve her mono-print technique. Recently she has been broadening her practice, mixing etching, cyanotype photography and mono-print. She lives and works in Bristol.Website: www.ruthander.co.ukAllison Barclay (-Michaels)
Title: Synaesthetic Marconi
10 postcard sized canvas board (4×6”) synaesthetic paintings of Morse code numbers (1-0)
These numbers, 1-0, of Morse Code as played by Marconi’s wireless telegraphy instrument and interpreted by the artists’ sound -> colour synaesthesia. Synaesthesia, the mixing of senses, causes multiple regions of the brain to respond to a single type of stimulus. In this case the particular “voice” of the telegraph includes sounds which the artist interprets as in the warm spectrum of colour: gold through to magenta.Allson Barclay- Bio
Website: www. allisonbarclay.com
Title: The Lizard 2019
2x Silver Gelatin Prints
During the residency I was drawn to the simplicity of the light signal that has been emitted from the lighthouse for over 250 years. Throughout history the light has warned of the imminent danger the peninsula poses for vessels crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Shot onto film and darkroom printed, the photographs document a series of twilight explorations of the Lizard coastline.
Sarah Connell- Bio
Sarah Connell (born 1987) is a traditional analogue photographer who completed an MA in Photography at Manchester School of Art in 2017. Recent exhibitions include Monochrome, The Glasgow Gallery of Photography (2019); Artist Bookmarket, Stills Centre for Photography (2018) Summer Show, Left Bank Art Centre (2017); Platform, The Great Medical Disaster – Castlefield Gallery (2017); MA Show, The Holden Gallery (2017).
Title: Ghost Nets
4 x Photograms of fishing net found on the Lizard, re-edited 16mm found footage ‘to catch a fish’, a net fragment, polished serpentine stone and net needle.
Ghost Nets is a work in progress research project using the heritage fishing industries around the Lizard as a starting point – The peninsula is scattered with shipwrecks and ghosts of sailors lost at sea where only traces of these histories remain. Today the phrase ‘Ghost Nets’ has come to refer to the most prevalent form of plastic pollution. This project aims to create a visual connection between these two disparate times in the context or the recent politics and nostalgia.
Laura Copsey- Bio
Laura Copsey is an artist fascinated by time and the different ways this can be experienced and documented. Drawn to the grey area between what is real and imagined, her work focuses on how remembering the past can shed light on the present and our underlying contemporary concerns.
Title: Tide Incursion (Kynance Cove), Tide Incursion (Cadgwith Bay)
Overpainted Digital Prints
“….. I am in the process of collecting coastlines…..lots of video here of waves washing over rocks…..characteristic of nearly every island edge…”
Sara’s field notebook, March 2019
I have an ongoing fascination with interpreting and expressing interactions with the environment. I constantly explore new techniques and ideas. Attaching a microscope to the lens of my iPhone camera allows me to capture intricate details of the surface of rocks as an intimate and personal encounter. The mesmeric fascination with the motion and formlessness of the sea is laid here across the surface of the photographic prints in fluid paintwork.
Derived from video footage of the sea washing over rocks at the shoreline, painted marks highlight the relationship between the photographic printed image, paint and the use of video as a source.
Working with familiar standard format photographic prints, arranged in a linear series, these works exploit the tradition of the ‘contact sheet’. The ‘story board’ layout references video and moving image, whilst the overlaid painted marks expose authorship, media and processes.
I recognise and deploy the ambiguity of imagery, which occurs through magnification. Microscopic forms equally assume cosmic interpretations. My works speak of ‘matter’ whether in subject, paint or process.
Sara Dudman- Bio
Sara Dudman works across disciplines to interrogate relationships with environmen
t. She studied Fine Art at Loughborough College of Art and Design, gained her Masters at De Montfort University and was elected an RWA academician in 2016. She leads participatory arts and education projects and exhibits extensively. She lives in Somerset.
Title: The Last of England: Coastal Geologies (Lizard Point 2019)
prints on metal and acrylic, created using combination of digital and analogue photographic devices.
Nettie Edwards – Bio
Nettie Edwards (born Birmingham UK 1959)
A named source of study for the 2019 Edexel A Level Photography examination paper. Awards include: Mobile Photographer of the Year, ax3 American Aperture Photography awards; winner: Fine Art and Mobile Photography categories Julia Margaret Cameron photography awards. Work researching the the photographic history and documenting the contemporary lives of English Gypsy and Traveller Families was awarded a Wingate Scholarship.Work has been extensively exhibited and published internationally, including the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey (where she is a regular Artist in Residence)
Website: Lumilyon.wordpress.com & Hortuslucis.wordpress.com
Title: At a Distance
Solitary figures using semaphore flags sign ‘We Are One’ out across the ocean; filmed on 29th March 2019 (the first date the UK was supposed to leave the EU). As in entanglement theory where two paired electrons mirror each other at a distance it is hoped the message will be echoed back. The work looks at methods of communication across space including radio waves and the analogue message system of semaphore, used to send information over distance. It relates this to the mysterious twinning of electrons in quantum entanglement where particles link in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances, and which Einstein famously called ‘spooky action at a distance’. The resulting video is back projected onto a Fresnel lens, the type found in lighthouses to increase luminosity of the lamps beam, another form of messaging over distance.
Susan Eyre – Bio
Susan Eyre works with various print techniques, installation and video to explore unseen forces and the activity of matter in the universe. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2015 and has participated in research collaborations with scientists and exhibited widely across the UK.
Title: Almost an Island
peninsula (n.) /pɪˈnɪnsjʊlə/
a piece of land almost surrounded by water or projecting out into a body of water synonyms: cape, promontory, point, head, headland, foreland, ness, horn, bill, bluff, limb; mull; half‑island, half‑isle, demi‑island
1530s, from Latin paeninsula “a peninsula,” literally “almost an island,” from paene “almost” (see penitence) + insula “island” (see isle)
Almost an Island is a photographic survey of Cornwall’s three peninsulas: Roseland, Lizard and Rame. At the beginning of January 2019, I set out on what would be the first of three walks along the South West Coast Path – a path which hugs the entire Cornish coastline. The walk started in the small coastal hamlet of Bohortha and ended in the old fishing village of Porthscatho. This project plays with the literal meaning of the word peninsula, considering the mind as ‘almost an island’ to the wandering body and uses photography to explore the relationship between walking, thinking and seeing. Each walk took place during a different season (winter, spring, summer) and was joined by different companions. All photographs were shot on Kodak TRI-X 35mm film.
Rebecca Harris –Bio
Rebecca Harris is an artist from Cornwall who lives and works in London. She studied BA Fine Art at the University of Westminster before completing an MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths. Her work uses a range of ephemera, both found and made, to explore ideas surrounding nature, technology and science fiction.
Title: 26 Nautical Miles
(26 soaked and heated inkjet prints)
26 nautical miles from the unknown – illuminated only by the pulse of a rotating beam of light – a small triumph over nature’s cruelty. The beam sweeps across a violent landscape – serpentine rock jutting out like spears propelled from an enraged land. Through the thick grey mist comes the sound of the ocean colliding with the land – taking a piece of its old enemy with every clash. This sound punctuated only by the mournful drone of a foghorn – a shout of warning crescendos like the alien invaders of some science fiction story.
Come the light of day the relative doldrums of the unbroken horizon. The beacon now extinguished and the rising sun casting all manner of colour through the field of sky – nature gives a reprieve to us the hopeless passengers on this vengeful earth.
George Kitchen – Bio
George Kitchen is an Artist/Photographer from Birmingham, England. His work often deals with the nature of the photographic medium and the limits of what defines it. He also creates narratives through photographic series as a means of highlighting their appropriation and construction.
Title: Father, Son & Sea /Mohegan remembered
An installation providing a brief and touching look into the lives of the Hill family, known as the Fishermen from Polpeor. Captured in a day using whatever equipment at hand this voyeuristic piece provides an insight into the enduring connection of father and son with the sea.
Maria Macc – Bio
The determination of nature and humankind to overcome adversity is central to my work. Alchemy, transformation and survival inspire my highly process-led approach to making, which incorporates personal narratives and world issues. The resulting artworks are woven into installations to encourage an intimate dialogue with the viewer.
Pale Blue Dot Collective – Louise Beer + John Hooper
Title : 49° 57′ 33” North , 5° 12′ 55” West
It is far beyond the reach of a huge proportion of the world to escape light and air pollution in order to witness a sliver of what the night sky once looked like. As these cosmic lights dim over our planet, we edge further and further away from witnessing the same emotive sky our ancestors saw. Through light and air pollution, we are slowly losing the reminders that we are on a rock, hurtling through a void, around a giant star, which forms part of an incomprehensibly large galaxy. As we lose sight of this, we lose our cosmic perspective.
How is our changing view of the Milky Way impacting the way that we see ourselves, within the universe? Are we losing sight of our evolutionary journey, and the miraculous events that have enabled us sight and sentience to view the dark, unfathomable universe? A view of the Milky Way is an increasingly rare sight for much of the developed world, and may soon become a relic of the past for future generations.
Louise Beer – Bio
Louise uses installation, moving image, photography and sound to explore humanity’s evolving understanding of the nature of existence and the universe itself. Using reflective surfaces, light, darkness and astronomically inspired
forms, Louise creates objects and experiences that reflect the incomprehensibility of the night sky.
Website: www.louisebeer.com & www.palebluedotcollective.org
John Hooper – Bio
Having shot many intriguing artists, musicians and actors, John has amassed a huge amount of experience as a photographer and director of photography. John’s highly polished commercial work has led him to throw off the shackles of post production and create work in camera where the limits are collaborators on the final work.
Website: www.johnhooper.net & www.palebluedotcollective.org
Title: Language of Light
Framed A3 size cyanotype print
Cyanotype image montage of a view from Lizard Point and astral data collected for testing the Euclid Mission telescope instrument called VIS. The numbers represent light levels indicating galaxies, stars and cosmic rays.
While visiting Lizard Point and gazing out to sea, there is a sensation of being intensely aware of the cosmos. Light rains down on the glittering water – rays from the sun and unhindered cosmic rays bombard the planet. The numbers represent light levels collected from astral data used to test the Euclid Mission VIS instrument, a telescope that will be launched in 2022. Indicating galaxies, stars and cosmic rays they are a mathematical interpretation of light.
Lisa Pettibone –Bio
Currently artist in residence at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL), Lisa Pettibone has an MA in Art and Science from Central Saint Martins, London. Interested in astronomy, physics and light, her practice investigates hidden forces like gravity and energy flow, and creating sensory experiences that connect man to the environment.
Title: Modern Nature
4 x Photograms in 2 Frames
I head outdoors at night, looking for strange objects and performing odd rituals – a nocturnal communion with nature creating a series of photograms titled Modern Nature.
Rather than trying to conjure supernatural forces, I try to capture the transcendent beauty of what’s plainly within reach, and reminds us that the mysteries of the natural world are already boundless. My photograms of water, seaweed, and shells hint at the story of their making, but leave plenty unsaid.
Occasionally, my source material is portable enough to be brought into my studio, where I can work more slowly. When working directly in the landscape, however, I go out to a previously scouted location to document the subject of the work. There are a lot of variables that affect where and when I can work: weather, safety, light pollution, and the phase of the moon, because even moonlight will expose the paper.
Afterwards I expose the paper in a portable darkroom. Some images are presented as final; others will be used as accomplices for other works. This series’ intention is to draw connections between our broken relationship with nature and the experience of being human.
Emily Whitebread has a MA in ArtScience, Royal Academy Den Haag (2014) and a BA in Fine Art and Art History, Goldsmtihs (2009). In 2017 Emily received a bursary from a-n The Artists Information Company to participate in a month long research residency at the Museo Leonora Carrington de San Luis Potosí. She is a former Open School East Associate, a Florence Trust and Guest Projects artist in residence. Emily has exhibited work both nationally and internationally, and participated in residencies in the UK and The Netherlands. Highlights of her artistic career included Frieze First Thursdays, South London Gallery, Bold Tendencies, Chisenhale Gallery, Whitstable Biennale, AiRM and TENT Rotterdam.