Field Work curated by Olivia Punnett, explored themes of contemporary art in rural contexts. This was not only the curation of an event involving live performance in rural situ, but was followed by both an archival exhibition from performance materials, and a symposium bringing rural expertise from a variety of backgrounds together.
Artists: Fourthland, Tazelaar Stevenson & Mikey Page, David Steans, Gavin Repton
Speakers: Catherine Rogers, Helen Jukes, Mary Wiltshire, Glennie Kindred, Penny Newell, Chris Thornhill, Olivia Penrose Punnett
Three performance works were filmed in the landscape (24/08/09) and a film from these performances made by Gavin repton was shown for the Wirksworth Festival 7-8/09 & 14&15/09 in Haarlem Artspace Gallery. An exhibition of performance materials borrowing from museum display methods were exhibited alongside the film.
A symposium invited speakers & artists following the performances in the afternoon. The discussion was chaired by Haarlem Artspace Director Catherine Rogers and focussed on rurality, contemporary art, and our current environmental state.
Catherine Rogers Over the past decade Catherine has worked as an arts manager and producer, and has written and delivered a number of training programmes and workshops for public, private and third sector organisations including Leicestershire County Council, Loughborough University and the British Council. As a community artist and storyteller she ran her own creative business for several years before working as an Arts Development Officer. Here at Haarlem Artspace, Catherine is researching the practice of storytelling as a method of curating as well as writing short stories. Several of her stories have made their way into collections, including the award winning ‘Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud’ edited by Jonathan Taylor for Salt Publishing. Recently leaving her role after 6 years as Chair of Junction Arts, Catherine has also been a trustee of Arts Development UK and is currently a partner of ArtWorks Alliance, advocating for quality participatory arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Mary Wiltshire is a published academic landscape historian specialising in the history of the landscape; and what may be seen today.
Penny Newell grew up and lives in Leeds, where she is currently performing the serial long-form poem ‘Porm’ at The Sunday Practise. Her poetry has featured in 3:AM, The Southampton Review, Lambda Literary, Magma, Alien Mouth and Cordite, and has been anthologised by the Emma Press, amongst others. She holds a PhD (2018) titled ‘A conceptual history of clouds from the Ancient Greeks to the iCloud. Penny won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2019. She is currently a New North Poet. She received a Pushcart Prize 2019 nomination from the editors at The Portland Review.
Chris Thornhill is an academic and poet whose work explores the ways in which religious and philosophical ideas concerning the natural world are examined through cultural productions and practices, with a particular interest in notions of image and language as meaningful signs that may be inscribed upon and inherent to the non-human world. Chris teaches on a variety of topics within theology, philosophy and the arts at the University of Nottingham. His poetry has appeared in publications from Corbel Stone Press, the small press of Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton, and the Centre for Alterity Studies.
Olivia Penrose Punnett is an artist, curator & lecturer, whose diverse art practice encompasses a range of media including printmaking, installation, film and projection. She is a founding member & a cultural producer at Haarlem Artspace, a rural contemporary studio and gallery space, and a Fine Art Tutor in HE at Nottingham Trent University. She has worked in museums and galleries nationally, and holds an MA with Distinction in Fine Art, for which she received an AHRC award in 2013, and in 2015 was awarded the SIA commission from Sheffield Institute of Arts. She has 20 years’ experience working across disciplines including combined arts, printmaking, curating, visual arts and festivals, and has worked on site-specific commissions for public realm locations.
Olivia was a member of The Editions Publishing Group, and her work is held in the British Library, The Tetley, The Ruskin Archive and the Tate Library and Archive.
Gelennie Kindred is the author of twelve books on Earth wisdom,
native plants and trees and celebrating the Earth’s cycles, including Earth Wisdom. She is a highly respected teacher and much loved expert on natural lore and Earth traditions. She has a strong and committed following and is renowned for her ability to enthuse people with joy, love and wonder for the Earth, for creating ceremony and the power we collectively have to bring about change, both for ourselves and for the Earth.
Helen Jukes is a writer, beekeeper, and writing tutor. Her writing has appeared in Caught by the River, BBC Wildlife, Resurgence, the Junket and LITRO. She works as a tutor on the creative writing programme at Oxford University, and also with the Bee Friendly Trust, a London-based charity founded by beekeeper Luke Dixon to promote our understanding of honeybees and help nurture sustainable habitats. Helen is also a studio holder at Haarlem Artspace
Gavin Repton filmed the performances for the gallery, drawing on previous work with artists, the National Trust, and over 10 years professional experience, from news production across Europe to working on narrative films, music videos and documentaries. Working with clients from concept to delivery and everything in between. Gavin worked with the Livvy to make an abstract film essay of the performances.
Fourthland performed Moon Scroll from their IMBUE series. Moon scroll is a performance piece inspired by the etymology of the word ‘display’ meaning ‘to unravel/unfold’. Within the performance Fourthland utilises one of their artist objects to unravel what they refer to as ‘handheld knowledge’, summoning a deep listening to the voices of nature and our ancestors. Fourthland (artists Isik Sayarer and Eva Knutsdotter) are socially engaged artists, with the aim to make new myths about land and people. Through a process-led research the practice revisits notions of the sacred, the poetics of space and object, and the mysticism of the subconscious, working with these themes to excavate old histories and future imaginaries with people and communities.
Their process-based methods produce surprising and transformative collaborative projects through the use of choreographed rituals, sound work, storytelling and improvised sessions. Through this, they facilitate encounters that draw marginalised knowledge into the foreground and explore forgotten modes of social and environmental consciousness.
David Steans works with writing, moving image, sound and performance, and is particularly interested in the blurring of fiction and reality as a method. For Fieldwork he devised a new site specific performance involving fiction, narrative and costume, centering around the use of Scarecrows in rural folk tradition in the past and in contemporary culture.
Recent solo presentations include: Necrotic Biography Room, Pavilion, Leeds, UK (2019); Deptford X 2018 Platform Commission, Deptford, London, UK (2018); Gruesome FX, Triangle Arts, Brooklyn, USA (2018) and Crime World, The Tetley, Leeds (2017). In 2018 Deptford X published ‘From the Lounge’, a collection of Steans’ short fiction.
Tazelaar Stevenson & Mikey Page delivered a performance of analogue electronics and bird song in dialogue. In the ancient woodland of Shining Cliff wood, at dawn A suitable site will be found - a quiet corner - a clearing in a wood - they set up to play and record - as the sun rose catching the ambient sounds and early morning bird song.
Using directional microphones, hand built synthesisers, and effects, They respond to, and become part of the dawn chorus. No materials or structures remain afterwards, and nothing was left behind after the site specific performance. The recording / photos and film of the performance will be the only record, replayed in the mornings performances in the landscape around Haarlem Artspace later in the day along side Fourthland & Davin Steans performances. Sound is also used in the resulting film.
Morning Performances (3 Parts) Outside
11.15am David Steans
11.30am Tazelaar Stevenson & Michael Page
Afternoon Symposium (3 Parts)
2.15 – 2.55pm Walking Session with Tazelaar, Michael,
& Glennie Kindred on the theme of Looking After The Land
2.55 – 3.15pm Reflection and Listening
3.15 - 3.55pm David Steans, Penny Newell,
Olivia Punnett & Mary Wiltshire on the theme of History & Myth
3.55 – 4.15pm Reflection and Listening
4.15 - 4.55pm Outside Session with FourthLand, Chris Thornhill
& Helen Jukes on the theme of What We Have Lost
5pm – Farewell Feasting