Nature Here and Now
Wirksworth Festival

10 — 18 Sep ‘16


10am — 5pm

Haarlem Artspace Podcast

In partnership with Wirksworth Festival and curated by Haarlem Artspace artists Geoff Diego Litherland and Dermot Punnett, the exhibition explored how artists challenge their own perceptions to create new ways of seeing and comprehending the world within the environment of the established arts festival in our hometown.

The artists in this exhibition seek to use their artistic process and technologies to push the limits of their own perception, understanding and in some cases enduring, in order to gain a deeper insight into the mysteries of the natural world.

The work is informed by current scientific theories as well as social and economic responses to our relationship to nature, always with the intention of bringing the viewer back to the here and now of the direct experience of the world.

Selected Artists:

Dermot Punnett

Livvy Punnett

Peter Matthews

Mariele Neudecker

Katja Hock

Wolfgang Buttress

Oblique Cartographies / Wirksworth (Andrew Brown, Geoff Diego Litherland and George Miles)

Recent Graduates

Alex Rose (NTU)

Helen Sayer (LUSAD)

Hayley Blackwell (Derby University)

Dermot Punnett

Dermot Punnett is an internationally exhibiting artist based in Wirksworth, he overlays abstract forms on to recognisable landscapes to turn them into places of obscurity and intrigue. His work oscillates between painting as image and painting as a material process. He is concerned with the tension that exists between the illusion and the surface. He starts by painting the image in a representational manner and then applying dragging techniques, pushing and pulling the paint and causing ruptures in the image.

Geoff Diego Litherland has worked closely with Dermot to develop the theme for this year’s curated exhibition Nature: Here and Now around the concerns in Dermot’s practice, most notably alternate perceptual realms and the process of discovering these unchartered places.

Liv Punnett

Liv Punnett is a British born artist based in Wirksworth. She holds an MA with Distinction in Fine Art from Sheffield Institute of the Arts. Her practice is diverse, encompassing a range of media including printmaking, installation, film, and projection. Her work is emotionally affecting and evokes an atmosphere of timeless nostalgia. She depicts the ephemera of nature, clouds, skies the sea, creating poetic and lyrical images and spaces that are enigmatic and mysterious.

Peter Matthews

Peter Matthews is a British born artist who exhibits and is based internationally. He is motivated to go into the ocean as it is the closest place he knows where one can exist on the edge of the world we currently know, and out towards a set of worlds unexplored and discovered. His process of working in solitude in the ocean is defined and informed by the poetic blending of rituals, dreams, the spirit world, chanting, intuition, superstition, the paranormal and the diversity of fringe and earth sciences while moving and responding to what is happening in our contemporary world.

Peter exhibited his drawings which he has made in the ocean, often spending hours at a time. The drawings themselves are both an archive of the process, ink, sea water but also contain traces of the artist’s observations, feelings and fears through text and notes on the drawings themselves. The drawings are supported by documentation of his process via images and moving image work.

Katja Hock

Katja Hock is a German born artist based in the UK. In her work, Katja explores the relationship between ‘what is shown’ and ‘what might only be suggested’ while at the same time addressing the importance of historical memory to our present perception of our cultural and social context.

For numerous years Hock has been photographing and filming in historically relevant woodland areas, mainly in Italy, the UK and Germany. Having grown up on the edge of the border-woods between Holland and Germany, Hock’s memories of her past experiences of the area have become subject to a lost world of innocence.

Mariele Neudecker

Born in 1965 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Mariele Neudecker lives and works in Bristol, UK. Neudecker uses a broad range of media including sculpture, installation, film and photography. Her practice investigates the formation and historical dissemination of cultural constructs around the natural world, focusing particularly on landscape representations within the Northern European Romantic tradition and today’s notions of the Sublime. Central to the work is the human interest and relationship to landscape and its images used metaphorically for human psychology.

In this exhibition Mariele showed It Takes The Planet 23 Hours and 56 Minutes and 4 Seconds to Rotate on its Axis, a 2013 single screen video projection.

Wolfgang Buttress

Wolfgang Buttress is an award-winning artist working with public space. Creating simple, elegant and contextual public artworks, which seek to define and highlight our relationship to the natural world. Wolfgang Buttress created a site-specific installation for St Mary’s church, (the only artwork in the church) the piece was inspired by the sound elements of his The Hive award-winning pavilion from the Milan expo, which was installed in Kew gardens as well as the recent performances of the Be-One project.

Oblique Cartographies – Wirksworth, D-Lab commission

Andrew Brown (sound artist), Geoff Diego Litherland (analogue and digital mapping), George Miles (photography)

Part of the recent D-Lab commissions to bring new digital art to Derbyshire. The project uses technology as a tool for mapping, creating and presenting an expanded perceptual realm on our surroundings; the artists have created a series of sound walks around Wirksworth, alongside maps and documentation that can be accessed through a mobile phone app. The maps, field notes and additional documentation by photographer George Miles had a presence in the main exhibition, alongside this forensic mood board was detailed instructions on how to download the app.