(empty lands)

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Drystone

Drystone walling, 2014

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Bog

Installation with Jessica Ramm, the Flow Country, 2014

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(empty lands)

Typed text, bog sound recordings, pressed moss, contained bulb, drystone Helix and lightbox, Remote Possibilities, Timespan, Helmsdale, 2014

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(empty lands) Detail

Lightbulb immersed in earth inside a tin

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(empty lands) Detail

Pressed moss from Flow Country bogs

REMOTE POSSIBILITIES
In March 2014 I went on residency to Timespan Museum and Heritage Centre in Helmsdale. No stranger to the north of Scotland, I spent two weeks with my hands in the earth and my feet in the bog, making work, with my co-residents, for the exhibition Remote Possibilities.

Taking interest in methods of drystone walling, I accompanied Jeff, who had been learning the technique. and had a go at it. Jeff said the best drystone wallers could put a lightbulb in the middle of their structures. They were so skilled that this lightbulb would remain intact with the stones securely wedged around it, without adhesive.

This led me to making the, perhaps crude, sculpture of the lightbulb in earth. I also started to play with the idea of a Drystone Helix ruler, which I later completed as part of my Box File project.

Jessica Ramm and I also spent some time in the Flow Country – Europe’s largest expanse of bog, not far from the town of Helmsdale. We made a jovial installation, marvelling at the scale of the wet lands.

I also took some small samples of moss and sound. From the squelch of the moist ground to the variety of colours and life we saw in this place, I reject completely that these lands are empty.

It’s like when you finish an exam or an official document and there’s an arbitrary ‘blank page’, marked ‘blank page’, surely rendering the sentiment void.

I typed up one of these pages and arranged it among some small sculptures and a sound recording, on a large lightbox in the Timespan gallery for the exhibition.