Sunday, 21 June 2015

Zoe Benbow AIR 2015

All images courtesy the artist

My paintings aim to communicate a sense of awe and enjoyment in landscape, as a means of questioning our cultural construct of wilderness and our relationship to the natural world. The images are developed from drawings made ‘in the field’,  yet by an intense engagement with the processes of painting and studio practice, the resulting canvases become as much a meditation on geology of association and memory as of an actual place.

My experience of walking and drawing in mountain environments is that everything  - light, wind, vegetation and stones - are shifting, sliding, moving with every moment. Outlandia being off-grid and off the ground, represents a still point in a turning world. I have followed a line in literature that has taken me through the writings of Roger Deakin, Robert McFarlane, Rebecca Solnit and Nan Shepherd. Like Nan Shepherd I have a tendency to wander in mountains, searching, stopping, looking and bizarrely napping and dreaming in protected hollows.

I’m particularly interested in the experience of landscape as intimate and surrounding  - as opposed to being distancing and remote - and will focus on discovering nooks and crannies exploring a micro/macro dynamic. Points of interest include areas of acute transition and drama in a defined space such as rock and water or in the tree line. It is my intention whilst at Outlandia to employ the space as a conceptual nest from which to go out and gather information. I will spend the week walking and drawing, exploring the landscape.