Not to be taken
The Sublime Anthropocene
My artistic practice explores and performs a physical and theoretical investigation of landscapes that could initially be read as beautiful, unadulterated or natural. Looking closely reveals uncanny traces of industry, entropy, marks of man; scars of the ‘anthropocene’.
In this film, I am exploring the landscapes left after the industrial process of extracting arsenic in the Tamar Valley, particularly in and around Devon Great Consols mine, once directed by William Morris. It is thought that the arsenic mined there was indeed used to create some of the vivid green pigment Scheele's Green, which was used in his textiles and wallpapers. I am fascinated by the traces of these industries and their continued potent impact upon the environment.
I contest liminal spaces between proximity and distance, observation and inhabitation. I explore, activate and focus not on a politely distanced spectatorship of the sublime, but on my blinded, immersed experience of the world as hyperobject.
Making 'Not to be taken' explored my research interests of embodiment, affect and somaesthetics and a sense of disjointed embodiment. I propose that digital media acts as a Claude glass: a metaphor for the distance between body and place, a cipher for the sublime. Alongside this I immerse myself to activate the contested space between the incomprehensibly distant and the threatening intimacy of landscape.