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Clare Woods - Night Time Jam

Oil on wood. Meadow arts commission, 2009

Mariele Neudecker - A Thousand Ghosts

Wood, steel. Meadow Arts commission, 2009

Laura Ford - Espaliered Girl

Jesmonite, 2007 Courtesy of the artist and Houldsworth Gallery

Clare Woods - The Bishops

Enamel on aluminium Meadow Gallery commission, 2009

Mariele Neudecker - Things can Change in a Day

Mixed media, 2001 Private collection

Brass Art - To Suspend the Breath

Glass tubing, red neon, 2008 Courtesy of the artists/International 3

Brass Art - Rooted and Established

Selective Laser Sintering, nylon prime part. Meadow Arts commission, 2009

Brass Art - Witness Tree

Selective Laser Sintering, nylon prime part. Meadow Arts commission, 2009

Philippa Lawrence - Bound Bonsai II

Dead bonsai, silk thread Courtesy of the artist

Philippa Lawrence - Bound

Cotton wrapped deceased oak. Meadow Arts commission, 2009

Juneau / Projects - The Applause, 2008 - You Awake in a Forest, 2007 - Elk Cloner, 2008.

Birch veneer and marine plywood Courtesy of the artists and FA projects, London

Juneau / Projects - Trappenkamp

Water jet cut marine plywood, timber Tate Britain Commission, 2008 Courtesy of the artists and fa projects

The Art of Location Symposium

The significance of location in contemporary art practice

The Courtyard, Hereford, Friday 6th November 2009

Richard Heatly

Richard Heatly is Principal of Hereford College of the Arts. He studied Philosophy at Cambridge and Design History at Middlesex. He became a designer and maker of furniture after attending the London College of Furniture, and has taught in higher education for a number of years.

He has been Principal of Hereford College of Arts since 2003, which is one of the few remaining specialist art colleges offering a range of courses in art, design, media and the performing arts - from entry level through to degrees. Specialism and scale gives a unique focus and quality to the life of the college which offers the chance to study creative, practice based courses in a very unique environment, where most of the tutors are artists, designers, performers, and practitioners.

Lee Hassall

Lee Hassall studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and at Chelsea College of Art and is studying for a PhD at Aberystwyth University. He sits on the advisory panel for, Living Landscapes an AHRC Conference on Landscape & Environment. In 2007 he curated the Hay Fringe Experimental film programme.

The PhD is practice-led and explores notions of the sublime, emptiness and the uncanny.  It seeks to widen the discourse around performing and inhabiting landscape. Another focus for the work is to see how the figural and two-dimensional become articulated and translated into performances. Another burgeoning narrative is that of terror, nature and the sublime.

I who will never have done. The main focus of this enquiry is that of emptiness in relation to the sublime.  Lee will be examining his relationship with the physical work and the written work and how to make each reflexive of the other with the aim of finding a synergy between practice and scholarly work.  It is Lee’s intention to reclaim a sense of the visual within the study of landscape. How to occupy and present the unrepresentable sublime?  He will explore and contextualise the articulation of the visual in relation to the performative and seek to widen the discourse around performing and inhabiting landscape. Another focus for the work will be to see how the figural and two-dimensional become articulated and translated into performances. Another burgeoning narrative is that of terror, nature and the sublime.  The aim of the practice, in part, is to create a fissure in which the sublime might exist. In 1797 Henry Wigstead made a tour of Wales with his “……friend Mr Rowlandson”. Rowlandson was engaged as companion and as an artist, to illustrate a publication of a short tour through Wales, Remarks on a tour to North and South Wales published by Wigstead in 1799. The drawings made by Rowlandson during this tour are the main focus of Lee’s research.

Mariele Neudecker

Born in 1965 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Mariele Neudecker lives and works in Bristol.  Neudecker uses a broad range of media including sculpture, film and installation.  She is interested in cultural constructs around representations of landscape within the Northern European Romantic tradition and the notion of the ‘Contemporary Sublime’.  Central to the work is the human interest and relationship to landscape and its images used metaphorically for human psychology.  In recent works, Neudecker has extended her investigation beyond the image to classical music, exploring the pathos and evocative power of works by Handel, Schubert, Mahler and Britten.

Solo exhibitions include ‘New Work’ at R O O M, London (09), Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (08), Arts Towada, Towada, Japan (08), , The Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (06), and Tate Britain, London (2004-5).  Her work has also been shown in group-exhibitions like ‘Wonder’, Singapore Biennale (08), ‘Melancholie. Genie und Wahnsinn in der Kunst’ at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (06), ‘Danger Zone’ at Kunsthalle Bern, Bern (03) and the Yokohama International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan (01). Mariele Neudecker is represented by Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin.
Culture as Place? Mariele Neudecker discussed examples of her work within the context of location and place. The weaving together of the real with the ethereal within the language of art and particularly the Northern European Romantic tradition, has long been as source of fascination to Neudecker and is something she has continuously explored through her work.

Cornford & Cross

Matthew Cornford and David Cross have worked together since meeting at St Martins School of Art in 1987. Since that time they have created a unique body of work made both in the public realm and for galleries. In the main, their way of working has been to respond to a particular context or situation, by examining the problems that arise out of it. Accordingly, each of their projects has been radically different, not only in form but in function. Equally, the artists have not worked in a single media, but produced sculpture and installations, worked with video and photography, and created one-off events and sound works. They have recently exhibited at Milton Keynes Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery as well as in Italy and Belgium and the USA.

Black Dog London have recently published a 192-page book on their work, which includes artists’ texts, photographs and critical essays by John Roberts and Rachel Withers.

Social Places Cornford & Cross maintain that a key function of contemporary art is to test concepts, assumptions and boundaries. For ‘The Art of Location’ symposium, they presented a selection of their context-specific artworks that have engaged with the relationship between physical space, identity and power. From directly confronting the boundaries of urban territory to subverting the institutional definitions of off-site and outreach projects, each of their works has involved actions, encounters and debates with the people who occupy or influence social places.

Georgina Barney

Georgina Barney is a writer and contemporary artist.  After graduating from the Ruskin School of Fine Art (first class), Oxford University in 2006 she travelled around the UK working on farms.  Georgina now lives in the Midlands between North Leicestershire and Shropshire.  Her practice-led PhD Curating the Farm builds on a residency project at Harper Adams University College (specialists in agriculture and land-based studies). Barney has exhibited on farms in mid-Wales, Leicestershire and Newcastle, written articles for wwoof uk, Culture East Midlands and Nottingham Contemporary.  Her work is concerned with connectivity surrounding ideas of art and farming.

Art and Farming Georgina presented through collaboration with John Plowman and Izzy Warren-Smith, performing an extract from a new literary work.

John Plowman is an artist and curator with Beacon Art Project.  Izzy Warren-Smith is a rural socio-economist and senior lecturer at Harper Adams. Following the reading, Izzy has been invited by Georgina to talk about Wire, a rurally-based enterprise network established through research during Izzy’s PhD.

Yoke and Zoom

Yoke and Zoom are Nina Coulson (BA Interactive At, MA Curating) and Alex Johnson (BA interactive Art, MA Urban Design). Based in Worcestershire, Yoke and Zoom are an artist-led family whose work combines universal concerns with domestic private moments and relationships.

Yoke and Zoom's practice involves instigating collaborations, and making interventions into multiple public spaces both in the urban and rural context, encouraging communication between people and questioning the politics of art production in the public realm. Often context specific, artworks involve distribution, re-appropriation, problem solving and post production.

Yoke and Zoom work in a variety of media, practice is not limited to one style of working, allowing the freedom to draw from a variety of influences and to respond to changing situations.  Each project is featured on: Yoke and zoom are currently setting up MOVEMENT an artist led project space on the platform of a city railway station.

Steve Hanson

Steve lectures at Hereford College of Art for the Cultural and Contextual Studies department. He trained at Goldsmiths College, where he is currently working towards a PhD. He has worked for URBIS, the NMPFT (now the National Media Museum) and as a research assistant for London Metropolitan University and Manchester Metropolitan University. He regularly writes for the publication Street Signs, the Centre for Urban and Community Research journal.

Objects, meaning and place Here he examines a rural landscape of historicized economic and political struggle. Various landmarks in and around the Calder Valley have become representative of the history of Chartism. The paper treats its themes of border territory and the malleability of cultural meaning in terms of iconic representations of place, as well as the ways in which both these landscapes and images are totemic for multiple groups in multiple modes. This paper also asks how concrete cultural objects within any given landscape can be malleable, permeable, in terms of the making and re-making of subjectivity and belonging in any given locale, however arbitrary notions of borders are perceived to have become.

Ivan & Heather Morison

The Morisons’ artworks focus on our spatial relationships with ordinary things, things forgotten and unnoticed, and convey the simple pleasures and passions of their endeavours and of those they meet. They observe and collect the things they come into contact with, embracing chance encounters and seeking out subjects that are on the edge of daily life. The artists take delight in revealing the essence of the mundane and its particularities and peculiarities. They recently had a solo show at Bloomberg Space, took part in the British Art show, the Folkestone Triennial and represented Wales at the 2007 Venice Biennial. They regularly exhibit with Danielle Arnaud contemporary art, London. In 2005 the Morison’s acquired a site of ancient and mature woodland in North Wales and they are developing the area of mature conifers into an arboretum. They live in Arthog, North West Wales.

An Unreachable Country. A Long Way to Go  In this presentation the Morison’s talked about the responsiveness of their practice to changing locations in terms of materials, methodology, collaboration and temporality. They also looked at the myth and story in the work.

Nathaniel Pitt

Nathaniel Pitt is an artist and co-director of the PITT, an artist-led none profit project space. He has exhibited widely in both the UK and abroad with residencies in New York, Austria and Lithuania. He studied at Wolverhampton University and at Falmouth School of Art. Nathaniel Pitt lives and works in Worcester.

Nathaniel’s work is often about investigation through an ongoing critique. “Using research and imagination I look at the everyday structures and systems that surround us. I like to work in collaboration with other artists and non-artists across disciplines.”

A Shire is world enough This is the third symposium where I’ve been invited to talk about the location of art. The first talk was a regional meeting organised by a-n magazine where I advocated a ‘call to arms’ for local artists to make better use of the local authorities and funding and invent support structures for contemporary artists in rural areas. In another talk with Michael Corris of Art & Language at Sheffield Hallem I examined the role of artists on the fringes of the modern day art festival or  Biennale, and the notion of the co-optation of the term site specificity. I was talking about artists working on the periphery, outside of the market, or the established places for art.

In this symposium I’m hoping to elaborate on why some artists shun the perceived epicentres of the art world. I will explore through four themes or rationales why some artists may choose a life and practice in one location, adding social frameworks to the culture and creating a more sustainable practice.

The four themes are:
developing a scene or education,
historic/geographic interest

Clare Woods

Clare Woods studied at Bath College of Art and Goldsmiths College. She has exhibited widely in the UK, Europe and America and her work is represented in major collections. She recently had solo exhibitions in London, Athens, Madrid and Berlin.

Her large paintings often stem from photographs she takes of woodlands, ponds or trees. Her ‘landscapes’ are compelling and boldly seductive but they are also ultimately complex and somehow impenetrable. Though derived from actual photographs, the places she paints are as unknowable as the human emotions and forgotten narratives that may populate them. For Clare Woods the layers of human connections with a particular site are a large part of what define a landscape. Its physical qualities are just another element of the intensity of the place.

Clare Woods’ long standing inquiries into the aesthetics of nature and especially into the British landscape tradition have imbued her paintings with a sense of personal involvement and responsiveness as an artist.

Placing the practice Clare has recently moved from London to Herefordshire. This very significant step came after many years of traveling in search of significant landscapes, of the genius loci. Her decision to move with her family to this part of rural England was taken after six years of regular and frequent trips to two particularly loaded places in Herefordshire which she has researched and photographed extensively. Now settled in a small town on the welsh Border she has firmly established her studio. In her garden she has set up an exhibition space located in a miraculously intact Sheppard’s’ hut. She intends to run this as an art space, curating shows that will pain local artists and makers with internationally renown artists.


The Courtyard Centre for the Arts
Edgar Street
01432 340555