Bespoke Mountain – Fold Gallery

Whilst foldgallery was closed throughout the freezing months of January to March 2008, several artists were invited to make work for the window. For this I built “Bespoke Mountain”, continuing ideas about the landscape and belonging that had permeated recent pieces. Using materials foraged from around the town: rubble, concrete, stone, supplemented with stuff from the builders merchants I created a mountain on top of a table, a sculpture growing out of its environment. The idea that I build with the materials from a location is integral, not simply to locate the sculpture to its venue, but also to locate myself. Scouring the streets to find stuff is a way of placing myself in the venue, feeling less of an outsider and more at ease. 200 tiny painted figures lounged around incongruously, looking bright & glamorous in the freezing, grey cold of the empty gallery. I remade “Bespoke Mountain” for SCOPE art fair – continuing the focus of this piece discussing belonging and place through the materials, I built this “Bespoke Mountain 2” with the stone from the farm walls where I grew up. This added another layer, as I was in a sense building with the stuff of my childhood, making something in the present and for the future, using materials from the past. A new architectural angle grew out of the installation of this piece, ramshackle extensions: walkways & structures popped up round the back, hidden from the casual, passing gaze. A dialogue began to establish between the elements of architecture and landscape , man-made and natural, which I am continuing. Not as a binary or oppositional relationship, but to explore the co-existence of the two different elements within one form, the interface between them, areas where we build or intervene in the landscape: caves, quarries, mines, cliff dwellings, earth dwellings.