curator's preface, Changing Ground, land and art


Changing Ground, land and art
Much vocabulary associated with the land is already taken and laden with association. The exhibition name Changing Ground land and art, comes from a conversation between contributing artists. We sought a neutral space where it was possible to travel fleet of foot.
This light touch was retained in the curating of the publication and the exhibition. Each artist is in charge of their own work and voice. What we have here is a crossing of paths, a collaboration of Scottish and Irish artists whose work and reflections are made from light, flora and the land. Our first gathering, for that is what an exhibition is, has been in the Barony Centre, a converted 19th century church and cultural hub, a space filled with daylight and character. A number of us responded to the architecture and the place name, West Kilbride (Cille Bhrìghde) and made work containing these themes. We are grateful for the generous hospitality afforded to us itinerant travellers by the Director, the Barony volunteers and the citizens of West Kilbride, for artists and exhibitions pass through. We leave our trace with this publication.
Whereas the exhibition is a gathering of individual voices, the artists reflections are a shared endeavour. For a number amongst us the juxtaposition of image and text – a quote, a list of words, a personable statement is new. The emerging narrative if this is the right word, is a series of fleeting reflections. Contrasting pages mirror those occasional insights, those colliding thoughts, the unexpected juxtapositions that tumble out when we go for a stroll, take a walk, wander, travel on foot through a landscape, be it garden, countryside or wilderness. The reflections retains the transient quality of this human mindfulness or dreaming; it is also in keeping with the spare and ephemeral beauty contained within the exhibition and the Barony building.
Wilderness, countryside, garden. Where one finishes and the other starts is a debatable point, for these are social concepts. Just as vocabulary associated with the land is crowded, the same can be said of ways of seeing. The cultural values assigned to words and activities such as craft/high art/folk art/installation/ literature/poetry tell us how to see. These polarities are contained in the naming Changing Ground, land and art. To quieten this noise the artist pages are precise and concise. Quotes efface the self, their juxtaposition with an installation, or fungi, throw up new readings. The listing of plant names associated with Cille Bhrìghde is matter of fact, as is the listing of actions associated with making, or a walk on the beach. How things are.
Fiona Byrne-Sutton, Curator, 2013

Participating artists in alphabetical order: Fiona Byrne-Sutton ceramic artist, Caroline Dear environmental artist, Miranda Forrest ceramic artist, Morven Gregor photgrapher and land artist, Kersten Gren ceramic artist, Gerry Loose poet and land artist, Kathleen Standen ceramic artist.