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Odyssean: Topographies

Artworks produced for the Odyssean: Topographies Exhibition at Hestercombe Gallery, 18.11.17 – 25.02.18.

Natasha Rosling

Natasha Rosling is a UK based artist who makes installations, writing and audio works that deal with the pleasures, anxieties and contradictions of being a body in the world.

‘What Remains’ is a collection of works from 2015-2017 that took its starting point on Papa Westray, Orkney, with Rosling feeling frustrated with her own tendency to anthropomorphise the landscape. This lead to a wider exploration of the traditions and practices that have entwined human beings and their environment throughout time. Using direct experience as her reference, Rosling probes the surfaces of the body and the land, and ponders the boundaries between the living and the dead.

‘Hole in the Land’ 2017

Audio composition integrating voice and field recordings, based on the Rosling’s first visit to Papa Westray. This was a roaming work that could be signed out from gallery reception and listened to whilst walking through Hestercombe’s grounds. Here chance relationships occured between the physical discriptions and immersive sounds of two hightly contrasting environments - the remote Papa Westray and the ornamental gardens and panoramas surrounding the listner. This work is paired with Gut Beneath the Shore, which was installed in Hestercombe’s Orangery.


‘Daily Notes’, 2016-17, audio recording, upholstered chair and lamp.

This is a recorded collection of notes where Rosling observes and reflects on a series of experiences that in various ways question the materiality or stability of the body - be that of her own, another person or animal.  The installation suggests a reflective domestic space for listeners to sit, with the voice emerging from an audio speaker installed beneath the chair. The fabric has a kaleidoscopic design of seemingly random objects, which slowly gain their significance in relationship to the audio. 


‘Gut Beneath the Shore’ 2017

A sonic composition interweaving subterranean and underwater field recordings from Papa Westray. This work was installed Hestercombe’s orangery on speakers positioned to project sound around in the arching ceilings - transforming the quaint architectural environment into a resonating, wet gurgling, organ like chamber.


Alexander Stevenson

Alexander Stevenson, All At Sea, 2017, Sculpture and video (12 mins)

Alexander Stevenson is an independent artist working on commissions in the public realm, within international festivals, self-initiated projects and with contemporary galleries. In his practice, he mines information using processes usually associated with anthropologists, historians and researchers to create artworks, journeys and films.

Sculpture and video take the artist through several stages as he attempts to become the ‘”prodigy” of the lighthouse, comparing himself to the lighthouse builders that share his name, performing the habitual acts of a keeper, finally embodying the bricks and mortar and wearing paint of the building itself. The buoy drifts like a seed carrying the artist away from the object of his obsession, the lighthouse of his supposed ancestors.

“All At Sea” depicts Stevenson’s attempts to relate to a lighthouse, a historical object/building, on a human level. The work indirectly explores genealogy, as well as anatomy, cartography, and being hopelessly lost- separated from historical events and individuals.


Simon Lee Dicker

Red Hot Haystacks, 2017, hand gathered meadow grass and UV paint.

Simon Lee Dicker is a UK based artist whose work explores a discordant relationship with landscape and the natural world. From intimate drawings and transient installations to event based social activities, each work is the start of a conversation often evoking ritual activity and personal narratives that involve other people in the production and presentation of work.

Passing Place is a collection of work made since Dicker’s first residency on the island of Hoy, Orkney during September 2015. The exhibition brings together drawing, sculpture and writing that has been made over the past two years including a major new work entitled Red Hot Haystacks. Using a combination black light and wild meadow grass from the Hestercombe estate, Red Hot Haystacks explores ideas around the unseen environmental impact of human activity brought about through nuclear testing in the late 1960’s.

Hoy Hill Screen 2016/17 – Paint and Carbon covered screen/text and photo from R.N Aitkens 1969 evaluation of the boat-borne radiometric survey of the N.E Scottish cliffs.  


The Accidental Sculpture, 2017, laser sintered nylon powder 3D print

Alistair Grant

Moving Swiftly Onwards, 2017, digital animation, Jesmonite sculpture. image credit Lisa Whiting.

Alistair Grant is a Glasgow and Edinburgh based interdisciplinary artist whose work explores contemporary connections to the natural world. From sculptural and installation approaches through to performance and video games, Grant's practice is concerned with how we negotiate and attribute value, whether aesthetic or ecological to these designated areas from within the built environment.

In playing the physical against the digital, Moving Swiftly Onwards is concerned with societies current and future relationship with (wild, managed, fake) nature. As a space to visit without going there, technological interpretations remove the sensory experience, our reproductions of nature are conflictingly reductive but what is left is more potent, perhaps its essence or a corruption of it. How can we inhabit and move through it with several layers of distance?


Indolent Mirror.exe, 2017, gold leaf over hand carved plaster. image credit Daniel McCarthy.


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Topographies Seminar

Event Activities produced for the Topographies Seminar on space, place and sensation 06.02.2018.

Topographies was a one-day seminar (06.02.2018) exploring how we make sense of different landscapes, through contemporary art practice and creative geographies. Artists and researchers lead a series of discussions around the remote and the connected, the mapping of invisible and imagined spaces, and how technology is changing our relationship to landscape. Invited speakers were Harriet Hawkins, art writer and professor in GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway, University of London, and John Wylie, professor in Cultural Geography at Exeter University.

Full audio recording of seminar speakers Harriet Hawkins and John Wylie

Natasha Rosling & Vilma Luostarinen

‘Edible Coastlines’, 2018. Developed as collaboration between Vilma Luostarinen and Natasha Rosling. Through the menu, food design, bespoke table wear and an asseblage of text fragments placed on the tables, this lunch experience took participants of a sensory journey exploring the imaginary spaces of the body and its relationship to the land and sea.

Alistair Grant

Memories of Green Episodes 1-3, 2018. Interviews with Professor William Hubner, and selected virtual world and videogame clips, composed as a three-part video documentary.

Alexander Stevenson

Sentient Sat-Nav, 2018. Mulit-screen DVD, 1 hour 3 mintues. Artist-devised journey to the seminar via Cardiff and Bristol.



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