This month sees the start of my two year long project with the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP). An opportunity for me to explore a part of Yorkshire that I've visited but I'm not familiar with.
Over the period of the project I will research examples of boundaries (social, physical, natural, man-made) across the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP). Collaborating with the park’s ecologists and moorland communities to develop my understanding of the environmental and social challenges on this landscape, culminating in the publication of a book and an exhibition of paintings in 2025 at the NYMNP “Inspired by” gallery.
The moorlands fascinate me and I am very lucky to live only 15-20 minutes walk away from the moors of West Yorkshire. But this project is going to be quite different as the North York Moors are 2 hours drive away so will involve a fair bit of planning over the next couple of years to schedule visits where I can see how this landscape changes with the changing seasons and to also explore and get to know this land and its people.
I have scheduled a total of 12 site visits over the next two years which will involve walking the land, and collaborating with the NYMNP teams, to create a richer commentary around boundaries and conservation.
The first phase of this project is in a sense a scoping project and runs from November 2023 to May 2024. It will result in a group exhibition in May called This Diverse Landscape, held at the Inspired by... gallery at Danby on the North York Moors.
Through this opportunity I anticipate a shift in my work towards communicating a story. Sketchbook work onsite will become part of my general practice. By pushing myself out of my comfort zone and incorporating outdoor work it will help me learn more about an environment, be more engaged with it, which in turn will come through and inform larger work.
As an artist who currently works in isolation I am looking to push my practice to move towards collaborative work: responding to experts in their field, helping to communicate their messages; working with other creatives to produce a collective response to a particular subject or idea.
Over the next two years I will be documenting my research through blogs and social media so you can see how I am progressing on this project and get to see first hand as I explore this beautiful landscape.
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