‘The Mountain and the Cave’, 2018

The unknown is so inflammatory to the imagination because it is an imaginatively malleable space; a projection-screen onto which a culture or an individual can throw their fears or their aspirations. Like echo’s cave, the unknown will answer back with whatever you shout at it.

MacFarlane, R. ‘Mountains of the Mind: A History of Fascination’. Granta Books: London, 2003, p175

In 2017, I was awarded a 12-week Art Residency to work on newly commissioned work with Lincoln based art collective General Practice; a multi-disciplinary artist collective living and working from Lincoln, UK. Funded by Quad, in Derby, our research and outputs responded to the Peak District’s mythology, topography, and geographic histories, through collaborative, expressive and experimental practice. (General Practice: Manifold | QUAD (derbyquad.co.uk)).

While playing with the hollowness of language and image, by 2018, ‘The Mountain and the Cave’ evolved as a topographical and psychological response to Thor’s cave in the Manifold Valley, where contradictory proverbs were spatially arranged to follow the contours of the peaks and their caverns, to cross-examine adjacent truths.

In ‘The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England’s Legends, from Spring-heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys’, Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson ‘interweave…facts, fictions, superstitions, and traditions’ that are ‘deep-rooted’ within England’s legendary past [1]. Inspired by the prehistoric standing stone circles scattered across the Peak Districts Moors, such as; Nine Ladies Stone Circle, at Stanton Moor, where, legend has it, one Sunday, nine ladies and a fiddler came up to the Moor to dance but were all turned into stone for their act of sacrilege, ‘Rev{o,e}l{u,a}tions‘ interlinked the regions mythologies with my own beliefs and superstitions, what peaked was a virtual image, which married the domestic and public spheres within a dislocated field.

[1] Westwood, J. & Simpson, J. ‘The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England’s Legends, from Spring-heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys’, Penguin Books, 2006, pvii-pix