An Ever Moving Now is a multi-chaptered project exploring wildness, rewilding, and our relationship with nature through the use of photography, sculpture, and book art. The project addresses my own personal experiences, memories and sensations of being embedded in nature, and connects these to the broader concepts of wildness, conservation through rewilding, and shifting baselines. Throughout this project, I will explore a diverse range of natural environments from coastline to woodland, and examine how ideas of wildness play out within these different environments.
The eventual aim for An Ever Moving Now is to create a multi-chaptered, worldwide project that explores and expresses the project themes. The first chapter will focus on the South West Coast Path, and is supported by both the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, and the South West Coast Path Association. To create this work, I move between immersive, multi-day hikes along the South West Coast Path, to developing ideas in my Devon-based studio. This constant interplay enables continued conversation between the work I am creating and the land I am responding to. Through this process I created Akin, which was the first of a series of sculptures created for An Ever Moving Now. This work was selected for the National Sculpture Prize at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens in 2018.
An Ever Moving Now did not start out with the ideas that are now driving the project. Inspired originally by idea of the artist as an alternative cartographer and the multiplicities of maps I wanted to create work that would “map” journeys through specific areas. In the early staged of exploring and playing with me idea I made a few pieces of work, like You Are Here and 50.5803° N, 3.7551° W, that are incredibly successful. Despite this however I was still struggling with the project a whole. It was watching a fantastic series by the BBC about researchers on the Galápagos Islands that brought clarity to my struggle. I realised that when making a body of work about nature, it felt vital to addresses some of the most pressing ecological issues currently facing our planet. This realisation was an important one; it led me to the Marine Institute, and eventually to where I am today. The conversations and increased environmental understanding that have emerged from these partnerships have fundamentally shaped my work. It was during one of these conversations that I first encountered the term ‘shifting baselines’, and the idea of rewilding. Both concepts have led to the evolution and expansion of An Ever Moving Now.
In June this year, the first chapter of An Ever Moving Now is drawing to a close with an exhibition of my work at the Marine Station in Plymouth. The Marine Station, a teaching and research centre, is located on the shores of the Plymouth Sound and sits alongside the South West Coast Path as it runs through the city of Plymouth. This is the perfect location to exhibit the photographs, sculptures, and book art that I created during the course of the residency, which responds so intimately to the local landscape.
After this, it is on to the next location and the expansion of the project. Where that will be I do not know. I will keep sharing details of the project here and on my blog, so what this space.
If you don’t know much (or anything) about rewilding I would advise reading this article by George Monbiot (HERE) and watching his TED talk (HERE).
This project is being created with the generous support of a number of people and companies. I would like to use this space to thank them for their support...
The Marine Institute for welcoming an artist through their doors and taking the time to speak with me and explain a fraction of their incredible work.
The South West Coast Path Association for coming on board to support, and help this project grow. And or all you do to care for such an incredible trail.
Ellie Baker for giving me the space, time, love and support needed to start working on a project of this magnitude. And for sharing her studio with me!
Paul and Anne Marie for giving me the space in London to conceive of and start the work for this project.
Michael Squire for his generous support of Akin
The Bantham estate for allowing me to work on the beach when creating Akin
Arvon Centre for awarding me the Arvon Writing Grant to attend the Nature Writing course
Millican bags for sponsoring the project and making the most wonderful backpack I have ever owned!