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Public Art

Various installation created within the Heartwood artists annual public art event.

'Horse Play' was created in 2012 when Heartwood artists were invited to exhibit in the historic stables at Cambo House in Fife. 'Horse Play' utilised the atmospheric location of the old stable to consider the relationships between the perceived qualities of the horse and the ways in which these have become absorbed and embedded in our own social language and thinking. Our relationship with all domestic animals revolves around their ability to hear and respond to our words and we judge their intelligence by their ability to comprehend our meanings and emotions. We have in turn, through language, used the qualities and behaviours of the horse to identify and represent our own actions and qualities and social life. These expressions have become so commonplace within our language that they are rarely noticed. 'Horse Play' offered a lasercut selection of these expressions pinned to the walls and resonating within the now horseless stable. The horses have long gone but they remain with us through our own language.

Created in the Heartwood woodland in 2011 'Comfort Zone' was installed in the little white tennis hut on the edge of the wood. In domestic life we adorn our homes and ourselves with images derived from the natural world. It seems that these symbolic images, when made safe by their removal from reality, create a sense of wellbeing, security and order. 'Comfort Zone' draws attention to this practice by creating an intense installation within the Heartwood tennis hut, that utilises design images of natural plant and animal pattern on domestic and utilitarian objects as well as personal dress. The work creates a woodland 'oasis' or verdant 'jungle' room, a total overload of symbolic nature.

'Refuge' was create in the Heartwood woodland in 2013 after returning from a 10 week residency in Fukushima province in Japan where I visited the disaster zones of the coastal area. This time in Japan was the catalyst for thoughts about natural disasters, the relationship between Man's actions and consequent environmental responses and of the need for personal refuge and safety at times of extreme and unexpected situations. In the Fukushima Earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident the meticulous planning for personal safety was found to be entirely inadequate for the forces of nature. This alien Heartwood Refuge, like a hide, offers a sanctuary but no protection. It gives a new view of the woodland and invites contemplation on our relationship with the natural world around us. This work continued a practice in which the artist looks at and questions social aspects of land and landscape.

In 2013 I installed the work 'Borderline' at the summer exhibition of the Sculpture Park at Caol Ruadh in a beautiful garden at Colintraive on the shore of the Kyles of Bute. I chose to exhibit in the little Fruit Hut , where the apples were dried for winter in days gone by. My video 'Borderline' sets a shadowy figure advancing and receding before a wild sea storm while the text in clear acrylic lettering can only be read by negotiating with the light and reflections coming in from the sea outside. It reads :
'will a shadow hold the flow
can a whisper fill the air
can a hope uphold the land.'

Text Su Grierson

All images on this site are copyright of the artist