Fieldwork : An Tobar, Tobermory, Isle of Mull – March/April 2009
Land2 and Mull
It feels like the earth
is moving slowly, a step at a time,
like someone carrying
a bowl, full to the brim.
From Salt and Sweet by Jan Sutch Pickard, Bunessan, Mull
The work exhibited as Fieldwork comes out of a week long visit made by ten members of LAND2 to the Hebriddean island of Mull. I was the only member of the field trip to have any previous connection or prior knowledge of the island (Mull being home to maternal ancestors). Other members of LAND2 involved in the project arrived with varying degrees of knowledge; some with knowledge gleaned from visits to other parts of Scotland and from research carried out before travel and some with barely a hinge at all – but we all came with a degree of expectation.
Suze Adams, April 09
Fieldwork: Making Connections
Fieldwork was exhibited at An Tobar, Tobermory, Mull during March and April 2009. The individual works that came together in the gallery space to comprise Fieldwork were made as a result of a week long exploratory field trip to the island during April 2008. Our venture on Mull has been a stimulating episode in an ongoing ‘conversation’ based around understandings of landscape and place in all their complexities has provided us with our first opportunity for a group from LAND2 to work from one location giving a shared context and catalyst.
The resultant range of conceptual approach and media is enormously varied – from the performative to the representational, from a direct engagement with the raw material of earth to a consideration of the digital, yet what every artist in this exhibition shares is that the work is grounded in a reference to the phenomenological experience of being in place. Whilst each artist developed their work from their initial explorations independently, it is only when viewed together in the gallery space, and thought about in relation to each other, that something innovative might have been considered to have been created.
The exhibition was greatly enriched by an informal symposium: Methods of Engagement and Articulation of Landscape. Very often LAND2 events are characterised by a meeting of social history, geology and autobiography through creative practice, this occasion was no exception. Doctoral students Suze Adams and Claire King explored this relation in their presentations. Through the symposium, two other artists were able to join our conversation: David Faithfull and Jane Kelly who live and work in this kind of landscape. We were fortunate to have contributions from the geologist James Westland and the archivist of the Mull museum, Jean Whittaker. Their detailed, fervent local knowledge was a really distinctive contribution to our symposium and the Fieldwork exhibition.
Judith Tucker, May 2009
Fieldwork: an exhibition
An Tobar, TheTobermory Arts Centre, is based in the Victorian school building overlooking the picturesque harbour on the Isle of Mull. Our programme includes a busy music schedule and our gallery features around eight exhibitions a year. As well as showing some of the best work from this area, it welcomes many of the best artists and makers in Scotland and, occasionally, work from beyond this country.
“Fieldwork” was An Tobar’s opening exhibition for 2009 and the work was created by the artist network LAND2.
Many of the artists who work here are inspired by the surrounding landscape – no surprise there then. From our side it is equally inspiring to see an objective view of home and the LAND2 artists succeeded in bringing insight and illumination with their work which covered a range of disciplines. They dug under the surface, revealing aspects and angles that were certainly new to me. This kind of collaborative project is exactly the kind of direction that works well for An Tobar, allowing us to involve many members of the community with the visiting artists and pointing out that art is in everything. Fieldwork has got the gallery programme off to a great start.
Gordon Maclean, Director, An Tobar, April 2009
I enjoyed working with LAND2 on Fieldwork and the symposium. I particularly enjoyed selecting the presenters from Mull and I am delighted that the screening of SOURCE by Dalziel + Scullion was so well received. All in all I think our joint efforts paid off well.
Lee Hendrick, Visual Arts and Crafts Officer, An Tobar, April 2009