Space Below My Feet Robert MacFarlane explores the division between reality and imagination in his book ‘Mountains of our Minds’. The reality of undertaking an expedition to summit or traverse a significant natural landmark is elevated in the mind of the individual. The mountain that is visualised commonly fails to match the mountain that is seen. It is this disparity between experience and visual representation that has encouraged this body of work. The images I have created take a fragmented look at the environment, representing the familiar in isolation from the surroundings. My photographic practice was initiated based on an individual fear of these remote areas, locations that, although perilous, still entice and draw in artists and explorers. These environments deliver both mental and physical challenges. To realise this complexity the camera is used as a tool for comprehension and purpose. Edmund Burke’s theory on the ‘sublime’ scaffolds the origins of this project; the notion of romantic grandeur, intertwined with horror and terror, is never far away. The contents of my bookcase have become my mountain guide; when deciding what adventure to take on next I turn to the multitude of nature and adventure writers for inspiration. Through delving into their personal encounters they encourage me to visit the landscape and create my own experience. This project follows the words and footsteps of Gwen Moffat, the first British women mountain guide. In times of peril my husband will often turn to me and questions ‘What would Gwen do?’ Her strength has carried me through many moments of fear, but equally allowed me to turn to safety when necessary. This series of images are a reaction to her book ‘Space Below My Feet’, first published in 1961. It examines the individual experience of rural locations, through bringing together photographic imagery and the re-appropriation of the original literature.
Venue- Photo Parlour