My work makes a response to a place, my repeated walks there, time spent researching its histories, stories and geographies. I use my body as a recording device to investigate different ways to ‘map’ a place, from the texture of the ground recorded through metal plates on my boots, to GPS tracking the routes I take. As I walk I make drawings of landscape views that catch my eye, rubbings of the ground, impressions of rusting hulls of ships with clay dug up along my route. I collect materials from the place, earth to print and draw with, discarded plastics to work with, bits of rust to print with. I often work directly onto OS maps of the place I am walking, semi-translucent layers and processes of entropy are central to my working processes – half buried histories are submerged within my paintings and drawings to hint at the ongoing complexities of the many aspects that make up a ‘place’. For me drawing and mark-making is a way to make sense of a place and my embodied experience of it – how does the texture of the ground feel underfoot? What prints and marks do I leave behind as I walk that act as a kind of drawing? What processes do I observe along the way that I can work with to make my own marks that reflect the experience of this place?
I graduated from Bath School of Art and Design with an MFA (Distinction) in 2010 where my work is part of their private art collection. My work has been shown frequently in exhibitions relating to cartography, recording, place and contemporary responses to landscape in venues like Royal West of England Academy, Salisbury Arts Centre and the Oxo Gallery. I have also developed artist-led collaborations in order to experiment with methods of unpicking and responding to place specific research. My research is ongoing as part of a practice-based PhD focusing on investigating abandoned places through contemporary painting, drawing and mark- making. Working as an associate lecturer I have tutored students in Higher Education alongside giving lectures and workshops contextualizing art practice within research. I love teaching – and I see it as a two-way dialogue, a way to explore ideas and new ways of working to further a visual response, to develop different ways to make marks and new ways to express or record something.
Publications, articles and interviews include: Scratching the surface of loss and abandonment, Question Journal: https://www.questionjournal.com/issue-1
The Black Ground; Wild Exchanges, Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination: https://www.cambridgecandi.org.uk/projects/footprints/wild-exchanges
Bath Spa Research Blog interview: https://bsuresearchblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/phd-creative- practice-showcase-lydia-halcrow/
For more information and images please see website: www.lydiahalcrow.com
Image Credit: Simon Taylor Images