LONG LANDSCAPE SEARCH OUTSIDE
Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown
June 3rd – Sept 26th
Long Landscape Search Outside
Magnified by our recent period of lockdown, for many people strolling through the hills has been replaced with scrolling through the hills. For this commission Erin has cropped sections from her small collages of internet-sourced landscapes and blown them up in scale across different sites around the outside of the gallery, mimicking the act of zooming-in on images circulated online.
Our visual point of view and perception of place is slippery. We’re constantly switching between the micro and macro at the flick of a button; between driving on the ground to a birds eye-view through GPS; from sitting at home with a games console, to viewing yourself running through a desert-scape. In her essay In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective Hito Steyerl talks of our dramatically changed perspective of orientation due to the ubiquitous use of new technologies of surveillance, targeting, mapping and describes a free falling or groundlessness unnoticeable today. Similarly, changing scale has dizzying connotations in fiction for instance Alice in Wonderland or Will Self’s short story Scale where his drugged protagonist is trapped in an ever-looping cycle from miniature to large-scale perception; but today, zooming-into online images on screens has become second-nature, to the extent that people often find themselves trying to zoom-in on physical things in real life.
The collage Long Landscape Search depicts a cropped screenshot of a Google image search result for the word ‘Landscape’, remediated through Erin’s ersatz marble inlay process. Following her interest in craft within a contemporary art context, Erin uses the making process as a way of slowing-down and reconsidering these quickly sourced images. She creates hundreds of her own hand-marbled papers, which she uses as her palette to construct her hand-cut collages, emulating the traditional craft of Pietre Dure. The subtleties of the marbled paper effect are so intricate that the original work is best understood upon closer inspection, in person. For this reason documentation of the work often resists a return to online image circulation. Enlarging the scale for Long Landscape Search Outside, physically exaggerating the zoom-in effect, offers a new life for the documentation of the collage to exist, outside of its online source.
Erin has Welsh heritage, her family can be traced back over four century’s on a single farm in Anglesey. She would regularly visit her Nain growing-up but it wasn’t until moving to Mid-Wales in 2018 that Erin began depicting landscape in her work, exploring the interplay between an immediate inspiration from the land, a nostalgia for her own connection through her heritage and a disconnect through an examination of image-culture.