Emma Stibbon’s statement at Redefining the Romantic Landscape Talk

Sea III by Emma Stibbon
polymer photogravure

Emma Stibbon

I see my work fitting somewhere within a North European Romantic tradition – landscape has a peculiar hold over the British psyche and the rich literary and visual legacy of Romanticism in British art is defining in terms of my own values and beliefs. However I am aware of a tension here, in a contemporary context, our perception of landscape is always contingent. What may have been considered wilderness or pristine in nature we now have to recognize is often fragile or under threat. Our perception of place is refocused through a changing environment. I am interested in whether drawing or print can connect the viewer with the urgencies of our relationship with environment  and an experience of place.

Landscape holds a complex document of memory and histories. Whether in the change over geological time evident in a rockface, or the transformation of topography in a built space we can recognize a certain mutability of place, a passage of time. I find this both an attractive and perplexing question, and it is often the reading of a place, my efforts to understand how it has come about that provokes me to draw. For me the act of drawing has almost magical qualities, allowing me to connect the physical with memory.

Much of my work takes me on location. My interest in landscape has taken me to diverse sites; from local places to the remote regions of Antarctica. I am interested in environments that are in a condition of flux or change. Landscape is a central concern – whether that’s man-made such as buildings in a state of demolition or abandon, quarried landscape or thru the forces of nature such as geologically changing or glacially eroded landscape. I am interested in how the apparently monumental or permanent can be so fragile.

The work is located in an ambiguous timescale, it is not about a historical place any more than the present. I believe place can be read as a palimpsest, a sort of layering of historical traces. And of course this cycle of decay and regeneration in nature is inevitable and relentless. There is always that humbling thought that nature will of course, eventually take everything back.

About Sladers Yard

Sladers Yard is an art gallery and cafe in West Bay, Dorset. Our art gallery showcases contemporary British Art, Furniture and Craft whilst the licensed cafe serves fresh, locally produced homecooked food and drinks.
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2 Responses to Emma Stibbon’s statement at Redefining the Romantic Landscape Talk

  1. Pingback: Monumental, Yet So Fragile: Arctic Landscapes by Emma Stibbon – SOCKS

  2. Pingback: Emma Stibbon | laurencolborneart

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