Vivien Ferneyhough : Marks In the Landscape
This exhibition draws together the three disciplines that I have studied; Art, Archaeology and History and they have inspired and motivated me to produce this body of work.
Moreover, this approach has enabled the creation of a multi faceted interpretation of the marks in the Guernsey landscape.
I have used texture, colour and line to reflect an overall theme of continuity and change. This, together with the study of aerial photographs and my personal experience of archaeological investigation, has resulted in depictions on canvas of not only the shapes of the geological landscape, but also the impact that political, historical and social circumstances had on the forms and functions of the buildings and field systems that helped shape the landscape through time.
Political conflict or the perceived threat of invasion has remained a strong theme throughout the history of the island and I have included the marks left by Iron Age inhabitants of the island as a reminder that although technology and building practice may change, some social values do not. We share and shared the need to protect, shelter and defend our families and communities. The Vale Castle, Les Tranquesous and Kings Road are examples of how we have moved from pre-history through into the modern era by using and adapting the same prominent position in the landscape to survive.
Of course nature and the forces of nature have played a hugely significant role in shaping or impacting on ourselves and the environment; as we progress through time, it remains a constant driving force and our efforts to control or reclaim land for ourselves often fail. The stone, brick and concrete structures humans build eventually decay allowing nature to take back some of its territory; and in doing so changing our perception of the form and function of these marks in the landscape. By using strong, bold colours to indicate the power that is still present in some of these structures, and line and texture to make a contrast between the material structures and the natural elements, my intention is to convey a sense of tension and unease in some images and conversely a sense of harmony with nature and the ebb and flow of time through others. It has not been my intention to create what may be called “realistic” images, but rather my own perception of realism and I hope that my interpretation of the marks in the Guernsey landscape and the marks that I have made on the canvas will resonate in some way with you all.
My thanks go to Guernsey Arts for giving me this opportunity to exhibit my work and Art Foundation Guernsey for sponsoring the exhibition.