I was lucky enough last week to have the opportunity to spend time with two of the artists involved in ExLab, down in the Purbeck area of Dorset.
I spent a day with Zachary Eastwood-Bloom (http://www.zacharyeastwood-bloom.co.uk/) at Durlston Country Park, where he has been commissioned by ExLab to produce work that responds to the landscape there. It was a beautiful, sunny, winters day, but as we walked along the cliffs we had to battle against a pesky breeze.
Zac’s approach to this work looks set to be really interesting, especially since his background is strongly in design and 3D work. Walking with him made me see the landscape in this part of the coast in a new way. We talked about musical rhythms on the coast as we walked on the beach, and the immensity of the land and sea.
The next day I went to meet Mat Chivers (http://www.matchivers.com/), a Dartmoor based artist, and Richard Edmonds, the Earth Science Manager for the Jurassic Coast. We started the day with a discussion in the Square and Compass, at Worth Matraevers. It was a gloomy day and did not look inviting for an expedition, but after a while, the sun came out, and we set off down the path to the cliffs.
It was especially interesting to explore the quarried cliffs with both a geologist and an artist, as ideas bounced back and forth amongst the three of us. Down at Seacombe, the sun highlighted the subtle colours and textures in the cliff, catching the whites of the wave crests. Some horses galloped around the corner to greet us, and the sound of booming hooves was suddenly timeless in that ever changing landscape.
Richard had brought the Gigapan unit with him, so we experimented with taking some detailed photo-montages of the cliffs. The patterns of faults and erosion are absorbing, especially where the natural and quarry features become inseparable.
Every time I venture onto this coast I see new things. Exploring these places with artists, geologists etc gives a different perspective on the change and stability of this amazing coastline.