The following is part of a larger article introducing several international initiatives we are undertaking at WPG, which was introduced last week. You can view the full article, and the full newsletter, here.
WPG’s Spring newsletter introduced “Field of Vision”, a year-long project by UK printmaker Tracy Hill and WPG member Martha Oatway. Since January, the artists have been creating prints based on landscapes surrounding Lancashire, England and Washington, DC. Martha has been working at ArtLab studios (University of Lancashire, UK) and Tracy Hill recently completed a residency at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, MD. It is a rare opportunity when two artists can work together on a project for an extended period of time, including artist residencies in each other’s country. WPG looks forward to exhibiting Tracy’s and Martha’s prints from this international collaboration in December 2011.
Comments from Martha Oatway: I’ve been in the UK for nearly 2 years now,
so my “US” eyes are not as US as they were when I first arrived. However, I still have a visceral response to the landscape conditioned by my early childhood in Maine, and I still find wonder in the UK landscape. Recently, Tracy Hill (senior printmaking technician at University of Central Lancashire) came to Pyramid Atlantic for a 9 day residency. This is part of an exchange between UCLan and Pyramid. I’ve been doing the Artists Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) at UCLan, and the university sent Tracy over for the residency at PA. I learned a most important thing while Tracy was in the DC area, walking with me for our December show at WPG. Now that I’ve been away from the US for a lengthy time, seen and experienced a different landscape, I see the US landscape through different eyes myself. Tracy and I talked as we walked here, and I found I was experiencing the US landscape in a new way when walking with her. Now I see things in the US landscape that I took for granted before. So, being away has made me look at the US landscape with awakened eyes and new awareness.
Comments from Tracey Hill: During my visit to Washington the thing that struck me most was the feeling of openness about the city. It was a real joy to discover the little treasures of parks and gardens which are hidden amongst the buildings and road systems. I love the juxtaposition of planned city with the natural systems of forest and river. They dominate and support the city by linking its people and their lives to each other and the past histories of the country. In contrast, the urban towns and cities of Lancashire were places of slow growth spreading out and carving their way into the landscape searching for space as the region was shaped by the industrial revolution. Lancashire takes its name from the city of Lancaster, which itself means ‘Roman fort on the River Lune’, combining the name of the river with the Old English cæster. The waterways and rivers, which were so significant to the lives of people living in this area as communities were formed, are still important today connecting and creating corridors of natural space.