Carrying on with the work I did in Australia, I’ve spent the last couple of days videoing the canvas ‘sail’ that I made there, which was itself made from the pattern of several walks made around Newcastle, NSW. This work (‘Repaired Sail of HMS York (1828)’) is in many respects linked to a piece I made for my third Mine the Mountain exhibition called ‘Old Battle Flags‘ and is about the feel of the wind – the wind being something which although one may read about in history (particularly in the context of sailing) one can only experience in the present (of course the same could be said of everything else, but in light of the theme of this residency, the wind is especially pertinent).
This piece is about the disparity between language and experience. The wind we feel today is the same wind that’s blown over – and indeed through – the centuries and millennia. In winter the wind may blow from the east, from the vast and distant land of Siberia – a place well beyond the horizon but nevertheless a place which exists all the same.
The sail is made from my own past experiences, and the wind a reminder of movement in the past – that which is missing from the pages of history. It’s also about the everydayness of the past – something which we take often for granted like so much else but which is integral to our experience of the world.