A place in time

Moving on from  One YearA Place in Time looks at how our natural environments change depending on the seasons. If what is around us changes, how, apart from noticing that the seasons have changed, are we affected by it and adapt to the changes?

The materials gathered for this project come from outside the entrance to HMP Dartmoor in the middle month of each of the seasons.

Summer, 2018:

Autumn 2018

Winter 2018

Spring 2019

The inspiration for all this came from an Arts and Environment study weekend in Phytology, London, and the South London Botanical Institute. Here I experimented with the botanicals and the resources available at the SLBI to make a paste. To the botanicals which included leaves, berries and fruit, I added local clay, vinegar and Ribeena, and ground them all together using a pestle and mortar. I spooned some of the resulting paste on to a piece of glass and made prints from it which I then photographed.

Photograph of the first print I made at the SLBI. July 2018
Photograph of the second print I made at the SLBI. July 2018.
Photograph of the third print I made at the SLBI. July 2018.

I realised that that was a paste that I could only have made at the SLBI because the botanicals and clay were from the place. Transferring the idea to my prisons project, I realised that if I collected organic and mineral matter from outside HM Prison Dartmoor, treat it as I had done the London material, I could make a paste that was representative of what grew outside the walls of Dartmoor prison.

The Summer 2018 paste of the material produced this print:

Photograph of the print made by the Dartmoor paste in August 2018.
Photo of the Autumn 2018 Dartmoor paste print.
Photo of the Winter 2019 Dartmoor paste print.
Photo of the Spring 2019 Dartmoor paste print.

My intention was to use these prints as motifs of going through time in the exhibition space but a prison lawyer who saw my work said that people would think that they referenced the faeces that some prisoners smear on their cell walls. As Ian never mentioned this in his letters, I felt I could not use them as they were so I used them as infills to the template of the field maple leaf I collected outside the entrance to Dartmoor prison.