Whall’s practice evolves through a process of noticing and collecting stuff, people, things and the immaterial and intangible things that belong to, or pass through, places.
Whall is an artist based in Aberystwyth, Wales, UK, she is also a full time lecturer in fine art, experimental media and Creative Arts in the School of Art, Theatre Film and TV dept, and ILLCA, Aberystwyth University. Whall works across disciplines in Video, text, audio, animation, drawing and installation.
FIELDWORK Q&A – August 2015
How is fieldwork part of your practice?
My current project ‘Crossed Paths’ is being developed both out in the ‘field’, at home on my desktop computer, through conversations with invited participants and in the hands and heads of the project collaborators; in their studios, desktops, notebooks, audio recorders etc. The ‘field’ i.e my studio for this project, is an area of six peaks known as Pumlumon meaning Five Mountains, in the Cambrian Mountains in West Wales. The highest peak is Pen Pumlumon Fawr which stands at 752m. I am working on the northern side of the mountain where there are tracks, a reservoir, disused farm, lakes, crags, boulders, slopes, screes, deep valleys, waterfalls and ridges etc. I am ‘crossing’ seven features in and of the landscape with audio recordings made in conversation with seven artists recalling walks that they have made for, because of and as art. The geographical and topographical features in the landscape and recalled walks will be connected through individual film, audio and text projects which will form a multi screen installation.
How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
The project began in June 2015 by reading about walking, then walking, then walking and photographing, then walking, photographing and filming, then walking, photographing, filming and writing over many visits until the structure for a project emerged.. and then shifted many times… the work developed through making, I think through making. I started off with cliche’s and chaos, simply observing through conditions and limitations into ‘being’ in the landscape through particular tasks, gestures, actions and experiences. I set out in the car from Aberystwyth 10 or so miles away sometimes every day, sometimes less over a few months, with an idea of how to start something and what I might need to set up and so take, then arriving at the grassy car park area by the reservoir often with the wrong equipment or with something missing, sometimes feeling energised and excited and sometimes feeling dispirited and tired. Each time the landscape offered me new perspectives, insights and challenges, the atmosphere of the place changed radically with the light, weather, time of day etc. I met myself in the ‘field’ as any artist would in a studio i.e with some experience, some stuff, some ideas and then let the rest be led by chance, accident, coincidence etc. Mostly I was alone, I had an assistant one day only, mostly I saw no one all day.
How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
The project will be multi platform i.e a multi screen exhibition over three venues in development with Iliyana Nedkova of Threshold ArtSpace, Perth, Scotland, a publication, blog, individual audio, texts and films and a performance lecture.