Collaboration in the field – ‘Landscapes of the Imagination’ at the Masters House, Ledbury
Andrea McLean is a fine artist who creates cartographic paintings, inspired by landscape, poetry and the imagination. Anna Stenning is a writer and critic who has written about environmental poetry and literature, and who writes poetry inspired by her surroundings. Together, between 2016 and 2017, we have been running a series of workshops in our home town of Ledbury, Herefordshire, which looked at the many possible ways that the visual and textual can work together to enhance our sense of connection with our natural and cultural heritage. This has been an attempt at a sort of ‘hedge’ university, with the offer of no academic accreditation but the chance to go beyond bounds of form and media to find a renewed creative practice. The participants were introduced to some familiar and some new visionary artists inspired by poetry, poets inspired by the visual arts of other cultural traditions, filmmakers presenting an altered experience of known places, and this seemed to act as a catalyst for exploring our own ideas and creating exciting work. The group has produced deep maps, careful sketches of known places, utopian collages, found poetry and dream maps.
While only a handful of the participants have had any formal artistic or literary training,
they have all opened our minds to the possibilities of working with text and image in equal partnership to explore the landscape. This talk, presented jointly by Andrea and Anna, will introduce the work created by the group and which will be featured in an exhibition in Ledbury during June 2017. It will also address the implications of this type of collaborative working, inside or outside the university, for creative and critical practice in the environmental humanities.
The imagination is a kind of route of thought that finds a way towards perception. It can take more energy than pushing through dense bracken. The imagination needs to create its own path.
Two of my paintings and two of my painted books are included in the Hereford Cathedral exhibition ‘Mapping Inspirations’. The exhibition features work by contemporary artists within the Mappa Mundi display and The Chained Library. Other Artists are Genievieve Belgard, Charlie Calder Potts, Ewan David Eason and Grayson Perry. 10th April to 15th July 2017
Mappa Mundi display
Painted book and panel painting ‘A Journey Made’.