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Fastnet and Dogger was a group show of work by artists whose practice responds to the landscape. It featured new work by Matthew Denniss, Laurie Lax, Robert Prideaux and Eliot Sargeantson.

Matthew Denniss

Matthew’s work is concerned with natural phenomena, the landscape and the body. He explores ideas through sculpture, installation, performance, text, sound and video. Matthew is interested in artifice and ways of understanding nature and the landscape thorough machines, experiments and installations. He looks at and appropriates pseudo science, un-proven scientific theories and forgotten technologies in his work. There is a concern with uncertainly, unanswered questions and indecipherable information.

Dowsing for water in Stanley Green industrial estate documents the artist dowsing for water on an industrial estate in Stockport near where he used to live. Dowsing is a method used for finding underground matter such as water, minerals and even gravesites. Dowsing is said to channel energy through the body and dowsers often use a device to indicate the location of what they are looking for. In this video, he uses brass rods bent into an ‘L’ shape and inserted into bamboo canes so they can move freely. There is no scientific evidence to support dowsing and it reflects the artist’s interest in pseudo science and unproven scientific theories. Matthew wanted to make work that engaged with suburban industrial sites and that set up a relationship between the body and the landscape.

I ‘Downt Understand’. In this piece, Matthew has used electronic voices to read out text written about different types of landscape, one of which is a walk through Stanley Green and the surrounding area. The voices start to deteriorate, repeating themselves and talking over each other.

Robert Prideaux

Robert is a Bristol based moving-image artist. His work involves research into industrial sites where humans have made physical changes to a natural topography. He then projects a fantasy onto these landscapes, both through narratives and the visceral effects of moving-image. Robert explores boundaries and/or points of change. The landscape has experienced a manmade physical change; narratives twist and distort the truth; the camera movement and image have a frontier quality reminiscent of footage sent back from the mars rover or a deep-sea submarine. He often alludes to his own presence as a filmmaker on location serving as a medium through which landscape makes the transition from solid topography to moving-image.

The video piece The New Cut is a response to research on the creation of a manmade river of the same name that runs through the centre of Bristol. The artist has constructed his own version of its creation, exaggerating, fabricating and omitting facts. The narrative omits the river’s purpose, making its existence seem absurd. Subtitles then overlay the narrative onto footage have taken of the river.

Shot using a wireless camera, there is intermittent visual and audio interference creating a frontier-footage feel of being at a point of an unexplored boundary. Combined with a slow, smooth camera movement and a pulsation of varying difference between the two images, this sets off a visceral reaction of unfamiliarity with the landscape; a thickening of the on-screen air. Cameras traveling through an English city could be going through an unexplored rainforest or an ‘out of bounds’ radioactive disaster zone.

Laurie Lax

18ft of Solid Rock  2011/12

charcoal on paper (291 x 175cm)

red sand stone from the Recliffe Caves

Laurie’s work explores the visual and physical dynamic in between the reality of experience, process and representation. Her work responds to specific situations, often using a combination of drawing, video and installation. Currently Laurie is interested in the parallels between drawing and video, seeking an interplay between their human, digital and time based qualities. This sparked a new methodology which she used to create the piece in this exhibition. '18ft of Solid Rock' is her response to a visit of the Redcliffe Caves with a video camera and torch. The work was completed in the space in which it was originally shown, situated on Redcliffe Hill above the caves. The name 'Redcliffe' refers to the red sandstone specific to that area of Bristol, close to the harbour.



Eliot Sargeantson

Bristol based, Hereford born installation artist Eliot Sargeantson uses topographical data to define and influence both, site specific reactions and interpretations, as well as fictional phenomena and features.

piece #1 for 'fastnet and dogger'

An entirely fictional interpretation of a comparative topographical chart to be updated of place and date upon each showing

Single colour screenprint on ply