After reading about the Juliet Gomperts Trust Award on the Axis noticeboard, Annie Woodford applied for project funding for a research trip to Iceland.
The Award: Juliet Gomperts Trust Award for Project Funding
The Project: Beyond the Surface of Things research trip to Iceland.
Iceland is a land of breath-taking beauty. Unspoilt, the silent, brooding landscape conceals the raw power of nature, both above and beneath its fragile shifting crust. Horizons merge into sky and the empty fractured vistas contain a dream-like quality, all of it enveloped in the purest, cleanest air. Possessing a magic, invisible but there, to cross it is like plunging into an unknown mysterious passage, uncontaminated by man, into a timeless shadowy world.
It was twenty-eight years ago that I made my first visit to Iceland. Instantly captivated by the desolate lava deserts, punctuated by luminous rhyolite mountains and adorned with immense glaciers, it has become my favourite place on Earth.
The purpose of my visit this year, was to carry out research for the project Beneath the Surface of Things. For a long time I have been interested in hidden worlds, those places we cannot see, ever present, existing beyond our vision; beyond our dimension. Reveal the concealed and the unseen is seen. Once seen, does it become real, or was it always so?
In June, funded by an award from the Juliet Gomperts Trust, I travelled once again into the empty Southern Highlands towards Vatnajokull and Landmannalaugar, to the black sands of Vik and the stunning Snaefellsnes Peninsula, its glacier dominating the view for miles. Then to Geysir, where the mud pools and striking siliceous sinter formations provided rich material for the study.
Using a variety of media and equipment, including a portable x100 digital microscope linked to an Apple laptop and using precise map coordinates, I documented specific areas of landscape, taking images and readings. Drawings, video, photographs of place captured the distant view; detailed drawings, macro photos of site - the closer view; finally microscopic readings of the surface the inner view, literally beyond the surface. By adding satellite imagery (courtesy of NASA) 3D becomes 2D, 2D becomes 3D and in effect macro becomes micro, micro becomes macro.
The collected data and images will ultimately result in a large-scale installation. The aim is to reflect the haunting atmosphere whilst revealing layer upon layer of shifting, subtle happenings and the conflict between inner and outer forces. Those things we cannot see are often the most powerful and disturbing. (Annie Woodford M.A. (R.C.A.) July 2006)
More information on Annie Woodford