Approved: 16.08.2006

Liz Clifford

Artist

Approved: 16.08.2006
 
 
 

Artist Statement

 

The work is concerned, on a micro level, with a narrow locale and specific objects. However, on a macro level it is engaged with discourse about geological time, climate change and environmental breakdown.

I make multi-disciplinary responses to landscape through sculpture, drawing, collage, print, photography and video. The three-dimensional pieces are made directly with found objects and found materials both on site, as interventions, and in the studio. They have two-dimensional and time-based elements to accompany them.

Central to my practice is the daily act of walking in the landscape of the South Downs National Park. It is where materials and subject matter are found. The walk is act of self-care as well as care for the place, clearing litter as I go. The human-made detritus I collect, the materiality of those objects, the act of walking and the hill itself are my subject matter.

This repetitive focus on landscape and geology has allowed me to explore concerns around fossil-fuelled recreation, plastic-waste, and erosion in the work.

Debate around the politics of litter, explored by rural sociologist Rosemary Shirley, have prompted a closer look at my own reactions to what I find. Litter in a rural context is not tidied away but has a striking and enduring presence that often throws up ironic juxtapositions. This is particularly reflected in works made during the Covid-19 pandemic that focus on personal human detritus.

I have experimented with placing rubbish-filled gabion baskets, which are themselves associated with the geo-engineering of flood defence in the face of rising sea-levels, on the site of the littering and have made works that tidy it all away inside the structures. The 1:10 ratio of biomass to human-made detritus in the work is a reference to that outlined by field geologist Jan Zalasiewicz in his essay The Anthropocene Square Meter which helps to visualize the enormity of human impact on the earth.

The project Byway 745 Observatory is a year-long residency in a section of 4000 year old rural sunken lane, currently a Byway Open to All Traffic. The area studied reaches down from the canopy of beech trees to the bedrock of chalk. A critical zone, as defined by earth system scientists. The zone, a few kilometres thick, from the lower atmosphere to the upper bedrock in which life on earth occurs. This is an exercise in stopping to look rather than passing through. Observations have been made by drawing on site and collecting materials, as well as by using video to record natural cycles and human interventions. The presentation of these findings is to be realised as a multi-faceted installation involving large scale drawings and prints, structures containing salvaged materials and video projection.

 The curatorial challenge of bringing the elements of research together, away from the landscape, is very much part of this project. The approach owes much to Robert Smithson’s Provisional Theory of Non-sites whilst also acknowledging more contemporary installation practices.

CV & Education

 

Qualifications.

2021 - M.A. Fine Art, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham 

1985 - B.Ed.(Hons) Fine Art and Education, Homerton College, University of Cambridge

Solo Exhibitions and Projects.

2021

Byway 745 Observatory, Wheatham Hill, Hampshire

1999

Forest Arts Centre, New Milton, Hampshire

1992

Academy Literary Club, London

High Water, Omphalos Arts, Sandwich, Kent

1991

St Bartholomew's Hospital, London

1990

Burial at Sea, Windsor Arts Centre, Berkshire 

Submarine Gallery, London

1988

Hardware Gallery, London 

Group Exhibitions and Projects.

2021

Haus a Rest, Land Art. Curated online exhibtion.

Alt-terior, 2021 MA Fine Art Graduates, James Hockey Gallery, UCA Farnham, Surrey

Bedrock, The Oast House, Farnham, Surrey

Forgotten Thought, MA Fine Art UCA Farnham Exhibition, Safehouse 1, Peckham, London

Unsettled Focus, MA Fine Art UCA Farnham Exhibition, South Molton St Gallery, London

Artists Responding To A.R.T. online zine Issue 7

The Sky Has No Surface. Curated online exhibition. 

Beyond the Boundaries. University for the Creative Arts, Farnham and online @undertowprojects

2020

Haus a Rest. The Environment. Curated online exhibition. 

You Are Here. Curated online exhibition. 

Under(cover) - Art made during lockdown. Instagram. mafineartucafarnham

2019

Objections, Linear Gallery, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham

2017

Inspired by the Word, Petersfield Museum, Hampshire

2015

10 days Chalk, The Winchester Gallery, Winchester School of Art, Winchester, Hampshire

2014

Mottisfont Open, National Trust, Mottisfont Abbey, Romsey, Hampshire

2011

Under The Beeches, public woodland, rural Hampshire

2009

Hampshire Sculpture Trust, The Winchester Gallery, Winchester School of Art, Hampshire

In To Land, Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury, Berkshire

2008

Auf Europaïsche Art, Historischen Rathaus, Warendorf, Germany

Hampshire Sculpture Trust, Winchester Gallery, Winchester School of Art, Hampshire 

2007

PAinT Arts Trail, Open Studio, The Avenue, Petersfield, Hampshire

2000

Art in the Garden, Beatrice Royal Gallery, Eastleigh, Hampshire

Little Gems, Beatrice Royal Gallery, Eastleigh, Hampshire

1999

Women's Work, Willis Museum, Basingstoke, Hampshire

1998

Open Dialogue, Forest Arts, New Milton, Hampshire

Voyage around George Staunton, Staunton Country Park, Havant - Hampshire Sculpture Trust

1997

Hiding Places, Red House Museum, Christchurch, Dorset - collaboration with Kate Miller

1996

Angels and Mechanics - Touring to Riverside Studios, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Tullie House - London, Bracknell and Carlisle

Touchables, Blackfriars Arts Centre, Boston, Lincolnshire

Unfamiliar Familiarity, Winchester Contemporary Art, Hampshire

1994

Sculpins, Dartington Arts, Devon - collaboration with Jilly Sutton

Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London

1993

London Group, Barbican Centre, London

Feast, Hardware Gallery, London

1992

Barbican Arts Group Trust, Sutton House, National Trust, London

1991

Lyth Arts Centre, Caithness, Scotland

Princes Trust, Fifteenth Anniversary, Windsor

1990

Beast, Submarine Gallery, London

1989

Barbican Arts Group Trust, Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone

Reactivart, Submarine Gallery, London

Residencies

2021 - Digital Residency @undertowprojects

1994 - Barbican Arts Group Trust, St. Dominic's Junior School, Hackney, London

1991 - Artist in Residence, Lyth Arts Centre, Caithness, Scotland 

Curatorial Projects

Forgotten Thought, MA Fine Art UCA Farnham Exhibition, Safehouse 1, Peckham, London

Member of Splynta Collective

Work in Collections

Clare College, Cambridge

St Thomas' Hospital, London