HOLME responded to a period of research and site-specific walking around Godshill Ridge, in the north of the New Forest. Drawing upon the writing of herbalist and author Juliette de Baïracli Levy (1912-2009), who lived in Abbots Well near Frogham in the 1940s, the work considers how complex & interwoven power relations, kinships and histories are embodied within the soil and the sedges.
Shot on standard 8mm film, HOLME documents a lone figure in the forest constructing a geodesic dome, which is subsequently obscured by fern fronds. At once emerging and concealed, the structure is analogous to other domed forms that have populated the forest – ancient earthworks, charcoal piles, brick kilns, bee skeps, benders & hollow concave scars, carved into the earth, from mid-20th century military bombing across Ashley Heath. Elsewhere, ceramic forms, akin to a woven basket, skep, or fragment of a drinking vessel intermittently emit & amplify sound.
Brought together by a common interest in the New Forest, Emily Hawes, Mark Langston & Eugenia Popesco have drawn on literary, archaeological and artistic references to explore overlapping enquiries into folklore, land rights and customs that shape the forest. The show is a testbed for exploring new approaches within their practices, comprised of installation, print, sound and film work.
The Chace directly references artist and archaeologist Heywood Sumner’s tapestry of the same name (1908), who lived in the forest between 1904-1940. Alongside his prolific Arts and Crafts output, Sumner carried out pioneering archaeological discoveries, notably surveying the prehistoric earthworks at Cranborne Chase and across the New Forest.
Depicting a hunting scene where a young fallow deer is pursued by riders on horseback and hounds, Heywood’s tapestry (The Chace) romanticizes the medieval forest tradition of ‘hunting with the hounds’. The exhibition re-purposes this title to probe questions and themes that arise from the act of chasing itself; a methodology used throughout the centuries to eradicate, control and contain communities, animals and life-worlds within the forest.
Supported by 'Time, Space, Money Bursary' from a-n (2022) & Arts University Bournemouth