Amanda Wallwork

Amanda is an artist and curator based in Dorset. Her current practice is a continuing enquiry into landscape based around a series of research projects with associated exhibitions and commissions specifically concerned with the archaeology, geology of place. Informed by a process of immersion, extraction and abstraction the work is a form of mapping or shorthand for a collection of ideas and ideologies, symbolising an activity in time and place.

Primarily a painter she has focused on her own work since 1998 after an early career as a successful children’s book illustrator and indie record sleeve designer. She exhibits widely including Art First, London and is represented in Cornwall by Belgrave Gallery St Ives.  Her work is regularly selected for the Bournemouth University Loan Collection and is held in many private collections. She was elected member of the RWA in 2014.
Her paintings, constructed from layers of plaster and oil paint, continuously built up and sanded down and then drawn on or scratched through to expose the layers beneath evoke the experience of archaeological excavations and the process of erosion.

Statement

My practice is concerned with archaeology, geology and a continuing enquiry into landscape. Informed by a process of immersion, extraction and abstraction my work is a form of mapping or shorthand for a collection of ideas and ideologies, symbolising an activity in time and place.

Underpinning all the work is extensive research, including dialogue with earth scientists and investigative walking to thoroughly understand the geological make up and formation of the landscapes I work with. I am interested in the underlying factors that determine how our land has been used and shaped, how we move through it, the impact we have and the traces we leave behind. My work attempts to reveal what is not always immediately apparent, what can’t always be seen on the surface.

Much of my work originates from investigating the specific landscapes of Dorset and West Cornwall and refers to the faint marks in the earth, visible only from the air, that reveal the sites of early human habitation, traces that form a readable map laying out clues to the story to be unravelled. Walking is an essential part of my process, encompassing the physical and imagined aspects of the past and present. More recent works go below ground exploring the geology beneath. The work in this series references the term ‘deep time’ used by geologists to describe the concept of the vast unimaginable periods of time represented by geological timescales. Homing in on the physicality and colour of the exposed rock face of the Dorset coast and the ‘colour’ of time as symbolised by geological mapping, these works convey a sense of the age old, all knowing of the rock beneath our feet and the concept of these slowly formed layers acting as compressed data stores recording everything.

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