When I refer to Gaia, I am using this term in relation to James Lovelock’s hypothesis that the planet is a complex-system, that is self-regulating and that it tries to keep the world in a stable condition, able to maintain life. I am imagining her as the original ‘Earth Mother’. Gaia is the Greek Mother Goddess, Terra is the Roman equivalent, and she gave birth to the Earth and the Universe.
I am exploring my chosen sites, by trying to find ‘nature’, possibly Gaia, and record it, give her a voice, offering nature the chance of authorship through different ways of finding or making a mark. I am using the drawn line in various forms as the starting point of learning to look at and see this part of the landscape in a different way, developing a deeper understanding of it through this research. I am pushing the boundaries of ‘landscape art’ looking beyond a figurative painting of a man-made landscape. I am pushing the limits of the unrepresentable weather by allowing the elements a chance to have a hand in the authorship of making marks recorded on paper.
Previously I have done this with my tree pen drawings, where the tree, wind, rain, frost and snow produce the drawing. I feel I facilitated these drawings; I did not draw them which made me question whether they were mine. It was not my hand that produced them but the hand of the tree; therefore there is an indexical link back to the hand of the tree, the hand of the author, the hand of Gaia? I am exploring the frontier of authorship by enabling the tree and elements to have a visible representational ‘voice’, allowing Gaia to speak. Stacy Levy suggests that “This is arts real power — to give new ways of telling the story of nature”
My mark making activities recently have used my body as a conduit to produce the marks I am collecting. I am part of nature and I was feeling left ‘out’, now I am ‘in’. I have also informed my mark making with a selection of binary opposites: light/dark, black/white, sound/silence, eyes/ears. These activities have included: listening to and drawing the sounds of civilisation and nature with my eyes shut; trying to match my drawn mark to the sound heard, kite flying and driving along the undulating road on top of the dump at speed.