Uncertain Ground

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Uncertain Ground is a series of 18 large-scale drawings approximately 2 x 1.5m, made with ink and volcanic ash on paper. In addition, the project includes five prints ranging in size between 60 x 40cm to 214 x 372cm, made in intaglio and woodcut. The works are based on Stibbon’s field observations of the volcanic environment, including flows of molten rock, eruptions, steam vents and fault zones. A residency with the National Parks Arts Foundation in association with Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in 2016 allowed Stibbon to live on the crater rim of Kilauea, Hawai’i, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Further fieldwork in Italy looked at the volcanoes Etna and Stromboli in 2017 and 2018, and in 2017 Stibbon undertook a commission to document the high glaciated volcanoes of Chimborazo and Cotopaxi in Ecuador (2018).

The research asked how the combined processes of drawing and print can communicate a relationship with seismic landscapes and whether a collaboration between art and science can connect audiences with landscapes in transition. Stibbon’s fieldwork involved observation-based drawing, photography and the systematic gathering of earth materials. Aiming to convey the physicality of seismic landscapes, Stibbon incorporated volcanic materials into her drawing. Melding scientific knowledge with haptic, human experience the exhibition established new research frontiers between visual art and the material environment. Collaboration with scientists provided Stibbon with insights into seismic landscapes and the dynamic forces that drive change. Stibbon’s research drew on this knowledge, set alongside historic precedents of artistic representation of volcanic terrain.

The works have been shown in five exhibitions between 2017 and 2019, including Rochester Art Gallery (2018) and New Art Gallery Walsall (2018), and analysed in two publications, Volcano (2017) and Creative Destruction: Volcanoes Inspiring Art and Science (2018).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBastian Gallery, Berlin
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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