Qube Exhibition, Oswestry

In late 2018, Andrew Howe (Shropshire, UK) and Kim V. Goldsmith (NSW, Australia) began working together via the international art programme, (Arts) Territory Exchange.  They each researched and made many visits to make field recordings in their respective wetlands at the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses (UK) and Macquarie Marshes (Australia).  Their individual and collaborative work reflects local differences and shared global challenges for these fragile environments on opposite sides of the planet.

This first Mosses and Marshes exhibition at Qube, Oswestry during October 2021, featured video, sound, prints, paintings and collage revealing hidden narratives that the artists explored in their research, in conversations with each other and with people from the communities local to the wetlands.

KIM V. GOLDSMITH

An Ancient Land: a history of the wetland in chapters, 2021

HD video with sound, duration 16’12”

Australia is an ancient land, formed over millions of years of rifting, drifting, and drying. Over time, the ancestral plates that smashed together came to form the basis of ancestral lands that shaped a human culture that is tens of thousands of years old. The landing of Captain James Cook on this ancient land 250 years ago in 1770 reshaped Australia forever, smashing together cultures like ancestral plates, buckling, and grinding with a friction still humming through the centuries — like the unheard vibration of fencing wire in the wind. Fencing wire when it became more widely used in the second half of the 19th century, symbolised the new Australia — an ‘untamed’ territory explored, surveyed, staked, mapped, named, carved up and farmed by those with the sense and sensibilities of strangers in a foreign land. The wetland’s voice lost in this history, her songs and stories became hidden behind locked gates, shared with few. The next chapter is ours to shape. What will it be?

Still from An Ancient Land, Chapter 3
Still from An Ancient Land, Chapter 4

KIM V. GOLDSMITH & ANDREW HOWE

The Tone of Things, 2021

HD video with sound, duration 03’03”

Tone tells the truth even when words don’t. It’s hard to define. As humans, we understand the influence tone can have on conversations, on trust, on decision-making. The more-than-human world of the wetlands generates their own tone. Too often though, when heard together our tones are discordant. This video was created by remote collaboration. It brings together underwater footage from the Macquarie Marshes (Australia) with handmade papers from the birch and reeds of Whixall Moss (UK), with a layered soundtrack of atmospheric and hydro-acoustic sounds and tones inspired by and generated from field recordings captured on both sites.

Still from The Tone of Things

KIM V. GOLDSMITH & ANDREW HOWE

I am Walking, 2021

Spoken word & field recorded soundscape, duration 07’04”

The artists invite you to join them in sharing the experience of walking across their respective landscapes, from north to south.

Credits: Field recordings, music tracks and sound effects in this work have been designed, composed, and recorded by the artists, except in Andrew Howe’s Mosses walk with the use of a track by jaegrover on freesound.org licensed under CC1.0

KIM V. GOLDSMITH

Sonic Stories of the Wetlands

  1. Droughted Silence, 06’50
  2. Fire in the Marshes, 06’10
  3. The Water Returns, 06’29
  4. Before First Light, 03’40
  5. Gated Sunrise, 03’00
  6. Evening Symphony, 04’50
  7. Reimagined Futures, 04’05

ANDREW HOWE

Territory, 2021

Collage, papers handmade with silver birch, bracken, heather, reeds and purple moor grass

Materials gathered from the Mosses are used to create a representation of the map of the areas of land either side of the border between England and Wales which were enclosed and divided into grids for peat cutting

Detail from Territory, Andrew Howe

ANDREW HOWE

Moving the Earth I & II, 2021

Mixed media collage

Two assemblages of handmade papers, monoprints, linocut prints and paintings using botanical inks/pigments. These two pieces explore the textures and lines incised into the land by peat cutting and in the materials of the land.

Moving the Earth I, collage, mixed media including peat, alder ink, and papers made with bracken and purple moor grass
Moving the Earth II, collage, mixed media including peat and papers made with heather and reeds

ANDREW HOWE

Peat Cutting Tools, 2021

Drypoint print

ANDREW HOWE

Hawker, 2021

Sloe, alder and oak gall inks on canvas

ANDREW HOWE

Emperor, 2021

Ivy berry, bracken and oak gall inks on canvas

ANDREW HOWE

Bombers, 2021

Sloe ink and rust on canvas

ANDREW HOWE

Cutters, 2021

Silver birch and acorn inks and rust on canvas

ANDREW HOWE

Curlews calling, 2021

Alder and oak gall inks and rust on canvas

ANDREW HOWE

Water Rising, 2021

Ivy leaf and heather inks and rust on canvas

ANDREW HOWE

Artefacts
#006, #009, #011, #015, #023, #025, #033, #034

Collagraphs

8 prints from a series of over 30 small collagraphs inspired by objects, mostly smashed car fragments, found in the disused breakers’ yard at Whixall Moss, which has been restored by Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

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