Modern Nature

  • Modern Nature - works in progress
Modern Nature
Modern Nature 1a - Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine, Hibbing, Minnesota, A3 Drawing on Carbon Paper 2016
Modern Nature
Modern Nature 2 - Composite Geology. Drawing A4 x 2 2015
Modern Nature

Over the last two years I have evolved a new set of interests in ideas of the Anthropocene, or proposition that that the impact of humanity upon the Earth’s ecosystems has triggered a new terrestrial epoch; a concept which in turn challenges our understanding of human / non-human, nature / culture relations.

I am interested in exploring new understandings of global warming, financial crises, geopolitical instabilities and ‘natural disasters' within a context of changing environmental relations, engaging “the vitality, willfulness and recalcitrance possessed by nonhuman entities and forces” Jane Bennett, "The Force of Things: Steps Toward an Ecology of Matter" in: Political Theory (2004)


That Oceanic Feeling

  • Exhibition documentation
  • Publication
  • R.V.Callista Trip
  • Sound
  • Symposium - November 13th 2012
That Oceanic Feeling

That Oceanic Feeling  John Hansard Gallery - Southampton - 28th Aug - 13th October 2012

The exhibition investigated our relationship to the deep sea - the most remote and inaccessible environment on the planet, combining new and recent works made whilst working alongside geoscientists at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, asking what it might mean to look into this otherwise dark space.

Commissioned by the John Hansard Gallery Funded by Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts, University of Wolverhampton 

Links
 
Truthing Gap 
 
Video Interview
 
New Scientist 
 
http://noc.ac.uk/news/rona-lees-marine-life-talk
 
http://megagoodart.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/mega-good-video-ama-by-rona-lee/
 
http://autonomousreality.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/rona-lee-that-oceanic-feeling/
 
 http://chrissie-artblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/rona-lee-that-oceanic-feeling.html
 
 http://www.a-n.co.uk/interface/reviews/single/2601916
 
 
 

The Submersion Series

  • Dartington
  • Atami - Turkey
  • Piscina Coperta
  • Hornsey Road
  • Marshall St
  • Banff - Nightpool
  • Images
  • Banff - Storms
  • Pilangsbadet
The Submersion Series

the submersion series is a series of works related to swimming pools that I have been working on for a number of years. I am especially interested in the play of safety and danger with which they are charged.

Rather than in social histories of swimming, public health or leisure, I am drawn to the spatial and symbolic properties of pools and the psychological resonances to which these give rise.


Truthing Gap

  • More information
  • MAPPING exhibition  (Nov 13th - Dec 11th 09)
  • Photos
  • Project Blog
  • Beneath the Briny
  • Performance Documentation
  • Maps and Models
Truthing Gap
Submersion Dive Training Centre - Oban 2005

Between 2008-10 I was Leverhulme Trust, Artist in Residence at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, one of the world's top five oceanographic research institutions, working with sonar geophysicist Dr Tim Le Bas exploring methods of seabed mapping and undersea survey.

The deep seabed constitutes the largest, yet least known environment on the planet, one that is currently subject to rapidly accelerating economic, political and ecological pressures. Problems of depth and visibility mean that undersea surveys are conducted using sonar rather than optically, a circumstance that might be said to place the deep ocean 'beyond' the post enlightenment drive of science to render the world as observable phenomena.

Technically the term 'truthing gap' refers to the necessity to verify sonar data with other findings, here it refers the play of myth, imagination and objectivity, involved in envisaging environments that cannot be directly experienced, probing issues of knowledge production, perception and the nature of the scientific gaze. The work of Dr Le Bas and his colleagues seeks to minimize the challenges posed by such locations to attempts to map them, painstakingly cleaning and re-modeling raw data to achieve recognizable forms. For me this difficulty and the visual practices to which it gives rise are fascinating.

Links

See also That Oceanic Feeling


Calenture - Land Use Poetics

 Video

Calenture  - a heat induced fever; in sailors it can produce a form of delusion whereby the sea is thought to be land, causing them to jump overboard in a kind of ecstatic delirium.

This work was made during Land Use Poetics, an intensive four day cross-disciplinary workshop exploring land use, involving ten international artists and researchers.

Through different forms of spatial engagement – bus tours, walks, gathering specimens, study visits and discussions – the traces and dislocated meanings of the landscape between Malmö and Lund, Sweden, a terrain upon which historically agriculture, shipping, and industry, have left an indelible imprint, along with contemporary activities related to, for example, leisure and waste disposal, was explored, scrutinized and mapped out,

The ‘findings’ arrived at were exhibited in The Museum of Sketches, Lund, Sweden March 22-30

My starting point was the proposition that I should swim ‘blind’ in a number of local swimming pools. The sound that can be heard on the video records the moment when, having walked with my eyes closed to the end of the diving board at Pilangsbadet swimming pool, I jumped ‘blind’ in to the water.

The work might be understood in relation to ideas of the sublime. By closing my eyes the ordering capacities of vision are suspended, occasioning a new sensory awareness of the capacity of water to trouble any attempt to fix or map its surface.

Banff

  • Banff - Storms
  • Banff - Nightpool
  • The Submersion Series
Banff

These images were made in 2007 during a residency on the theme of 'imaginary Places' at Banff Arts Centre, Canada. They are primarily concerned with the ambiguous nature of the water's surface.

As compared to the first set of images in the submersion series - shot at Tair Lair tidal pool in Scotland - in which a female figure offers a counterpoint to the landscape, suggestive of an interior space, here the body of the viewer provides an echo for the emptiness of the pool.


Tair Lair

  • Images
Tair Lair

Series of photographs taken at a tidal swimming pool Aberdeenshire


Modern Hellespont

Modern Hellespont - video  Video
Modern Hellespont - video

This footage was shot at the Ideal Home exhibition and then re-edited. I am still fascinated by the endless character of the swimmer's endeavour, something that connects to some of my earlier performance works exploring the nature of tasks, often domestic in character, which of necessity must be repeated time and time again.

The other aspect of this piece by which I am preoccupied is the design of the pool itself - shaped to enhance the artificially generated current against which the swimmer is pitted, it has a geological dimension to it and has I think subliminally influenced both the work I am now doing with sea bed mapping and also the architectural models that form part of the submersion series.

The approach of the crowd to the edge of the tank, conjurers up the image of a 19th century fairground attraction, featuring the 'maiden in the tank', or something similar.

Hellespont is the former name of the Dardanelles, the strait of water that separates Europe from Asia. Legend has it that Leander would swim across nightly to meet with his beloved Hero who would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way. One night the wind blew out Hero's light and Leander was drowned. Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well. The poet, Lord Byron became the first known person to swim the Hellespont in 1810.


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Tails - my father told me

  • Interactive animation
  • Video - clip
Commissioned by Radiator, Nottingham 2002 Video
Commissioned by Radiator, Nottingham 2002

This group of works, in which I made myself into a swarm, follows on from a number of others: Avid Metamorphosis I and II, Shrinking the Miniature and Hidden Seas /Surface Waters, that touch upon the possibility of re-negotiating the limits of the body/self.


Breaking the surface

  • Images
Breaking the surface

Commissioned: Hull Time Based Arts. Exhibited: William Wilberforce Museum, Hull. 2002

Made up of forty separate electron miroscope scans (at a magnification of 200 x) of the inside of a pearl revealing the speck of dirt which had caused the oyster to generate it.


The Encircling of a Shadow

  • Performance
  • Gallery
  • Video
The Encircling of a Shadow

Commissioned and Exhibited: Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall. 2001


H.A.P.P.Y. (I)

  • Video (low res)
H.A.P.P.Y. (I)
Commissioned: Span 2. Exhibited: Dilston Grove London, 2002, Taxi Gallery, Cambridge 2002.

A video and sound work presented in the pulpit of a disused church based on material shot over a two-month period at Speakers Corner.


H.A.P.P.Y. (II) (click for sound recording)

Commissioned: Span 2. Exhibited: Dilston Grove London, 2002, Taxi Gallery, Cambridge 2002.


Forensic

Forensic
Exhibited: Museum of Installation, London. 2000

Reasoning Backwards

Reasoning Backwards
Exhibited: Dartington Arts Devon 2000

Hidden Seas/ Surface Waters

  • Video
Hidden Seas/ Surface Waters
Performance for camera, 1999 - Duration 11 minutes

Drawing on family experience of physical disability Hidden Seas / Surface Waters attempted to articulate a body of difference, whose boundaries remain physiologically and psychologically fluid, inverting the characteristic function of light as a source of 'illumination'.

The use of silhouettes within the work references the 18th century physiognomic experiments of James Lavater, who attempted to read from the profile of his sitters their moral and spiritual 'nature'.

Supported by a London Arts Board - London Hybrids Research and Development Award.

Production support Irish Museum of Modern Art and Arthouse, Dublin.
Residency and screening: Irish Musueum of Modern Art, Dublin. 1999
Exhibited, Spacex, Exeter. 2003

s[H]elf II

s[H]elf II
Residency and Exhibition: La Chambre Blanche, Quebec City, Canda. 1999

s[H]elf I

s[H]elf I
Commissioned: Performulate. Exhibited: Cambridge Darkroom 1998

auto/nomos

auto/nomos
Commissioned: Bluecoat Arts Centre and Visionfest.
Exhibited: Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool 1997

Present

Present
Commissioned: Hull Time Based Arts, Exhibited: Beverley Art Gallery, Yorkshire 1997

Ballast

Ballast
Commissioned: Now 96. Exhibited: Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham 1996

auto/nomos

auto/nomos
Commissioned: Bluecoat Arts Centre and Visionfest.
Exhibited: Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool 1997

Disorders

Disorders
Commissioned: Beaconsfield. Exhibited:St Thomas' Hospital, London. 1996

SHRINKING the miniature

SHRINKING the miniature
Commissioned by Firstsite. Exhibited: The Minories, Colchester 1996

Avid Metamorphosis II

Avid Metamorphosis II
Exhibited: Dartington Arts, Devon. 1995

Avid Metamorphosis I

Avid Metamorphosis I
Exhibited: National Review of Live Art, Glasgow 1994 and ICA, London 1995