Inspired by the mosslands dotted in and around the Warrington area, Haecceity, a new exhibition from Tracy Hill captures the beautiful essence of these forgotten places. Combining technological methods using commercial mapping equipment she then exports and applies the data from 360 degree scans to create artistic renditions of this multi-layered visual data.
If that’s not enough she has also collaborated with Leon Hardman at UCLAN (University of Central Lancs) to create four sound-based ink screenprints. This is really impressive as it meant as I walked in front of the print I just had to lightly touch the artwork to hear recorded sounds from local nature reserve Risley Moss. Hill wanted to conceive a multi-sensory experience so visitors could imagine the actual terrain she’s visited to create her landscape drawings.
Formed between 10-15,000 years ago during the last ice age these now-hidden mosslands have witnessed many changes such as flooding and peat extraction, so they have been all but forgotten in our rush to form new towns and build housing, road and train networks (etc). Hill’s aim is to strive for a deeper understanding of these surroundings. By looking at their geological and archaeological history it will be possible to come up with future solutions to different ecological and environmental challenges.
Aligned to all this and a real bonus in the gallery environment, Hill has spent a week in residency drawing directly onto the gallery walls. By projecting the data she has carefully assembled from the four mossland sites she freely draws with varying sizes of limestone chalk. These bring a wonderful lightness and sensitivity as she transfers the formal data into a natural manifestation. Apparently encountering her presence in the gallery has been a bit of a surprise for many visitors as it forces them to stop and interact with the artwork and artist rather than viewing the artwork in a passive mode. This is a great addition in my eyes as what Hill does is physically bring a contemporary approach with her into a normally ordered Gallery setting.
Altogether, her 20 years background as an educator and researcher at UCLAN, along with drawing with natural elements and cutting-edge mapping technology ensures Hill can keep generating her artistic visions of landscape based on personal experience and memory of these places.
On until 16th June
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery
Warrington, WA1 1JB