Lie of the Land brings together the work of four photographers James Dobson, Rachel Maloney, Noora Pelkonen and Annalaura Palma. The exhibition explores forgotten history, personal memory, archaeology and literature, through the prism of the landscape.
James Dobson looks for an antidote to the illusion of a timeless English countryside through a typological study of rural churches - physical archives of social, political and economic forces. Shown alongside is an image of a ‘scratch-dial’; a rudimentary medieval sun-dial. Together these pictures ask questions about the ways we read the past through observation of the landscape. Rachel Maloney explores the idea of a subconscious and latent landscape, an English forest, inexplicably familiar and invested with memories of childhood - an unsettling stillness pervades these intensely detailed hand-made monochrome prints; Noora Pelkonen returns to Karelia, the homeland of her ancestors and a ghost region of Finland, whose inhabitants were uprooted from the landscape during WWII, unfolding an intimate narrative of displacement and belonging; Annalaura Palma delves into the legacy of Virginia Woolf, retracing her steps from her house to the river in which she drowned, finding a landscape imbued with a dark and palpable absence.
Together these works explore with different approaches the way in which the past folds itself into our present experience of landscape.