Local Artist, Paul Haydock-Wilson, returns to his roots by showing fine art prints from his renowned Wilderness–Eroded Suite and Deptford Deposit Project. A life-long engagement with Deptford Creek and a background in geography gives him a unique perspective on an ever-changing environment.
Context and Process
“Deptford Creek is a tidal waterway. Once the site of King Henry VIII’s shipbuilding and slaughterhouses, it’s now home to wildlife, people, industrial estates, artists’ studios, a dance school. It is an open space in a crowded city. Open to the elements, wind, rain, tide, sun, and air, with big skies, full of planes, helicopters and commuter trains as they pass over the lifting bridge, a sublime industrial structure.
To represent this landscape, I deposited prepared etching plates, which are crude recording devices. It was a geographical experiment but with connotations of alchemical rites. In fixing the plates firmly in place with copper wire, to a liminal, marginal and transitional space, it became a ritual of sacrifice.
The decision-making process of how to etch and print these plates forced me to develop new ways of working. The first plate was deposited with rivulets of silt. The silt was baked on by the sun and slow etched in acid. Subsequent plates have literally been ‘creek-etched’.
Digital scanning and printing made it possible to faithfully represent the visual qualities of the surface. It also opened up opportunities to resize, manipulate and distort. By enlarging the image, scale and perception shifts dramatically. The microscopic becomes macroscopic and it becomes possible to negotiate the landscape as a surface map. The local tactile and kinaesthetic features of the surface which were previously invisible are now perceptually clear. It turns the viewer into explorers, roaming visually and creating their own cognitive trails.”
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