Since 2016 Geoff has been redefining his artistic practice; discontent with simply depicting an idea of nature and landscape within his work, he sought to delve deeper into the interconnected threads between painting and the environment. His particular interest lay in using slow, pre-industrial craft processes to create natural canvas materials grown from the earth. An exhibition vitrine will showcase the processes and materials involved in creating the work.
This led to a collaboration with his partner, weave designer Angharad McLaren, where they sowed, nurtured and harvested a crop of flax plants. The resulting flax fibre was then processed into hand-spun linen yarn to be hand woven into a patterned linen canvas, primed and painted on by the artist. Weaving and painting became investigative tools to explore the value of labour, locality, materials and their relationships to concepts, both historical and contemporary of inter-connectivity between nature and us. Context and meaning are woven and painted within the surface.
In each individual work, images of the ground painted in earth pigments are inter-meshed with the pattern in the canvas; different tensions are turned up or down to explore variations between order and chaos, digital and analogue, macro and micro. Like being immersed in natural environments, the paintings invite the viewer to find recognizable tropes, focus, and order among complexity.
Woven / Ground is also the title of Litherland’s new album which uses his weave patterns and field recordings to create an audio counterpart to his paintings some of which will be played in the gallery. The album will be available initially as a limited-edition publication of 100 and can be purchased online and from Haarlem Artspace. The publication includes a text by Christopher John Thornhill, also a collaborator on the music and includes a download link for the album.
The online Haarlem Periodical will premiere Within the Surface, a film by Gavin Repton that has followed the artist over the years, documenting the various processes involved in making the work. There will also be an interview between film maker and artist available as a podcast, and the premiere of new music that responds to the project and the connections, between weaving, composition and nature.