Moving Mountains



Exhibited as part of the exhibition Skylines: A Survey of Works 2001 - 2016 at Queens Hall Arts, Hexham.


Two videos were mapped onto a white box kite. The videos were filmed by a rescue dog and a kite during the project Searcher. Giving up control of the camera destabilizes the environment as 'landscape', and reframes it as a moving and mobile participant in the activity.

The video records how the dog moved, where it stopped and how it sniffed the air to detect the scent of a lost person. Mounted on the dogs body, the frame of the video moves with the dog, its head stable in the image, and the landscape moves, rocks, sways and spins around it. In a similar way the video shot from the kite moves the frame of the video, the kite appears to stay still and the horizon line rocks back and forth.

"Skiddaw is composed of Ordovician slates, which were laid down as sediments some 500 million years ago. However what snagged my attention as I was thinking of this history was that when they were laid down, in a sea that we now call the Iapetus Ocean, they were one-third of the way south of the equator towards the south pole. It was hundreds of millions of years later that these rocks of Skiddaw crossed the equator on their way through this latitude, now, and later still that they were formed into anything we might call a mountain. What is important here is not the formal knowledge (such tectonic wanderings are now part of popular science) but what one allows it to do to the imagination. For me, initially, this dwelt upon the thought that these are immigrant rocks, arrived ‘here’ from somewhere else. It was an imagination that was happily congruent, therefore, with the notion of a global sense of place."

Massey, Doreen (2006). Landscape as a provocation: reflections on moving mountains. Journal of Material Culture, 11(1-2) pp. 33–48.