‘Placing art at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’: Art and the production of geographical knowledge.

by Dr Harriet Hawkins AHRC Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Exeter

‘A combination of the artist and the man of science is rare’ wrote Sir Arthur Shipley F.R.S. of the explorer Dr Edward Wilson, a talented artist and scientist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and member of Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition. However, as Shipley goes onto acknowledge, the combination is maybe ‘not as rare as one is apt to think’. Wilson, a skilled scientist and accomplished artist, who made studies of the work of John Ruskin and J.W.M. Turner, was one of a number of ‘travelling artists’ who accompanied explorers, as well as other seaman, surveyors and geographers who developed their own artistic practices of varying kinds. Continue reading

Interview about the Yes Yes Y’All project by curator Adelaide Bannerman

1. To some degree your recent work [or activities] has involved the participation of an [un] specified public, of which I’d like to open the opportunity to you to select and recount the experiences of those particular works.
I felt privileged that my collaboration with the Pestalozzi students blossomed into three separate art pieces. “The Knowledge – ‘Land of Achievement’ ‘Land of Happiness’ and ‘Land of Wisdom’ ” was the key piece I initially submitted to bridge the geographical and mental gap between Hastings people and the Pestalozzi scholars. Based on the Proust Questionnaire, I used replies to the questions “What is your greatest achievement?”, “What is your idea of perfect happiness?” and “What is your most important life lesson?” to create maps, anecdotal maps [a concept I had already developed in a London-based project]. Continue reading

Blind Memories at 198 gallery essay

Agnes Poitevin-Navarre: Colour-Coding Series: ‘The Age of Innocence’ and ‘Here & Now’

This series of eight-colour prints can be interpreted and contextualised within the tradition of naming and representing métisse (mixed race) individuals, a model anchored in the slave trade terminology and iconography as exemplified by the castas paintings of the 18th century and the idea of the ‘color line’ identified by W.E.B DuBois(1). This practice can be found in Africa (with the example of the Signares, a group of socially elevated mixed-race women, born after the union of Portuguese traders with Serere women from Rufisco in the XVII century), in the United States (with the theme of the ‘Tragic Mulatto’ and the notion of ‘passing’ emerging in literature(2)), in the Caribbean and South America (where ‘The White Negress’ embodied a taboo subject (3) and racial taxonomy that justified and reinforced the power structure of a hierarchical society). On this global stage, the term “miscegenation” called into question the rigid race classification that slavery justified; yet it articulated the “one drop of blood” rule and the concept of racial purity. Continue reading