Time Passages a collection by Anthony Hopewell
Exhibition: 9th February - 5th March 2022
Private View: 12th February 6-8pm
"Before it can ever be a repose for the senses, landscape is a work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock. Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory
Developed from Hopewell's previous series "Evidence of Unknown Journeys", this latest work "TimePassages", is concerned with the representation of time as expressed through collaged landscapes. Conflating time, space and memory to create a series of aggregated responses to journeys made on foot. Each final image is a layered composite, built from many images gathered during a journey on foot through the landscape.
The images, as with the landscapes they reference, are constructs, designed to question the authenticity of our experience. Many years ago I studied printmaking, and in many ways, this work feels like a return to that discipline.
"Evidence of Unknown Journeys", was a 2021 body of work based around the notion of movement; both physical movement, forward through the landscape (those small-camera works were moments of stasis created whilst engaged in the act of walking), and conceptually backwards through time, evidenced through the intimate examination of the historical traces of our forbears as shown in a series of discrete, individual images, which in aggregation (particularly in book form) formed a response to the landscape.
During “Lockdown”, cities, towns, people, the usual fare of the flaneur, were all out of bounds. Bridleways, holloways, tramways, traditional walking routes, retained privileged access, and movement through this network formed the basis of those works.
That work had its genus in a project started several years previously as an exploration into the notion of pilgrimage, how traditional routes have become commodified, secularised, in pursuit of the tourist dollar, that work was never resolved. The interest in the notion of movement however persisted; in film work looking at the historical dislocation of Cornish miners in a diaspora in southern Spain, the Grand Tour through Iberia undertaken by a young Lord Byron, and in the restless thought adventures of D H Lawrence.
“Evidence of Unknown Journeys" marked Hopewell's return to still-image making. Rather than providing evidence of a route, as favoured by walking artists such as Richard Long or Hamish Fulton, Hopewell's works were not forensically annotated with the traditional navigator's tools of Latitude and Longitude or Distance and Duration. The images stood as moments of stasis, testaments to things seen and carefully observed whilst travelling on foot through the landscape
As such they were more influenced by the writings of Iain Sinclair, Rebecca Solnit, Simon Armitage, Simon Schama, Robert Macfarlane and Roland Barthes, than by the more photographic tropes of grandiose landscape photography, influences which continue to inform this new series “TimePassages”.