Can Wild Places Heal Us? A question for The John Byrne Award 2020.
Walking in the hills of wild places is taking affirmative action to transform oneself both inwardly in the mind and outwardly in the body. Being in nature is a way of slowing one-self down by means of acute observation and by finding symbiosis with natural rhythms through bodily movement and phenomenological being.
Wild places are transformative spaces between one place, or state, and another. It is an in-between condition but not a confusing one, as the poet Seamus Heaney says, “it is rather a necessary state, a consequence of our situation between earthy origin and angelic potential”.
It is important to be able to see beauty in the empty ‘nothingness’ of wild places. Without beauty any feelings toward them might only extend only to a sense of moral duty or to not caring at all. By making field drawings in situ, and later expanding these in larger works, I hope to communicate something of an authentic beauty and a potential for healing.
Beinn Nuis and Beinn Tarsuinn, 2019. Archival Digital Print from Original Ink and Wash Drawings. 100 x 70 cm