I arrived at my residency at Mawddach with no preconception of response or outcome and intrigued to find how my interactions with a new unfamiliar natural environment would influence my imagery. I was curious to uncover new processes and to forage for indigenous materials for mark making, and to see how this would lead me to find original and authentic ways to express my experience.
I first spent a few days cycling walking sketching the hills, estuary and coastline, making sense of the wider landscape before I zoned in on particular locations. These were sites that primarily felt right, that had a distinct and unique sense of place but also provided the elements for new and specific mark making possibilities.
At the secluded deserted Fairbourne beach I found a process using sand on paper to capture snapshot imprints of the timeless waves, and then worked with pebbles, stones and grit as the imagery further revealed itself.
The shore of the vast and beautiful Mawddach Estuary, beneath the cycle trail, also gave me the necessary sense of isolation and the perception essential to my working practice of being part of the landscape.
Outcrops of slate, variously pigmented shale, bladderwrack and gloopy estuary mud provided an abundance of media and tools and a means to make not only an emotional connection but a direct physical connection with the ancient landscape.
At sunrise and low tide on the final day of my residency I worked with a 2 x 1.5 metre sheet of paper at the rocks near the house. The scale allowed for extravagant energetic and bigger mark making as the performative act of drawing became more prominent. Wrapping the rocks and embossing their forms, pulling a giant mud print and eroding the paper with sand until eventually it ended soaked torn and crumpled as if washed up by the tide.
My residency at Mawddach turned out to be a fulfilling and gratifying time of experimentation and discovery - an indulgence of process. It was so rewarding to get hands on and engage with such a rich inspiring landscape, and to have revealed new creative pathways which undoubtedly shall be informing future work. I hope at some point to return and further immerse myself in this landscape and perhaps develop and explore deeper the specific techniques and processes I discovered in my short time here.