‘Working the Land: Art, Landscape and the Everton Meadows’

Rebecca Chesney in conversation with Rosemary Shirley

Location: The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University
Year: 2013

In Certain Places, in association with Liverpool Hope University, presented an evening with artist Rebecca Chesney, in conversation with art historian Rosemary Shirley. The event, which was the first in the Practising Place programme, marked the launch of I’m Blue, You’re Yellow – a limited-edition publication, which documents the two acres of meadow planted by Rebecca Chesney as an artwork in Everton Park. Drawing on examples from the project, as well as Rebecca’s wider practice, the speakers examined popular perceptions of the landscape, and discussed the ways in which artists engage with, and reveal, the political, cultural and economic processes through which it is produced.

As well as contributing to the discussion, members of the audience also received a free copy of I’m Blue, You’re Yellow which, alongside photographs of the meadows, includes a forward by Richard Scott, Senior Ecologist at Landlife – the organisation which commissioned the project; and essays by Dr. Colm Bowe, Lecturer in Plant and Environmental Science at Liverpool John Moores University, and In Certain Places curator Elaine Speight.

Rebecca Chesney’s practice examines our complex relationship with the natural world, by engaging with issues of culture, politics and power. Her artworks, which take the form of installations, films, interventions, drawings, maps and walks, are often created in response to specific places, and are underpinned by environmental research. Recent projects include Still in silence (2013) at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Nirox Foundation residency (2013), Hope’s Whisper (2012) at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, and Diligent Observation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2011).
Dr Rosemary Shirley’s research centres on everyday life and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on contemporary rural contexts. She is interested in how the English landscape might be explored through notions of national identity and discourses of modernity. This has led her to write about topics as diverse as litter, motorways, folk customs and scrapbooks. She is also interested in how contemporary artists engage with landscape as a place that is lived in rather than simply looked at or visited.

In Certain Places

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