The Edges Of These Isles, a project born from a desire to collaborate. What could two artists learn from each other by exploring the British Isles together?
↞ Words and photography by Simon Bray ↠
Simon Bray and Tom Musgrove are a collaborative artistic duo known as DoubleBlind. Through their respective mediums- Simon using photography and Tom gathering sketches and building a sense of a place to translate into a final piece in his studio back in Manchester- they have produced a fantastic project.
There were no aims or targets. We didn’t try and predict or restrict the work that we could make from each of the seven locations, and by no means were we looking to represent the British Isles. We just had a desire to create landscape work and gave each other the excuse to do so. Spread over 2 years, starting out at Buttermere in the Lake District, and over time, travelling to Lindisfarne, The Brecon Beacons, The Gower Peninsula, Glen Coe, The Causeway Coast and The Peak District, we spent a day or so in each location.
“We just had a desire to create landscape work and gave each other the excuse to do so.
Through the long journeys, time spent talking together on location, walking, eating, meeting up to review past trips, share work and plan future trips, we began to learn from one another. We were both representing the same place, at the same time, in the same season, weather, having been on the same journey, but the work would look vastly different. Each piece a unique perspective of our personal experience of that place at that time, causing us to question each other’s practice and process.
As a photographer, my processing happens in the moment. Of course, it is influenced by years of image making, study and looking at images, but I have to make practical and creative decisions in that space to create and represent the landscape. Tom’s process is vastly different. His ability to gain a sensory understanding of a place has truly inspired me. His pace is slow, he’s looking for a colour, gesture, shape, weather formation, a smell or sound, or a combination of them all to build in his mind an understanding of what each place is, and how he is experiencing it through his unique lens. That ability to experience in the present and allow that to inform the work he creates really is the essence of what I will take away from this collaboration, and certainly something that I am working hard to instil into my own creative practice.
The Edges Of These Isles is currently exhibited at The Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, until January 7th. Alongside the exhibit is a self-published book, featuring the final pieces, as well as further work, sketches, ideas, personal accounts, maps and more.
You can order a copy of the 120-page project book here: http://theedgesoftheseisles.
We are extremely grateful to Arts Council England, G.F Smith, DoodledoMOTION and Pressision Printing for supporting this project.