News

Deep Water

I am exhibiting a series of eight works entitled Absence – the Norfolk Chalk Reef in the upcoming exhibition Deep Water at Groundwork Gallery in Kings Lynn. The opening is on Saturday 15th October from 5.30-7.30 and the show runs until December 17th, Wednesday – Saturday, 11-4.

In these works delicate seaweeds and bryozoa washed up from the Norfolk chalk reef are laid onto chalk, sprinkled with soot from my chimney, and removed, leaving their trace. The soot laid directly onto the chalk puts me in front of the damage my actions do to the living world around me.

The Norfolk chalk reef was ‘discovered’ in about 2010 by local divers. No one knew its extent (probably about 20 miles along the coast) because the sea is full of silt and visibility is virtually nil, apart from just one or two days a year. Since then it has slowly revealed its riches. If you want to know more, then check out this video by diver and photographer Chris Taylor:

Exhibition Extended until August 25th

Very pleased to announce that my exhibition – the spirit wraps around me, nature as a second skin – has now been extended for another month. There is also now a cafe at the granary serving delicious drinks and pastries, and it’s an ideal place to take a break from your journey between London and Norfolk as it’s just off the A11. I hope you’ll be able to make it. For more information and opening times visit: https://www.staplefordgranary.org.uk/whats-on/events/liz-mcgowan-launch

What would it be like to experience a deep sensual immersion in the world around us?

Supposing, instead of walking on a footpath or a beach, we were walking in, or inside an ever changing

kaleidoscope of texture, colour, light and process…

Supposing we were literally cloaked in our surroundings?

Liz McGowan explores these ideas through her creative collaboration with the detail, patterns and processes of landscape, calling attention to a continual multi-sensual exchange with our surroundings. This body of work, exhibited at the Granary, includes cloaks, sculpture and earth works. 

the spirit wraps around me – nature as a second skin

My solo exhibition at Stapleford Granary near Cambridge opens on June 12th and runs until July 22nd.

What would it be like to experience a deep, sensual immersion in the world around us? Supposing, instead of walking on a footpath or a beach, we were walking inside an every changing kaleidoscope of texture, colour, light and process. Supposing we were literally cloaked in our surroundings?

“Bathed in light, submerged in sound and rapt in feeling, the sentient body, at once both perceiver and producer, traces the paths of the world’s becoming in the very course of contributing to its ongoing renewal. Here, surely, lies the essence of what it means to dwell.” Tim Ingold, Being Alive, essays on movement, knowledge and description

I will be showing two new cloaks, inspired by salt marsh and by chalk stream, as well as cloaks inspired by reedbed, barley field and tideline.

Alongside the cloaks the exhibition includes a series of sculptures and works on paper called Chthon, made using saltmarsh mud. Chthon is one of several Greek words for ‘earth’, referring specifically to that which is under the earth. In English, ‘chthonic’ describes deities or spirits of the underworld.

I spent 18 months working with saltmarsh mud – slick, liquid, shifting – exploring what it does, how it moves.  At the same time this activity has linked in to a chthonic energy – raw, earthy – a planet in crisis meeting an inner, empathetic roar.

These works use saltmarsh mud, in liquid and solid form, to create patterns and sculptures that link the above and the below, the veins and the watersheds, as an expression of this roar, this earthy connection between the human and the more than human world.

For more information visit https://www.staplefordgranary.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions-overview/liz-mcgowan-launch-2

Summer 2018

I will be taking part in:

Cley 18 – ‘The greater the distance, the clearer the view’

5th July – 5th August at Cley church, Cley-next-the Sea

Curated by Caroline Fisher

 

BUT my main focus for this summer is:

Force of Nature

Solo exhibition at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral

August 11th – 25th

More information coming soon!

 

The Art of Reeds at Cley Marshes

During the week of the 13th February I will be working at Cley Marshes installing a series of reed sculptures outside the Visitor’s Centre and, with the help of you, hopefully, making a second reed installation in the Education Centre.  More details here:

The Art of Reeds

Friday 10th February – I installed my reed vanes outside the visitors’ centre at Cley Marshes – in a blizzard!  They will be up for about 2 weeks, as long as the wind doesn’t blow them away…….

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You win some, you lose some

I had planned to show some pieces from the murmuration series at North Farm next weekend – murmurations of ash keys on perspex boards – but when I got them out two of them had mysteriously lost most of their ash keys.  I’m not complaining, they were part of a series of ephemeral, changing work called Time Passes, but it was unexpected.

So what to hang instead?  I decided to open up a piece that I hadn’t looked at since 2010, a series of delicate hand-made paper hangings that I thought had been badly damaged in the move to the farm – they emerged from their packaging almost perfect!  They are called ‘Undercut’ and were made as part of a series of works inspired by the eroding coastline at Happisburgh.  Next to them I will put a small sculpture called “Phare View”.  It’s the name of a house that once stood on the cliffs in the village of Happisburgh, until the cliffs disappeared from under it.  Called Phare View because of its views of Happisburgh Lighthouse.  The bricks and tiles of many houses ended up on the beach and over the years have been worn into smooth pebbles.  I have collected them and made them into a house again.

Open Studio 2016

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Murmuration 3

Come and see my work at North Farm, just south of Burgh-next-Aylsham, on May 28th and 29th.  There will also be pottery by David Harley and intricate textile works by Maryrose Watson.  We are not part of the Norfolk Open Studio Scheme but there will be signs from the Aylsham Bypass and I will be posting times and directions here nearer the time.  Watch this space!

Birds at The Castle Museum

August 4th

The exhibition Inspired by Birds at the Castle Museum is up and running until August 31st.  Here is a great review by Ian Collins:

“My favourite piece – and also one of the subtlest exhibits – is the murmuration by Liz McGowan of Spratts Green near Aylsham.

Working with natural found materials, Liz produces work which is always innovative and interesting.  She made one of the most memorable images in my Salthouse show – swirling constellations of dried starfish – and she is now working on a Tide Lines theme with Jane Frost for Cley14.

For Inspired by Birds Liz has set a blizzard of young ash keys in plexiglass for a pattern which could be made by a thrown net or billowing smoke from a bonfire but is perfect for that folding and unfolding shape of flying starlings we are so lucky to see over East Anglia before dusk on a wintry afternoon.”

EDP article Inspired by Birds