Surrey Unearthed was an Arts Council funded project developed with artists who have a strong connection and curiosity for the Surrey landscape. The innovative programme of ten projects ran throughout 2018-19. Each project focused on the natural materials of the Surrey Hills landscape, their history and uses over time. The installations, art walks and community celebrations coincided with the Surrey Hills 60th year AONB designation.
In Surrey Unearthed, Jane collected, and catalogued found materials, using making as a method for investigation, creating from traces of the landscape. The installations incorporated her collections and the pieces she made both independently and with others in the four locations – Box Hill during August-September, Newlands Corner and Witley Common during September-October 2018 and Reigate Hill during February – April 2019.
Her walks and talks with individuals and groups were reciprocal allowing an exchange of ideas, stories and anecdotes, including the history of landscape in terms of geology, human history, industrial archaeology, local folk law, journeys and the idea of tourism.
Terrain resulted in installations and public workshops across the Surrey Hills.
With thanks for additional help from:
Surrey Hills Arts is a partnership between Surrey Arts, Surrey County Council and the Surrey Hills AONB. It aims to engage and inspire people in the outstanding natural landscape through an imaginative programme across the arts, promoting heritage, health and tourism. Over the past twelve years, we have delivered innovative landscape projects engaging local communities and developing emerging artists.
Surrey Hills Arts works closely with an advisory group made up of the Watts Gallery, The National Trust, the University for the Creative Arts, Gatton Park Trust, Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden and the Arts Society. Working together we develop the programme for this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Other projects within Surrey Unearthed:
Ackroyd & Harvey explore the geological and social layers at Leith Hill, from tree canopy down to below ground, acknowledging the strong feelings of the local community to threats on this land. Jonathan Parsons explores the geology along the chalk ridge towards a monumental installation in farmland adjacent to the main rail line. Jane Ponsford collects and creates with found pigments travelling along four sections across the AONB. Walter Bailey uncovers the historical process of forest glass with an oak structure at a viewpoint on Farnham Heath. Amanda Loomes reveals the extraction processes in sand quarries in East Surrey with an insightful art documentary. Mary Branson explores the rituals and celebration of farmland with an installation and community celebration at Box Hill. Alison Carlier focuses on the sound element of her research into chalk, Bryn Hallett pushes the boundaries of building with earth and Steven Edwards explores deterioration, fragments and how the material of clay records a narrative of the changing landscape and its history. Amie Rai takes her Travelling Reading Room to locations across the county to engage others in texts about landscape and materials. All the artists are engaging with communities surrounding their locations with workshops, walks and talks.