Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Brownfield Research Centre - Brownfield Artists of the Day: Sara Hayword, Sean Williams & Caitlin Kelly

In our ongoing series highlighting Artists and works submitted to our Brownfield Research Centre, each day until July 22nd, we will be highlighting the work of artists submitting to our Open Call.

Sara Heywood, Alive in the Universe

Sara Heywood is a visual artist based in East London, UK. Her practice uses a wide range of media including installation, photography, everyday objects, light, sound and video to create encounters and interventions that respond to specific locations. ​ The work will often start with a period of research and development including examining archives, discovering personal narratives or analysing specific geological, environmental or architectural features before choosing the most appropriate materials to use in response.

Heywood has recently undertaken an artist in residency at Bow Arts RAW Labs at Royal Albert Wharf, East London Docklands where she spent four months (Oct 2017 – Feb 2018) researching and developing a series of works that responded to the unique urban landscape. Originally a Brownfield site, the area has recently undergone a new residential development that now sits alongside abandoned urban landscapes and waterways. As a response to the site, she built The Bird Hide, a semi-permanent installation which sits on the wharf and references the rich industrial and natural history of the area, the changing landscape and ecology, as well as proximity to London City Airport. 

For The Brownfield Research Centre Open Call, Heywood has submitted a series of digital photographs, Nature Always Finds a Way (2018) and a digital art film, Alive in the Universe (2018) - both of which focus on the ongoing conflict between man and the natural world; how nature will always fight back in unusual and surprising ways even in the most hostile urban landscapes. 

Instagram: @sara.heywood


Sean Williams, Culture Moves Slowly 


Sean Williams is an artist and painter. His submission to the Brownfield Open Call, Culture Moves Slowly, depicts the early preparatory work for a housing estate. The land had been derelict for a few years and had once been part of the sprawling railway marshalling yards in Crewe. The site had become home to a variety of birdlife and lent itself well to photography. 

"Painting has an ability to draw attention to its subject, inviting viewers to further contemplate their surroundings. It is similar to Photography in this regard, but there is an additional layer of invested time in its making. In painting, my aim is not to criticise the seemingly relentless construction of housing, particularly in that area, but merely to point towards it. The image is rendered in a deadpan, adapted pointillist style, which allows me to subtly include high colour alongside local colour, and so that no gesture detracts from the motif. The subject matter for the majority of my paintings lies in the terrain between suburbia and something more rural - chosen deliberately for it being neither one thing nor the other. This too is a familiar, unremarkable scene with only the fluttering yellow hazard tape on guy rope to animate it and serve to define pictorial space in the manner of Breugel's "Hunters in the Snow." 

Sean Williams
Culture Moves Slowly
Acrylic on board, 90 x 68 x 3 cms


Caitlin Kiely, A Constructed Coexistence

Caitlin Kiely is a visual storyteller who uses both materials and processes to visually excavate narratives, histories and memories embedded within the landscape. A Constructed Coexistence is a publication based around a car park in Digbeth, Birmingham. It is a space formed by the remains of an industrial factory building. 

On a surface level it appeared as though nature was existing in a state of equilibrium with the industrial ruins, however research into the area revealed that the space fell within the Warwick Bar conversation area. 

Kiely considers how the space is maintained and/or orchestrated by human hands and therefore meant that nature could not behave naturally. The project involved abstracting this representation of nature from this location and applying it to a new material state. 

Kiely is concerned with time as a sequence which informs our understanding of place. Research into the history and activity of a space allows us to see beyond a locations physical representation. She explores how these activities characterise the present landscape, allowing us to penetrate through its surface.

Often, her practice considers sedimentary rock as a physical archive into the earth's history. Her current area of practice led research proposes the formation of rocks as a process to illustrate the structure of time deposited within the body.

A Constructed Coexistence

Twitter: @caitkiely
Instagram: @caitlinkiely

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