Artists Morag Colquhoun and Lisa Wilkens met when Morag visited Lisa’s studio at Wysing Art Centre in Cambridgeshire and Lisa visited Morag’s studio at Penpont in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.
We connected over our interest in politics, ecology and activism. We decided that Raymond Williams would be a good creative focus for us because he was born in the Black Mountains area near Abergavenny but ended up at Cambridge University.
Williams compared the two landscapes in his 1973 book, The Country and the City, but discussed a deeper contrast ‘between what seems an unmediated nature – a physical awareness of trees, birds, the moving shapes of land – and a working agriculture, in which much of the nature is in fact being produced.’
We took out words and phrases from the book that interested us and used them to narrate our collaboration. In effect, this blog is a deconstructed slide presentation in which selected text from The Country and the City accompanies each image. Our blog posts include dialogue transcribed from two slide presentations we organised for small discussion groups at Wysing, Cambridgeshire and Peak in the Black Mountains.
We would particularly like to thank Rosemary Shirley and others who contributed to these discussions.
Morag Colquhoun and Lisa Wilkens