Paper, Stones and Water
A series of 59
medium: 53 azo dye (cibachrome) photographic colour
prints and 6 black and white photographic works completed between
There is a long tradition of
landscape art. The landscape which is important to me, though, is not
scenery or far-distant views, but rather what happens on the scale
where even a stone or single wave can make a difference. That is enough
One becomes more alert to the order and meaning in the landscape. I
like to underline this, when I find it, through simple acts and
elements. Stone becomes rounded by the action of weather and waves. It
takes information from water, but very slowly. Paper is quicker. Paper
has a beautiful fragility which stone does not have. It is vulnerable
and sensitive to any information which is acted on it: the waves, the
rain, the wind, the forms underneath. The very deep past found in stone
becomes concealed by a very fragile present.
The works are attached to the moment of their making. It is a
privileged moment involving a natural dimension of time. Some things
may last a long time, and others may only last between one wave and the
next. The only thing certain is change.
The great Stone Circles and Standing Stones of antiquity are very
powerful. One hears legends and theories. But you do not solve the
mystery, you enter it. Out there on the moors, my intent was to
activate the sites in some way — to make contact across the millennia.
With the paper I was able to make a simple gesture which left no
permanent mark yet had a great impact on the landscape.
Still, several feet of white paper are not the art work. The hill, the
stones, the grass, the wind, the rain, the tide are all a part. So the
art work is not all finished — there are many parts still there. For me
the paper acts as the crossroad for the gap between the real and the
possible. What happens in the real world changes my original idea. This
is what I like, the dynamic moment when I discover that the wind or
rain is not an obstacle but an important event.
The actions of nature may seem random, or unpredictable; the way smooth
stones sit naturally at the shore appears to have no organization. I
have found, though, that if I manipulate any of them, the interference
is obvious. The kind of order I impose is unlikely to occur naturally.
But the imposition is slight. The next high tide will disturb my
arrangement and re-organize the elements again. Nature is never
Marlene Creates, 1981
A bilingual publication on this work is
Marlene Creates: Landworks 1979-1991