The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me
But do not hide your face...
Maya Angelou, On The Pulse of Morning.
The landscape we see is dependent on the geology we cannot see. 'Terrain' features work by a potter, a ceramic sculptor, a painter and a photographer, brought together because of what they show us about the geology and minerals beneath the surface of Cornwall. This is not for decorative effect, but reveals a far more elemental relationship with the solidity of our ground. Paul Jackson uses clay from, and creates forms that correspond to, the moor. Lar Cann visualises massive granite slabs and the intervention of the quarryman’s explosives. Jenny Beavan scoops up material from river, beach and quarry, while Adam Pedley records the mineral industry alongside the natural erosion resulting from the prevailing Atlantic climate.
The Royal Cornwall Museum provides the most meaningful location for the exhibition 'Terrain'. This is the home of the Royal Institution of Cornwall and its internationally renowned collection of minerals and geological histories of the county is considered one of the finest in the world.
'Terrain' is the exhibition that adds a contemporary Cornish investigation to the genre of art referencing geology, presenting a spread of beautiful art and artefacts in the very building that enables the most direct visual research. Important questions that the 'Terrain' exhibition artists ask are, "How does this landscape feel? How can the sensation of being in the landscape be translated or described in visual terms?"
I hope that visitors to 'Terrain' will enjoy the connection between the mineral collection held by the museum and the artistic interpretation. They may look at our landscape with a renewed sense of how it was formed, how it feels to be within it and might be inspired to express their own response in an artistic form.
Extract from the catalogue notes: Esther Dudley, Curator
Photography: Jamin Lean and Bernie Petterson
The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, Random House Inc.1994