©2016 by Allison Neal. Proudly created with Wix.com

The landscape is made of layers of history and memory and time. The past remains

visible in traces and shadows. It stains the landscape like lichen and dissolves it in grey clouds and damp mist.

 

Here, in South Wales, the recent industrial past has been brushed out of sight. Pits and quarries, limekilns and iron works have vanished. Slag heaps are grassed over, reservoirs turned into lakes, railway lines have become footpaths but traces still emain. An older memory of small hill farms has left it’s shadows too and, older still, the faintest of footprints mark the paths of the people who built hill forts and raised standing stones. Accretions of time, of memory, overlay and cover and hide the past. Only fragments survive to whisper in forgotten languages.

 

In the process of constructing the new dual carriage way though the Clydach gorge The engineers have totally transformed the landscape.  Not just soil but bedrock has been removed, blasted away.  The old surfaces have disappeared and new surfaces from deep inside the rock are now revealed, warmed by the sun, soaked by the rain. The past removes itself and reveals itself at the same time.

 

In these drawings I’ve been looking for an equivalence, not to what the landscape looks like, but to how it changes, how the past disappears and appears. My pencil walks across the surface of the land listening to its history.

 

The collages  are made from the edges of other paintings. The gestures and marks which held one meaning now convey very different information. They are transposed and transformed just as the landscape has been.

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