Talk by Simon English
Friday 22 July, 3pm.
on the Caught by the River stage at Port Eliot festival.
Conceptual artist Simon English talks about his “journey of rediscovery” while making England Revisited – a unique land artwork about Time – that builds upon his 1971 artwork All England Sculpture; both covering 275 miles across the length of the country.
For the All England Sculpture, young artist Simon English marked out the word ‘ENGLAND’ on a map from Hadrian’s Wall to the South Coast. He then hitch-hiked around the country collecting local flora, photographically documenting each place, and meeting local people. He marked each spot visited with a St George’s flag and a note inviting people to write to him – which many did.
Point 43, 1971. photo Simon English
In 1971, Simon visited 75 places represented by the points on each letter of the word ‘ENGLAND’. The word ENGLAND stood 275 miles long and 40 miles wide, with 10 miles between each point within a letter and 15 miles between the individual letters. The northernmost (point 01) point was near Throckley, west of Newcastle while the southernmost (point 75) was near Ladyholt Park, on the Hampshire-Surrey border. The journey took three months to complete, covering about 5350 miles. Simon travelled by road and on foot (including 160 hitched lifts).
Point 43, 2010 – photo Simon English
Forty years later in 2010, Simon English drove to the same 75 locations to witness, document and comment on the changes that have occurred in their landscapes, ecologies, communities and industries over the past four decades. Once again, he placed a flag at each point, interacted with local people and gather plant samples. This time, Simon was armed with the latest digital technology and his journey was tracked online via GPS as it unfolded and his reflections on each point were captured via video diary on www.englandrevisited.net
About England Revisited, Simon English says:-
“Where the AES was a work about space, England Revisited is a work about Time. Time as evidenced by change or lack of change; changes that indicate where the land and its inhabitants have been and where it might be going; historical and future indicative”.
At Port Eliot, Simon will talk about England then and now, illustrating his findings with comparative photographs.
About Simon English
Simon English (b. 1949) is a conceptual land artist with over 20 ambitious land art works to his credit. Apart from All England Sculpture, his Camomile Swan (1989) and Reversing the Zebra (1992) have received critical and popular acclaim. He lives in Stratford upon Avon, England.
England Revisited was commissioned by Artevents for The Re-Enchantment, a national programme exploring our relationships to place (www.artevents.info).