Hearth and Hill

Rebecca Spooner

Test Bed | 26 November 2011 - 1 February 2012

The Oriel Davies TestBed exhibition space has been transformed into a multi sensory micro-environment by Rebecca Spooner’s rich installation of film, photography and found objects from the natural environment.

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Rebecca Spooner completed her MA in Fine Art at the University of Wales in Cardiff in 2004. She has since moved to Crickhowell, Powys and refocused her artistic practice in response to the rural environment. Her installations are created using ‘lo-fi technology’ such as Polaroid photography and particularly Super 8 and 16mm film, often presented alongside an array of natural materials and found objects. Hearth and Hill is part of a wider ongoing investigation into the rich and varied experience of rural living, our relationship with nature and the passage of time.

'It’s about the tension between two desires, of wanting a shelter, a safe place or sense of home, and of being drawn outside to the hills and woods, finding wilder spaces'.

Interest in British 20th century landscape painters such as Paul Nash, Alfred Munnings and Ceri Richards has encouraged her painterly approach to landscape - exploring colour, light, form and composition. The Welsh landscape in particular is captured in recurring motifs - borders, valleys, mountains, waterfalls and wildlife which become metaphors for human emotions and desires.

The work is rich with pathetic fallacy and symbolism illustrating the wide and various literary influences, such as the nostalgic depictions of bygone times in the work of Laurie Lee and vivid atmospheric environments found in the work of Daphne du Maurier.

It is through the multi-layered and diverse literary, artistic and environmental associations that the work invites a very personal response.

Since completing her MA at UWIC in 2004 Spooner has exhibited at Newport Museum 2006, as part of Cywaith Cymru: Art Works Wales residency programme, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, Penpont Manor, Brecon, Open Empty Spaces, Cardiff and a solo show, The White Stag at g39 Cardiff 2008.

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Supporting new and experimental work by artists based in Wales and the Borders.

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