This work takes a journey through the history and actuality of a rural landscape to construct a narrative of the past and transcribe subjective experiences of place into communicable art forms. Janet Lambert’s doctoral project investigates change and decay in the rural landscape of the North Pennines through a variety of practices that bring together fieldwork and concept to find ways of mapping connectivity. Self-reflective and self-evaluating at every stage, Janet’s practice of revisiting and re-evaluating human markings on the rural landscape is placed within a cycle of discovery, collection and discard, of creation, loss and finding.
Janet’s holistic approach acknowledges from the outset the subjectivity of her research question and uses that as a positive concept to inform her methodology. Her fieldwork in particular not only allows her to unearth stories from the landscape, but also brings to the fore her own role as explorer, researcher and collector.
Collecting is a major part of this project: both the finding of objects such as fragments of pottery and other discards – the subjective sifting of the detritus of untold stories of unknown lives – and also reflection on the human practice of collecting itself as one of nature’s agencies in the repositioning of things in time and space. The role of collector here is no less than the role of the found objects, and this is reflected in the evocation both of the past lives hinted at by the artefacts, and of the routes and journeys Janet has made in search of these finds.