English Diagrams, an exhibition of paintings, drawings and assemblage, is the culmination of doctoral study for Helen Billinghurst. The exhibition opens with a shared reading at 2pm, on 14th July, in the downstairs studios project space, Mills Bakery Building, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, and runs until 27th July. The exhibition will be open daily from 12.30pm until 5.30pm.
The work has been made in response to a series of walks on a single route across a turbulent England, before, during and after the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Autobiographical story, personal mythology, and sediments of collective memory interred within the corporeal landscape, were drawn out through the sensory, somatic rhythms of walking, and through selection of specific materials found along the way. These elements and their affects were employed to bridge the exterior world of the English landscape with the interior world of the maker’s studio. The work explores how the fields, gaps, lines and folds of the landscape can translated into a bricolage of visual and painterly languages that is as heterogeneous as the terrain it refers to.
This research explores new routes for creative practice by mapping the relationships between the embodied world of the walked landscape, the subjective terrain of the practitioner, and the maker’s studio. It exposes fresh avenues for making, and interrogates previously uncharted combinations of practice, by demonstrating how the expanded fields of painting, drawing and assemblage can be informed by the activity of sensitised walking.