A Layered Land

Exhibition at Timespan Helmsdale, Scotland

19th November 2016 to 5th February 2017

I am drawn to peatland by its qualities of seeming to be both nothing and everything, it has a quality of otherness. At first the bogland seems like there is nothing there, a wet dessert. On looking close, you see the multitude of intertwined plant life and the quiet workings of sphagnum.
Timespan commissioned me to make a peat wall drawing for the exhibition A Layered Land, an exhibition about the peatland for which this area is renown.

Caroline Dear installing peat - TimespanCaroline Dear installing peat - TimespanCaroline Dear installing peat - Timespan


For this I responded to the space, the subject and the location by making a wall piece, floor to ceiling, 3m high by 0.8 m wide with embedded text, in Latin, of 12 of the common plants found in the peatland around Helmsdale. This is made from building up many thin layers of peat which are applied directly to the gallery wall.

Caroline Dear Peat Depth - Timespan


Caroline Dear plant list peat timespan


The work in the exhibition also includes screenprints which are made using peat as the ink as well as the subject matter, one piece consists of individual sphagnum drawings sceenprinted onto small found glass shelves.

Caroline Dear - Glass prints shelf - TimespanCaroline Dear - Screen prints peat - Timespan


Another work is a series of twelve small square wooden boards each with built up of layers of peat combined with gold leaf abstract forms influenced by the marks left on the peatland from peatcutting.

Caroline Dear Bog Gold - Timespan


Caroline Dear peat screenprints - TimespanCaroline Dear peat markings - Timespan