In an era where technology rules the day, every day, when does humanity observe, experience and exist through physicality? As I'm writing this post, I'm glued to my computer screen; recollecting a physical encounter between my body and nature by lending my words to an intangible coding system. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Space, Place and Sensations, a seminar attached to Odyssean: Topographies at Hestercombe, Taunton - the culmination of four artists' residences undertaken in the Orkney Isles.
Following a morning of lectures delivered by Harriet Hawkins and John Wylie on land experience, Natasha Rosling (one of the four Odyssean: Topographies artists) and collaborator Vilma Luostarinen reinvigorated our physical selves through a feast of earth- and ocean-inspired food. Titled Edible Coastlines, the lunch entwined the physical and the cognitive; encouraging our minds to forge new, imaginary spaces within the caverns of our bodies through the tactile sensations of touch, texture and taste, and the optics of colour and form.
It was an ideal trip to make in January: Winter, photographs by John Vere Brown, at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, timelessly depicts the transformative force of a single season. On display until the end of January, this series of silver bromide prints reveals an unknown aspect of Brown's oeuvre. Famous for his portraits of the British theatre between the 1960s and 70s, his documentation of British landscapes remains, for the most part, a hidden collection.
Winter comprises a continuous flow of scenery from the heart of the Peak District: the images' mono-tonality provide audiences with a panoramic-like view of endless hills and farmland - unpopulated and bleak in the midst of the coldest season. Through his camera, Brown captures the vast blankets of white snow which have been pulled into wave-like formations by prevailing the winds.
The snow - speckled-grey by the film's grain - merges into each scene's deep grey sky while barricading itself against the uneven stone-walls which litter the barren landscape. These man-made boundaries provide linear reference points by which to determine distance, depth and scale. These details, along with the sparse inclusion of trees and natural elements, are made evermore important against the backdrop of limitless snow-drifts.
It's the start of something new: elements of promise and excitement greet us in the first few days of 2018 - all before those January blues kick in. Along with the countless resolutions, there's another way to mark the New Year: to look ahead at the array of exhibitions and events coming up across the UK. Dundee, Yorkshire and London are all on the radar.
V&A Dundee, Scotland's first design museum, opens its doors in September with Ocean Liners: Speed and Style. Three years in the making and costing an estimated £80 million, this new landmark on Dundee's waterfront will provide a comprehensive platform for international design, fashion, architecture and photography in Scotland. Mirroring the work of V&A London, this institution will shine a light on the nation's design achievements through its dedicated Scottish Design Galleries.