The Exbury Egg is a necessary intervention in the landscape at a key moment when climate change is already creating new shorelines and habitats. Established salt marsh is being eroded by a combination of rising sea levels and falling landmass and the entire littoral environment is in a state of flux. The implications for wildlife and flora as well as people are challenging and raise awareness of a particularly 21st century sort of tension and anxiety in our society where place is much talked about - yet where people are increasingly out of place and out of step with nature.
In the character of the Beaulieu Beadle I intend a performative role which is both practical and poetic as a guardian of the foreshore and 'a herald who makes aware'. For the next twelve months I will seek to examine the implications for people, wildlife and flora of a landscape in flux. During this time the Egg exterior will be scoured, scraped and bleached by sea, wind and sun, creating a natural patination which is in itself a calendar of the turning year. Inside, my own visual and philosophical journey will be catalogued in collections of still and moving image, found objects, drawings and maps that chart an emotional as much as a physical geography. Thus the Egg will become a sculptural element in a time based happening, that both inside and out is a creative archive about one of the pressing issues of our times. In an age of hubris and self promotion, I want to provide a voice for mute nature, to be amanuensis to the tides, the terns and the turnstones.
My regular journal of thoughts, ideas,happenings and work can be followed from July 15th 2013 at http://exburyegg.me
First: A vision of the site painted in watercolour made from the western red cedar used to construct the Egg © Stephen Turner 2013
Second: Spartina Pastel No2 made from flotsam found on the Beaulieu River © Stephen Turner 2010
Below: 'Estuary' video © Museum of London 2013
Stephen Turner's work often involves spending long periods in odd abandoned places, noting changes in the complex relationship between human-made and natural environments. His projects are rooted in research, which explores these themes in a variety of media. Disciplinary boundaries are challenged through a creative practice that involves sampling, collecting, annotating, editing and merging of historic, geographic and environmental data with other more subjective investigations into the distinctiveness and particularity of place.
The Exbury Egg project will build on the artist's previous work which includes installations for Turner Contemporary in Margate, Trinity Buoy Wharf in London, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art in Sunderland, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art in Northamptonshire and recently for The Bridge Guard, Residential Art & Science Centre on the Danube Bend in _túrovo, Slovakia (2011-12).
He was a part of the Third World Water Conference in Kyoto, Japan in 2003, exhibiting at the Honen- in Temple and later at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Toyota. Tree Rings for Stour Valley Arts studied the ecologies of different species of tree during a twelve-month residence at Kingswood, Kent in 2004.
His Seafort Project from 2005 is being reprised in the group exhibition 'Estuary' at the Museum of London Docklands, from 17 May to 27 October this year.
Winner of LEAF Sustainable Interior of the Year Award 2013
Shortlisted for LEAF Best Use of Space Award 2013
Shortlisted for The Wood Awards: Small Project 2013 (winner to be announced 19th November)
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