Student, Royal College of Art
The Importance of Not being present is a series of three site visits documenting the narrative of the life on that land. Using footprint trackers, field audio recording and photography The Importance of Not being present highlights the narrative of the life that lives in the pockets of land that we do not inhabit or visit.
The first volume of The Importance of Not Being present an archive of footprints created by residents of a piece of deserted land surround a nuclear power plant in South Wales, that due to the regulated temperature and constant sound of the chimneys has formed a densely populated micro climate providing a shelter from the extreme temperature changes brought on by global warming. These footprints are to be digitally displayed with accompanying field recording of insects inhabiting the land.
The third volume is an ongoing exploration into the changing nature of a welsh quarry hidden in the depths of a welsh valley. Pen-Y-Creigiau’s journey of re-healing due to the lack of frost on the valley in 2019/2020 allowing moss to flourish and provide and anchor for new vegetation that would usually be killed by the harsh winter months; highlights the change our climates are having on the smallest of the lands life. This book contains fifty images narrating these changes over the last six months and is to continue over the next few years.
The Importance of Not Being Present is driven by a unifying set of Rules for Practice to ensure minimal impact on the land, and highlight to the viewer how important it is that we do not go to these areas seeking out this life.
Eleanor Wemyss recently graduated from Royal College of Art after eight years of a curatorial and collaborative based fine art practice in London. She uses multiple methodologies to explore areas of land that have been left to re-heal. Guided by a series of rules for practice she has spent the last two years developing; she collects footprints, sound, photographic images and moving images to provide evidence of life in the land. She titles her practice ‘The Importance of Not Being Present’ a concept key to her work. Her work highlights what happens when humans do not interfere and provides evidence of life beyond what we can see. In the summer of 2019 she spent a month exploring an area of land surrounding a nuclear power plant producing a series of foot prints provided by nocturnal wild life highlighting these pockets of hyper eco system. Her current exploration is of a quarry site in mid Wales on a private area of land not accessible to humans or farm animals, and therefore creating its own eco system. Her illustrative books provide a narrative to the land but often do not state where the sites are in order to prevent further human interaction. Her most recent publication Pen-Y-Creigiau provides an insight into a world going through new changes due to the increase in temperature and lack of frost on the Welsh Valleys in the last year.