Liz Clifford

MA Fine Art - Farnham


My work is concerned, on a micro-level, with a narrow locale and specific objects. However, on a macro level, it is engaged with discourse about geological time, the causes of climate change, and environmental breakdown.

Central to my practice is the daily act of walking in the landscape of the South Downs National Park. It is where materials and subject matter are found. A walk is an act of self-care, as well as care for the place, clearing litter as I go. The human-made detritus I collect, the materiality of those objects, the act of walking and the hill itself are my subject matter.

This repetitive focus on landscape and geology has allowed me to explore concerns around fossil-fuelled recreation, plastic waste, and erosion in the work. The debate around the politics of litter, explored by rural sociologist Rosemary Shirley, have prompted a closer look at my own reactions to what I find. Litter in a rural context is not tidied away but has a striking and enduring presence that often throws up ironic juxtapositions.

The project, Byway 745 Observatory, is a year-long residency in a section of 4000-year-old sunken lane, currently a Byway Open to All Traffic. The area studied reaches down from the canopy of beech trees to the bedrock of chalk. A “critical zone”, as defined by earth system scientists – the zone, a few kilometres thick, from the lower atmosphere to the upper bedrock in which life on earth occurs. This is an exercise in stopping to look rather than passing through, monitoring incremental and mundane changes, as a natural scientist or an anthropologist might. Drawings from observation and collections of materials have been made on site. I have used video to record natural cycles and human interventions and the work has evolved into a body of interconnected outcomes.

Those outcomes include – sculptures made from salvaged materials and found objects, contained in stacks of gabion baskets; large scale drawings; photographs; video and placed objects. The landscape is explored in the installation space through those objects and materials, as well as through the media of sound, video and living elements. Found objects appear multiple times – in the video, incorporated in the sculpture, drawn, photographed and placed in the space. Echoes and connections are created between the pieces to build a narrative.






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Liz Clifford | Fine Art 7
On Thin Soil - Byway 745 Observatory
Liz Clifford | Fine Art 3
Byway 745 Observatory 2021
Liz Clifford | Fine Art 6View pdf
Byway 745
Liz Clifford | Fine Art 5
Byway 745 Observatory - installation
Liz Clifford | Fine Art 4
Among the Roots - Byway 745 Observatory
Liz Clifford | Fine Art 2
Intervention - Byway 745
Liz Clifford | Fine Art 1
Quaternary - Byway 745 Observatory
Liz Clifford | Fine Art