How can the process of practice-led research make visible the contradictions of a wild and beautiful landscape punctuated by weapons of mass destruction secreted deep within the military industrial complex? What could be the most appropriate ‘voice’ through which to reflect the complex paradox of questions emanating from this heavily coded landscape?
Ross Sinclair aims to interrogate the agency of an individual art practice set against such a coded landscape, proposing a new constellation for the Lighthouse, seeking to explore empathetic formal manifestations conjured by these questions where certain forms, for example, the photographic or aural, may be too fixed or formalised to simply readthis particular landscape.
Over a full Calendar year, Sinclair repeatedly walked a 10km route along the spine of the Rosneath Peninsula in close proximity to the Nuclear Submarine Bases at Coulport and Faslane, on the Firth of Clyde – Gare Loch/Loch Long. This investigation was undertaken in all seasons and in all weather, with Sinclair observing and documenting the changes in light, weather flora and fauna at the destination of the walk: Trig Point OSBM S5140.
However, for this manifestation of the research the images and sounds collected are put to one side and instead a vignette is created conjuring a palimpsest of reflections and reveries conjured by this repeated journey. The works are further informed by Sinclair listening, while walking, to a series of audio books and lectures charting one paradigm of the culmination of human knowledge and understanding; The history of Philosophy, from the Pre-Socratics around the 7thand 6thCenturies BCE, walking through 2500 subsequent years toward the 21stCentury. As the distances and the knowledge accrues, the landscape itself becomes a dark mirror reflecting the end game of this rarefied philosophical discussion of Epistemology and Ontology. This knowledge and sense of being and ceasing to exist troubles our thoughts, as the cognitive dissonance of this sublime landscape with its invisible underground stores of Armageddon repeatedly fails to resolve into focus.
A series of T-Shirts are displayed announcing, ‘The Real Life Nuclear and Philosophical Resurrectionists Research Ramblers Society: Faslane & Coalport Chapter.’
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Sinclair sees this new work as a manifestation of discussions around coded landscape themes undertaken as part of ‘Reading Landscape’ Research Group’s enquiries. Practicing Landscape: Land, Histories and Transformation offers an opportunity to further develop this research through public dissemination and engagement.
TOP IMAGE: Ross Sinclair, ‘The Real Life Nuclear and Philosophical Resurrectionists Research Ramblers Society: Faslane & Coulport Chapter,’ 2020, (Detail). Photo: Jack McCombe