Sian MacFarlane’s series ‘We will meet sooner than two mountains’ consists of a series of annotated photographs from 1946 charting a trip and journey across North Wales. Using archival material of letters between a Victorian artist, Lily Whaite, and her father, combined with her own personal experiences with the place, MacFarlane takes us on a journey through the landscape. The work explores a place where people and their experiences exist almost in a hidden sense, and a search to reveal them; MacFarlane re-encounters these places that she has grown up with, striving to gain understanding from them and the archival material.
Sian talks about her installation
After Sian MacFarlane came in to talk about her work, I could see links to my own work and so decided to look at how she could influence my project. Like Sian I want to take my viewer on a journey through the landscape; to me I am newly discovering this landscape and the river Sherbourne, whereas I feel Sian is rediscovering the landscape that she has grown up with. Both Sian’s work and mine looks at a personal journey that we aim to show and highlight to our viewers. Our approaches are different, with Sian looking at archival material and re-discovering a place through these archives and own experience, whereas I aim to discover the river for the first time and highlight my journey to my viewers.
McFarlane combines sound and visuals as well as moving images to give a whole sense of being there; the viewer is transported to this place. The whole feel is very surreal with the combination of reading from the archive and the noises of nature. In my work I could look at this idea of the senses and combining sound to my imagery to create a greater sense of my journey and personal experience. One idea could be to record the sounds of the surrounding area to transport my viewer there. Another idea is to record my own thoughts as I travel down the journey of the river. I plan to experiment with this as I begin to create more images.