We were recently interviewed by Sara Jaspen for HOME MCR about our upcoming show in March 2018.
MARIO POPHAM AND TOM BASKEYFIELD: FLESH AND STONE
FRI 9 MAR – SUN 29 APR
Tom Baskeyfield is a multidisciplinary artist with an ecological focus, and Mario Popham’s photographs explore humankinds’ paradoxical relationship with nature.
Flesh and Stone forms the second stage of a wider collaboration between you both. Could you tell us more?
TB: The overall project is called Shaped by Stone and examines how humans have both transformed and been transformed by the landscape over time. The first part, Strata to Streets, was based on my home town Macclesfield, where gritstone quarried from Tegg’s Nose since the 16th century forms part of the nearby streets, buildings and walls today.
MP: For Flesh and Stone, we’re shifting our focus to a much larger area; examining how the hills and people of North Wales were transformed by the large-scale extraction of slate to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution. From various visits, we’ve been struck by the complex socio-political history of the area and how its story is inextricably linked to the stone.
How did the project start? How has it evolved?
TB: It began with a series of graphite stone rubbings that I made out of a desire to reconnect with the rurality of the place where I grew up, and to return to a more physical way of working. Around the same time, I saw an exhibition of Mario’s photographs at Cornerhouse called Enduring Growth (2014). Many of the ideas seemed to resonate with my own and, after several conversations, we decided to collaborate on a project for Barnaby Festival 2016. A number of research walks eventually led to Strata to Streets.
MP: The work in Flesh and Stone will be quite different. I’ve since switched from an old Victorian-style camera to digital, which has really loosened things up as I don’t need to be so precious about the film. There’ll also be portraits of the people that we interviewed. Tom, on the other hand, has also begun cutting into the surface of his rubbings – echoing how the slate has been manipulated through human intervention, creating both a destructive and transformative effect.