I am a visual artist based on Iona working with drawing, print, sculpture and installation in an exploration of the landscapes that surround and are my home, as set within the wider social and political framework in which island culture rests. My work has explored the iconoclasm of the Reformation and its impact on the auditory landscapes of Lewis and Iona http://www.resoundings.com and current work explores representations of political and religious belief in landscape through an inquiry into the proximity of God and warfare in the landscapes of the Hebrides.
Residencies on several of the neighbouring islands to my home on Iona have developed my perception of island environments “as historical and mythological sites of convergence between elemental forces of nature, human life and the divine”.1 Journeying, and deep connection to land are recurrent themes within my work. Through a digging down into the cultural history of place, my practice explores what the poet Meg Bateman describes as a consideration of the known world and the unknown world; one world viewed from a socio-historical perspective, and the other seen fleetingly through the wilderness, from a mythopoeic perspective. Continued learning of Gaelic allows another dimension of understanding of the landscapes I explore and I view this learning as an intrinsic part of my practice. I have undertaken immersive residencies in Scotland, Finland and Canada, and continue to develop my practice within a peer group environment through my involvement with artist collective 6°West and the RSA. — 1. Coburn, G. (2013) Geopoetics Journal, Stravaig #2. Retrieved from http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/online-journal/stravaig-issue-2/ ↩