Evangeline Morris has been commissioned by Peatland Connections to interpret and create work inspired by a peatland site; we get to know her in this welcome interview.
Hi Evangeline, tell us about yourself.
I am an early career visual Artist who uses languages of print and drawing to explore a contemporary relationship with landscape, its histories and modern day interactions with it. I research overlooked, liminal pockets of land concerned by how they communicate with us about their history and environmental condition.
What art do you create, and what inspires you to do so?
I create work through print and drawing, often beginning with on site work using an extended idea of a drawing practice that incorporates everything about your interactions with place: from how you move on foot, feeling the land through your feet; to how you focus and converse with place through the enabler of a drawing tool; I draw the land to learn about its uniqueness and become aware of the ways it presents its archive of information accrued within.
What was your path into art?
I studied for an undergraduate degree in Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, where I first became aware of an interest in Land and the idea of using art methods as a way to understand more about it. Since then I have developed my practice and realised an awareness of the importance that trace has within my work be that the physical tracing I carry out of place, to the trace of history and environmental change within land.
Your work is based on the peatland landscapes – how have you familiarised yourself with the landscape so far?
Prior to arriving on-site I studied the maps given to me to try and understand roughly how the site was laid out and how the Landscape was formed. Once on site I began drawing, by walking and using visual methods, and quickly understood that there are two landscapes to the peatlands one is visual and one is felt, the layer underneath the cover of foliage to the squidgy bog. I took time to process everything from physically using touch to guide across the site as advised, to the smells, sounds, colours and textures of this place as it constantly shifts and grows.
What are you most looking forward to in your work with Peatland Connections?
I was most looking forward to actually venturing into a peat bog, to understand the interplay between our human interaction and the impacts it has on the bog and its wider environment. I was surprised when I arrived on site to find out actually how closely protected wetland and human activity, and just how ferocious the assisted run off of water from the site almost immediately after rainfall. This became one of the leading points of interest for my work as it developed.