OD Photo Prize 2021 | Shortlisted Artist
Tamsin Green introducing this is how the earth must see itself: A walk with Natural Features: “The Ordnance Survey’s (OS) mapping of Great Britain in the late eighteenth century was a landmark in human attempts to know the land. Seeking defence against a feared French invasion, the priority was to survey the South Coast of England, and anything that could be hidden behind. Walking up to 40 miles a day, the field surveyors were tasked with categorising the landscape they passed through according to a list of predefined rules. From the earliest map sheets, the ‘rock features’ were treated as ornament. Formations observed on the surface of the earth are not simply decorative surface features but represent the intersection of the earth’s surface with the body of the earth. The processes of weathering and erosion, coupled with the human hand, shape the visibility of rocks on the surface and can move the rocks from one category to another. Using a combination of archival material, open source data and photographs, the project follows these rock features as a guide. Following in the footsteps of the surveyor she oscillates between seeking to know and name the land, and melting into aimless wandering, loosing sense of time and scale. The process of ordering the images into these pre-defined categories throws up questions as pebbles become boulders, flowing water becomes outcrop. As with all classification systems, the rules are subjective, leading to their own telling of the story. The work was made on the South Coast of England where she has been walking for more than 20 years. She returns again and again, spending time with the path; walking, pausing, sleeping. The South Coast is the edge of our contact with the nearest continent, a border of particular significance with the contraction of boundaries we have all been experiencing. The book references the physical properties of the OS map; it’s format, tactility, and folding.” – Tamsin Green, 2021
Tamsin Green is a photographer & architect based in London. Her work explores the tensions between scientific classification systems & the walked experience of the landscape; hunting and mapping familiar things that are often overlooked or under-explored. The natural world is at the core of her practice and she is committed to making her practice low impact and sustainable. The physical & tactile medium of the artist book is central to how her work takes shape, with paper maquettes made throughout each project to arrive at the final book. The books combine archival material and satellite imagery with her own photographs & drawings. She has self published two handmade books in small editions: ‘Born of the Purest Parents’ (2018), and ‘This is how the earth must see itself’ (2021). These award winning books have been widely exhibited and acquired by private and public collections, including the Tate and the Victoria & Albert museum. In 2021 she established manual.editions as a platform to publish her handmade books in an environmentally conscious way. The first title was this is how the earth must see itself, published in a limited edition of 58 books.
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