SALLY KIDALL

Through site-specific environmental installations I seek to challenge the predictability of expectations & ‘cultural homogeneity’. My art practice is inspired by the complexities, equilibrium and fragility of the natural environment and by the ways in which our man-made systems work within, or in opposition to, these natural systems. The focus of my practice is the concept of transition, including notions of unpredictability, vulnerability, deterioration and ephemerality. It is informed by issues relating to human ecology, cultural displacement, consumption and materialism.

Concept for my projects

These monumental landscape scars of the Mendip limestone quarries commemorate the regions valuable contribution to the industrialisation of Britain. Traditionally the Mendips’ limestone has been quarried for building construction, but more recently these quarries have supplied aggregate for the new motorway networks and new manufacturing industries of the 20th century. The decommissioned quarries are rapidly being repatriated by the natural ecosystems. But with the ever-increasing population, expanding building and manufacturing industries led by excess in consumerism and materialism, raises questions as to the future security of the remaining Mendips landscape and communities.

I have very vivid and fond childhood memories of Somerset and the Mendips region from my regular holidays with my Grandmother who lived in Bath. The long journey from my home took us via my favourite ancient sites in Wiltshire, either via Stone Henge, or the stone circle at Avebury, Silbury Hill, West Kennett Long Barrow. I was intrigued by the increasing predominance of stone buildings in contrast to the redbrick of my hometown in N.Surrey as we travelled west.

These industrial blemishes set into the familiar landscape from my childhood memories make a most appropriate setting and an ideal platform to continue my research and art practice. Recently I have been exploring contemporary interpretations of commemorative memorials and monuments as a way of initiating conversations and increasing awareness regarding the preciousness of our natural resources and the natural environments/ecosystems that shelter them. Currently I live in Australia where the construction of new mines and quarries has been extremely controversial owing to their destructive impacts on our precious water supplies, agricultural land and local communities. The Mendips regions have very similar concerns that need to be shared with a wider audience, using art as a form of activism. The influences of my Wiltshire/Somerset childhood adventures have been most evident in these works with strong recurring references to prehistoric stone monuments.

Sally Kidall - Lest we Forget: is enough enough?

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