The lament project uses animation and site specific found objects to explore a personal narrative of loss, longing and belonging in the Welsh borderlands. Central to this exploration is a study of landscape and place.
I realised that it was important to find a method of place sensitive practice that enabled me to work both in the studio with digital technologies and also out in the landscape. I spent 2011 documenting sites through extensive study, including drawing, photography, video and the collection of found objects; leaves, wood, animal remains etc..
When I returned to the studio I used stop motion to animate these objects and then composited them back into video footage of the landscape using visual effects software, this process allowed me to play with ideas of scale and memory developing an object driven narrative.
As the project progressed the really exciting prospect emerged of using hand held mobile devices to access these virtual objects and of creating a site specific element which complemented the moving image piece.
Working with Steve Knight, my tinderfarm collaborator, we started to experiment with ‘augmented reality’ software, which through its integration of GPS positioning and user controlled field of view allows access to selective audio-visual material in the landscape. This site-specific process of ‘re-compositing’ the objects back into the landscape allows the viewer to physically interact with the artwork whilst simultaneously raising questions about process and perception.
In early 2012 we created 5 giant leaves from samples found on location and during the exhibition at Oriel Davies these were located in the parkland surrounding the gallery.
Following the exhibition we relocated them to the Stiperstones, a wild boulder-strewn ridge on the Shropshire / Powys border which is explored in the Lament moving image work.
This place is steeped in folklore and mystery and has a deep resonance both for the Lament project and me. We often visited it as children, following the footsteps of Bronze age man and racing to sit in ‘the Devil’s Chair’, an imposing rock formation near the summit.
The Stiperstones site is a National Nature Reserve managed by Natural England, and also part of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The augmented reality pieces are located along the ridge and can be found by taking the main path up the hill from the top car park.
Visit lament.seanvicary.com on your mobile device for detailed instructions on how to install the necessary software and a map showing where the AR Leaves are located.