This site documents my growing interest as an artist and cultural
geographer in all things watery. Things that fascinate me: the shifting tide line bloated by storm surge; the stream that meanders then suddenly swells with the impact of flash flood; those places
where earth is wet and water is rock strewn.

I am currently undertaking a PhD with the University of Exeter in Cornwall, provisionally entitled ‘Fractured Earth: towards an expanded imaging of landscape through art practice’. I work with painting as a nodal point in a practice that spans installation, digital media and performance.

At this point you may well be wondering – why then water? So…

Line Made By Stream. Watercolour & digital print on watercolour paper. 2014
Line Made By Stream. Watercolour & digital print on watercolour paper. 2014

An unnamed stream runs off the moor following a line of fracture in the Lands End granite, for a mile until it joins the Atlantic at Porthglaze Cove. On 5th April 2009, a localised storm came in out of nowhere straight off the Atlantic. The trickle of a stream swelled into a raging torrent in the space of two hours, resulting in the collapse of a bridge and tragic loss of life.

This PhD research approaches the stream through the lens of a materials-based artist practice to consider how working with the life of the stream might lead to the generation of images in the studio that challenge sedimented forms of representation and received notions of landscape.

Set against the backdrop of the picturesque frame of the heritage landscape, I am working with the fluidity of water and the earthiness of soil; the liquid materiality of water and the deep temporality and verticality of soil act to undercut or disrupt received notions of landscape. Water renders well-trodden terrain impassable, inaccessible and hostile – the coastal footpath was closed for six months after the flooding. The structure of soil casts a forensic shadow reaching into the non-human past. The material fluidity of water renders life in constant re-formings. The research is working with the swollen stream and the geology of the unfolded cliff-line as affective sites of intersection, re-formation and disruption.

Rebounding against and through this material investigation, the research is establishing a dialogue between non-representational and vitalist accounts of landscape in geographical studies, and parallel work in visual and cultural studies that re-imagines the future of the image to consider the potential for the creative production of images that unsettle the frame of landscape. How might working with the life of the stream lead to the generation of images in the studio that unsettle representations of landscape and contribute to understandings of landscape change?

Supervised by Caitlin DeSilvey, John Wylie and Iain Biggs.
For information and images related to other elements of my art practice, please visit my main website veronicavickery.co.uk

I undertook the MA Fine Art: Contemporary Practice (dist.) in 2010 at Falmouth University. Gaining a PGCHE (Academic and Creative Practice) at Falmouth in 2012, I am a Fellow of the HEA.
I have been an associate lecturer at Falmouth since 2011 
teaching site-specific performance practices to Theatre students. As an associate lecturer, I also co-taught a 2nd year BA Geography double module ‘Environment Place and the Past’ for Exeter in 2014.

I am a member of the AHRC network ‘Between the Tides‘ led by
Owain Jones (Bath Spa) & Bettina Van Hoven (Groningen).
I am also the post-grad representative on the RGS-IBG
History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group.

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