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Allison Neal


The landscape is made of layers of history and memory and time. The past remains visible in traces and shadows. It stains the landscape like lichen and dissolves it in grey clouds and damp mist.

Here, in South Wales, the recent industrial past has been brushed out of sight. Pits and quarries, limekilns and iron works have vanished. Slag heaps are grassed over, reservoirs turned into lakes, railway lines have become footpaths but traces still remain. An older memory of small hill farms has left it’s shadows too and, older still, the faintest of footprints mark the paths of the people who built hill forts and raised standing stones. Accretions of time, of memory, overlay and cover and hide the past. Only fragments survive to whisper in forgotten languages.

Since the beginning of the year I have been working in the landscape of the coal valleys of South Wales, looking for an equivalence, not to what the landscape looks like, but to how it hides and reveals the past. My pencil walks across the surface of the land listening to its history.

The collages are made from fragments of other paintings. The gestures and marks which held one meaning now convey very different information. They are transposed and transformed just as the landscape has been.


Sewn Landscape

Antarctic cagoule from landscape

Landscape from Tablecloth

Quilted Landscape

Clydach Gorge 3

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