Below, the rocks plunged into darkness is a solo exhibition of new work by artist Lesley Punton continuing her exploration into mountain landscape and a consideration of how we experience, encounter and inhabit wild spaces.
Working with drawing, painting, text, film and photography in forms that seek to create parallels between the experiences of landscape and those of recording and representation, Punton’s work is informed by a longstanding interest in the history of mountain and polar exploration and through the artefacts, images and literature of exploration, memoir and scientific document. Her work is primarily focused upon how we experience and interact with wild landscape and how the prolonged gaze and an active, physical engagement with place might alter and deepen our relationship with the land.
Punton is a prolific mountain walker and her work portrays landscape not simply as a thing to passively view and admire, but as something to be with and to be a part of. This new body of work is primarily concerned with the stretching out of two different experiences of time – lived-time (whilst walking, where an awareness of time passing, twilight, and the rhythms of the seasons are made tangible); and the deep time of geology (where time stretches out in ways difficult to imagine on a human scale).
The title of the show “Below, the rocks plunged into darkness” comes from WH Murray’s book Mountaineering in Scotland written secretly whilst in a German prison camp during World War II – these riches mentally sustaining him during his capture. Punton’s work emphasizes the value that can be found in a slow, quiet, respect and care for such places and how they might help us begin to understand ourselves.
Lesley Punton (b. Falkirk, Scotland) lives and works in Glasgow. Punton has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions throughout Scotland and the UK and internationally in the USA, Sweden, Slovak Republic, Italy & Germany. Punton has published a number of books including Upland Birds (2016) and Mountains without end (2013). Punton has been a lecturer in Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art since 2000. She is currently the Head of Fine Art Photography.