Jonathan P Watts

Critical Writing in Art & Design

Emily Richardson, Still from Cobra Mist, 2008

Major Project: British Artists' Moving Image and Landscape Since 1970

My independent project is an enquiry into the relationship between British artists moving image and landscape since the 1970s. Rather than produce a linear survey, I have structured chapters around key themes and preoccupations of artists of the past 40 years, for example, the appearance of duration in landscape, movement and the journey as narrative structure, and the mediums incorporation into mixed-media artist practice.

My point of departure is the pioneering landscape work of artists at the London Filmmakers Co-op (LFMC) in the early 70s. Those associated with the LFMC at this time most notably William Raban and Chris Welsby produced work in a climate of fierce debate concerning the very material properties of the cinematic medium, effecting, among other things, a fragmentation of the transparent 'landscape' view onto the world the cinematic apparatus offered.

In the 1980s fragmentation of the media environment became a part of everyday experience. I claim that landscape moving image moved away from formal experimentation to engage with pressing social and political themes, such as the heritage industry, emerging post-industrial landscapes and conservation.

In the last decade landscape work, it seems, has been haunted by the spectre of ruins, whether in the exploration of Cold War heritage in work by Emily Richardson or Louise K Wilson, or the ecological endgame landscapes of Dan Walwin.

'Cast Over Landscapes' is interspersed by interviews with moving image artists/filmmakers such as William Raban, Emily Richardson, Andrew Cross, Patrick Keiller and Dan Walwin.

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© Emily Richardson



BA (Hons), Photography (First class), Nottingham Trent University, 2007


Editor, Norman Rosenthal, London, 2012; Short course teacher of Art & Politics, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, 2012; Presenter, 'Easy Looming' Radio Show, NTS Radio, London, 2012; Writer-in-residence, LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images, London, 2012


'Retrofit My Eighties, Playground Magazine, 2012; 'Interview with Helen Sear', Blown Magazine, 2012; 'On Julie Cockburn', Afterzine, 2012


'On Grant Gee's 'Patience (After Sebald)'', Brian Dillon, Royal College of Art, 2012; 'On Gideon Koppel's 'Sleep Furiously'', Gareth Evans, Royal College of Art, 2012