One of the exhibited artists in Border Collective is photographer Jayne Worthington. We set one member of our team the task of researching the artist and the particular piece she is exhibiting with us, and putting together a critical analysis on the project from an outsider’s perspective. Here is what she found:
TIME PASSES. LISTEN. TIME PASSES.
Jayne Worthington’s Time Passes. Listen. Time Passes is her most conceptually ambitious project to date: claiming to question ‘perceived understandings of landscape’, especially ‘the notion[s] of freedom and escapism’ associated with it and even ‘the validity of her own personal approach’. In addition, these preoccupations further complicate the title’s rare significance. Thus, the distinguished modesty of these photographs, which depict vast and still rural spaces, is unexpected but alluring. In fact, the more we engage with the work – and perform its poetic demands – the more we appreciate the masterful delicacy of Worthington’s artistic approach.
Therefore, looking into these scenes;
They become filled with ourselves;
Worthington asks us to animate this landscape and because of the absence of people, animals and movement in these simple, vacuous spaces, we can. In doing so, we realise that such imaginative appropriation of it is distinctly personal, inevitable, and insatiable. This materialises in the idiosyncrasies of these photographs, which, since a surprising number showcase the resplendence of the natural light and the sublime scope of the landscape, seem to acknowledge the temptation to accentuate its idyllic potential. However, she ensures that as we inevitably grasp at the landscape’s positive energy, our visual and imaginative flux is disrupted by the marks of human construction. It seems that our contribution to the landscape only undermines the ideals we ceaselessly propagate.
The collection’s success relies on Worthington’s subtle visual exploitation of the tensions she strives to address. She coaxes us into self-realisation by affronting us with the familiar in a startlingly static form, moreover exciting our interest in the negative potential of nature’s aesthetics to prove how ambiguous its promise actually is.
Written by Elizabeth Worby.
All images © Jayne Worthington.
Jayne’s work can be seen as part of Border Collective at The Strand Gallery between 16th – 21st July.
Further examples of Jayne’s practice can be seen here.