THIS IS HOW THE EARTH MUST SEE ITSELF: A walk with natural features - Tamsin Green
Victoria & Albert Museum - National Art Library
FORMAT21: Presents, Derby (2021)
Photofusion: SALON/21, London (2021)
Glover Rayner Environmental Prize - Shortlist (2021)
Photofusion Select/21 Award (2021)
Published in May 2021
116 pp, 51 images, 240x130mm
Paperback cover, coptic hand binding
5 limited edition giclee print inserts on recycled paper 7.5x5"
The book is housed inside a handmade phase-box
Edition of 58
The Ordnance Survey’s (OS) mapping of Great Britain in the late eighteenth century was a landmark in human attempts to know the land. Seeking defence against a feared French invasion, the priority was to survey the South Coast of England, and anything that could be hidden behind. Walking up to 40 miles a day, the field surveyors were tasked with categorising the landscape they passed through according to a list of predefined rules.
From the earliest map sheets, the ‘rock features’ were treated as ornament. Formations observed on the surface of the earth are not simply decorative surface features but represent the intersection of the earth’s surface with the body of the earth. The processes of weathering and erosion, coupled with the human hand, shape the visibility of rocks on the surface and can move the rocks from one category to another.
Using a combination of archival material, open source data and photographs, the project follows these rock features as a guide. Following in the footsteps of the surveyor she oscillates between seeking to know and name the land, and melting into aimless wandering, loosing sense of time and scale. The process of ordering the images into these pre-defined categories throws up questions as pebbles become boulders, flowing water becomes outcrop. As with all classification systems, the rules are subjective, leading to their own telling of the story.
The work was made on the South Coast of England where Tamsin has been walking for more than 20 years. She returns again and again, spending time with the path; walking, pausing, sleeping. The South Coast is the edge of our contact with the nearest continent, a border of particular significance with the contraction of boundaries we have all been experiencing.
The book references the physical properties of the OS map; it’s format, tactility, and folding.
Tamsin's award winning first book Born of the Purest Parents was self-published as a handmade limited edition of 35. The book was selected for the Kassel Dummy Award ‘18, and is in private and public collections including the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
NOTE. Each edition is made entirely by hand by manual.editions and may display imperfections due to this manual bookmaking process.