Filippa Dobson - YELD

16 February - 06 March 2015

Artist Filippa Dobson responds to a seemingly barren (yeld) landscape containing traces of a nomadic people on the cusp of becoming settled.

This landscape is a contemporary boundaried site on Ilkley Moor and the environs of a Neolithic cup and ring marked stone the ‘Badger Stone’[1]. Ilkley Moor is designated a special site of scientific interest (sssi) and English Heritage (2013) classes the marked stones on Ilkley Moor as Scheduled Monuments. Each stone has an invisible two-metre boundary. Therefore the Badger Stone is subject to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 28 and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. It is illegal to leave ‘litter’ or in any way deface the rock.

Filippa Dobson

This exhibition outlines how walking and mapmaking relate to land issues and ‘colonialism’ and argues how mark making in situ within the landscape and within Leeds College of Art extends a prehistoric practice of gestural image making. For the purposes of the artist’s practice-based research Filippa Dobson defines ‘heritage control’ as the methods employed by the heritage industry for land management and access to scheduled monuments. Walking, casting, printmaking, artists’ books and time-based performance are all elements of a performative ‘mapping’ practice. Performance within the landscape and within the College of Art extends the gestural performance of the original Neolithic mark-makers into a contemporary ritual space. Drawing from anthropologist Tim Ingold and post-colonialist Homi Bhabha, hers is a mapping practice that navigates the ‘in-between’ or ‘hybrid’ space between ‘official’ or ‘colonizing’ maps and ‘conceptual’ or ‘artefactual’ maps. When the artist’s work is performed these artefacts become what she terms ‘performance maps’. Developing a conceptual model of ‘bodily mapping’ Filippa Dobson is making a gendered response to contemporary landownership and inherent issues of power and control.

[1] The ‘Badger Stone’ monument includes a reddish gritstone rock c.3.7m x 2.6m x 1.2m on flat land at Grainings Head. The carving is complex, consisting of a large number of cups, rings, and grooves in the cup and ring tradition. In addition there is a more angular design on the east side of the southwest face, which may be later, though still prehistoric. English Heritage support the view that the marks were religious symbols and may have functioned as cosmogenic maps. The grid reference by Global Positioning System is SE1107446050. It includes a 2-metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation. English Heritage (2013)