Discussion: Turning Landscape into Colour

Publication date: Mar 21, 2013 04:35 PM

Start: May 07, 2013 02:00 PM
End: May 07, 2013 04:00 PM

Location: North Lodge, UCL Quad, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT


An informal discussion between the participating exhibitors involved in 'Turning Landscape into Colour', which presents the collaborative research of Spike Bucklow, Onya McCausland, Ruth Siddall and Jo Volley.

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About the Project

Five earth materials chalk, iron oxide, coal black, copper and graphite have been extracted from sites in the British landscape and represented as contemporary cultural artefacts that trace a line through the art history of the British Isles from earth pigment to wall painting.By identifying old materials and presenting them as case studies or artworks that recall journeys through history, this exhibition creates new contexts and perspectives for these materials. The colour is presented simply as itself, occupying the space of the North Lodge that make reference to its historical use as paint.The exhibition will be accompanied by a website that disseminates the research online alongside a publication by the Slade Press that includes an essay, ‘The Names of the Earths’ by Dr Spike Bucklow, geological/historical texts by Dr Ruth Siddall and a set of handmade silkscreen prints from the pigments by Jo Volley and Onya McCausland.

The project was funded by the UCL Provost’s Small Research Grant and the exhibition is funded by Winsor & Newton.

  • Exhibition Dates: April 19 - May 7
  • Location: North Lodge, UCL Quad, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

About the Contributors

Ruth Siddal - Turning Landscapes into Colour


Spike Bucklow
is the Senior Research Scientist at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge. He is author of 'The Alchemy of Paint' (2009) and 'The Riddle of the Image' (Spring,, 2014), both about the meaning of materials in art.

Onya McCausland studied painting at the Slade between 1997-1999 where she returned as Honorary Research Associate between 2011-2012. Her work explores the origins of the materials used in painting.

Ruth Siddall is a geoarchaeologist, who applies analytical techniques from the field of earth sciences to further the understanding of cultural material, primarily pigments, construction and decorative stone, ceramics and plasters.

Jo Volley is a Senior Lecturer at the Slade. Her work is concerned with measurement, space, and colour as light and employs a wide range of materials. Since 2010 she has been spearheading the Material Research Project alongside her colleagues in Graduate Painting at the Slade.