joanne lee


Vague terrain


This fourth outing of the Pam Flett Press emerges from a long time fascination with the sort of ambiguous derelict site to which architects and planners often given the name ‘terrain vague’. It draws upon my encounters with such spaces as abandoned quarries and lead-mines across the North Pennines, Sheffield’s post-industrial topography and the hinterlands of the Staffordshire Potteries. It began as a piece of writing developed for a journal article, which then lay fallow in my computer for several years, an intellectual ruin awaiting redevelopment; it was ultimately colonized by creative and critical flora thanks to a research residency occasioning repeated visits to the former Spode ceramics factory in Stoke.

Mirroring the scatter of heterogenous materials dumped or blown in to such places and the shifting process of use, reuse and abandonment, this publication involves a conceptual conglomeration of different aspects - a series of printed booklets, a collection of photographs - and a process of re-presentation in diverse forms and locations: each exhibition iteration will differ from the last as new ideas take root. I’ve been working with designers at Dust on a version which will be distributed in 2015.

Vague terrain made its first appearance in Nottingham’s Lace Market Gallery during 2014, in Seconds a two-person show with Debra Swann, who had also developed work from the Spode site. The images of this show appear below. Two further exhibitions are planned in a project devised with Andrew Brown, Chloe Brown, Danica Maier and Debra Swann. Returns, the first of these opens on Wednesday 11 February in Bonington Gallery.