POPE CULLEN | ART WORK

WHO WE ARE

We are artists who each have independent practices, but who, as partners, also work on projects together. Our collaborations have incorporated our common interests in participatory art and learning, walking-as-art and walking-as-method, and the practice and theory of landscape. We often run workshops through which to explore these themes.

We are increasingly concerned with ‘ecological thinking,’ not only as a way to think beyond the divide between humans and “nature,” but also to acknowledge the importance of social relationships to our practice, such as those of our family life, and with new kin – whether human or otherwise.

Sarah Cullen

Simon Pope

CONTACT

  • popecullen AT gmail.com

OUR WORK TOGETHER

RESIDENCIES

  • 2018 NKD Nordic Artists’ Center Dalsasen, Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway
  • 2013 NKD Nordic Artists’ Center Dalsasen, Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway
  • 2008 NES artists’ residency, Skagastrønd, Iceland

PROJECTS

Pinocchio's Ecological Thought

at NKD, Norway

(2018)

This residency at NKD, among the woods above the town of Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway, provides us with an opportunity to further develop our collaborative project, Pinocchio’s Ecological Thought. This project springs from our interest in how we might develop ‘a more ecologically attuned imagination’ (Morton 2010) for life in the Anthropocene epoch. We have previously worked on aspects of this project in the Garfagnana in Italy (2016 & 17) and Gaspésie (2016).

We take our inspiration from Carlo Collodi’s story of Pinocchio (1883). In the original text, the puppet is a literary device that enables dialogue between a piece of wood and a whole gamut of human and non-human things, from animals to mythical creatures, to other wooden-puppets. Our aim for the residency is to continue our research, through art, into just such a device for our contemporary times – one that articulates specific ecological relations in a particular place. Our work at NKD will take the form of drawing, wood-carving and writing, from field-work in the woods. This work will also inform a new project, planned for the fall and winter of 2018-19, on Toronto Island, Canada.

More information about our work at NKD here.

Working on Pinocchio puppet, NKD, Norway, 2018.
Living among chestnut trees, Garfagnana, Italy, 2016.

Postcards Home

Walks & Textworks

NKD, Dale, Norway

(2013)

"These texts are recollections - by each of us in turn, as a conversation - of the furthest point reached on each journey as a metaphorical marker indicating the point at which we started to head back home. In some cases our perception of where this point of return was is different for each of us, and in some cases we chose the same physical location, but remembered different things about it. They are all hikes in mountainous locations."

Mountains & Lacunae

Participatory performance

Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London, UK

(2009-10)

"Mountains & Lacunae is an informal gathering of invited guests who bring their memories of mountains - peaks, valleys, lakes and forests - into the gallery. Once gathered the guests share their memories with others, talking to each other informally, describing as best they can the mountain scenes that they have conveyed with them. Echoing the early days of the Alpine Club, the gallery’s parlour rooms become filled with vast mountain vistas, rendered through speech and embellished through dialogue, before being dispersed once again into memory."

From Unspoken Landscapes

Residency, Dialogues & Watercolour paintings

Skagaströnd, Iceland

(2008)

"We wanted to see how we could come to an understanding with one another using negotiation; negotiation of landscape and terrain, negotiation of dialogue, and negotiation of dialogue through memory. We were interested in using dialogue to open up landscape representation which has not been explicit in traditional landscape art practice, and to moderate our memories of landscapes. We used the motif of landscape to allow us to know more about each other by admitting our silences and turning them back onto the landscape.

Many instances of walking in literature and in art focus on the solitary walker. Our intentions to walk together countered this tradition, as does our willingness to share, in some way, our moments of introversion and solitude."


OCADU Walking Art Workshop

Itinerant Seminar

Florence, Italy

(2011)

"Our practice is often conducted outside of the studio environment and our workshop took the form of a walk between the Tuscan villages of Fiesole and Settignano. During the three hours in the hills we explored various modes of walking from the formal to the everyday, from the silent to talking, and from lone- to group-walking. We extended these themes into discussions about landscape representation and art school pedagogy before sharing a meal and heading back to the studios. Here, we all participated in a performance, describing our engagement with the walk, the landscape and with each other."

Figures In A Landscape

Workshop

Walk On conference, Northumbria, UK

(2013)

"Walking on open moorland offers an opportunity for encounter with others. Organized groups set-out into the hills with the intention of walking and talking together. This is as true of the Northumberland hills, as it is in many other upland places. Even while walking alone, we often see or meet other walkers along the way. Yet there is also, arguably, an expectation that hills and mountains should be isolated places, unpeopled and untroubled by human influence. An encounter with another person becomes problematic in this respect, reminding us that we share the land, and that there is a pervasive sociality at work, despite our best efforts to overlook it. Yet the ‘figures in the landscape’, while seen as an obstacle to enjoyment of a pristine ‘wilderness’ might also be a reassuring reminder of a fellowship of the hills."

Georgian Bay

textwork

Published in The Lake, Edited by Maggie Groat.

(2012)

"Our contribution to the book is a transcription of a dialogue between us, based on our recollections of being together in the waters of Georgian Bay, Ontario in the late summer of 2010. The text is typeset so as to reflect the interactions between us, the flow of conversation and so on."


A Dark Glass for an Underpass

Unrealized project proposal

Sculptural intervention

London, UK

(2010)

Passegiata

Walks, Textworks

Florence, Italy

(2010)

Mountain Hut

Unrealized project proposal

Participatory project

London, UK

(2010)

Calling On Greenwich

Unrealized project proposal

Participatory project

London, UK

(2009)

Kissing Maps

Ink on inkjet print

(2009-10)

Trailheads

Walks & Textworks

UK & Canada

(2009)