Carl was the first artist to inhabit our beach Hut on Victoria Harbour and travelled from the south of England to take part in ‘Taking A Line’. He was camping in atrocious weather and walked the coast down to Siccar point just south of Dunbar in search of his inspiration.
‘So good to hear from you and wonderful to see the What If exhibition.
I was thinking about my times at Dunbar only the other week. Lockdown has given me the opportunity to properly tidy my studio and my papers. My two summers in Dunbar were vitally important personally, as the last art I made before starting my masters. The work started in the Beach Hut looking at James Hutton’s work with Siccar Point was the starting point for my work at Goldsmiths, which, roughly put, was all focused on how to make explicitly ecological work. Looking back at it, the memories of camping by the nuclear power station, drinking red wine by the North Sea and getting kind of annoyed at the noise of the kittiwakes (sacrilege I know!) was such a turning point.
Strangely the work that ended up coming out of it (in a roundabout way) were these mezzotints I started making of movie studio logos: https://www.carlgent.com/desperate-calligraphy which remain the only work I ever sell (haha). There were some earlier versions that more explicitly referenced Hutton. I’ll see if I can capture them when I’m back in the studio. I also ended up making a more full photographic series of the confetti-cannon launcher works I started in Dunbar and Thorntonloch and a slideshow-performance about it all called Tongue of the Preinoculated that I exhibited in Bath at some point. Will try and dig up the photos of these at some point too.
But yes, just to be more specific. This sculptural practice of heading into the literal stuff of the world (in North Light’s instance, the ocean) and making some kind of offering unto it, trying to encode it in a more literal sense – putting words into a body of liquid. In many ways it started at Dunbar and remains a consistent working method that I trust more and more.’