Wednesday, 29 October

10:00 – 13:00

Seroxat, Smirnoff, THC  

Laura Oldfield Ford

Stanley Picker Gallery, Richmond

Laura Oldfield Ford’s Stanley Picker Fellowship project involves undertaking an investigation into the sociogeography of the suburbs, specifically within the old boundaries of the county of Surrey, examining marginal political and counter-cultural groups in an attempt to ascertain the affects of landscape on the collective psyche.

Oldfield Ford aims for the project to be an “investigation into the marginal, a process of burrowing under the heritage version of England to uncover the repressed psyche of a land. I want to ask how far are the marginal political ideologies that emerge in the fraying edges of our cities a product of that environment and what new discourses are fomenting in the liminal zones of the commuter belt.”

The artist will undertake a series of short journeys through specific sites of cultural and socio-political significance relating to radical counterculture, land contestation and marginal political ideologies within the old boundaries of Surrey. These walks will form the basis for a new series of paintings and accompanying written text looking at Surrey’s contested spaces including derelict airfields (Wisley), abandoned military sites  (Deepdene Bunker, Dunsfold Aerodrome), land-grabbed commons (St. George’s Hill, Cobham), islands in the Thames (Ham Island, Eel Pie Island, Swan Island, Alcott House), and housing schemes (Cambridge Road and Kingsnympton Estates).

The project will ultimately aim to “seek the traces of marginal lifestyles and political ideologies from the Diggers and Winstanley in St George’s Hill to the premonitions of Ballard in Kingdom Come. The walks and subsequent studio work will serve as examinations of physical marks in the landscape, of folklore, collective memory, and the politics of contemporary protest.”