Aerial Landscapes

November 2023

This book is developed from Aerial Landscapes, a one day event focusing on contemporary artists’ engagement with the Five Sisters’ Bings and specifically Latham's approach to site from above as manifested in his 1975–76 APG placement with the Scottish Development Office. Both event and publication were shaped by dialogues between two artists, Onya McCausland and Nicky Bird, and two art historians, Katherine Jackson and Joy Sleeman, all working in the archive of Flat Time House. Together the texts convey four distinct perspectives on aerial landscapes and combine the historical and first-hand with the archive.

The book contains four chapters: ‘The View from Above’ by Katherine Jackson, ‘Cuthill and the Five Sisters Bing’ by Onya McCausland, ‘Overlay and Overview’ by Joy Sleeman and ‘Layered Over’ by Nicky Bird; with an Introduction by Gareth Bell-Jones and Afterword by Joy Sleeman. Together the texts convey four distinct perspectives on aerial landscapes and combine historical and artistic research and first-hand experience in the landscape and in the archive.

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94pp, colour, edition of 300, edited by the authors and Linda Schofield, designed by Robert Mead, printed in the UK by Westerham


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Contributor biographies 

Nicky Bird is an artist whose work considers contemporary c of ‘found’ photographs and latent histories of specific sites, investigating how they remain resonant. Through  commissioned projects, exhibitions and writings, her work incorporates new photography with oral histories and collaborations with people who have significant connections to the original site and its photographic archive.Nicky is a Co-ordinator for The Family Ties Network, a nationwide research group of writers and artists exploring memory, space, place and the family in photography and moving image. Until her retirement in September 2022, Nicky was Reader in Contemporary Photographic Practice at The Glasgow School of Art.

Katherine Jackson is an art historian that specializes in post-war sculpture and conceptual art. Her research examines artists’ refusal of existing structures of power that shape corporations, government bodies, and national borders. Katherine is currently an Assistant Professor of Art History at Utah Valley University. She has a PhD in Art History from the University of British Columbia and was also a visiting researcher at the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. Katherine was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto and a recipient of the Canadian Social Science and Humanities (SSHRC) and the University of Toronto's Art and Science Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. She was also part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design at the New School, NYC. In 2019 Katherine was an editor at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School and from 2015–2018, worked as an archivist at Flat Time House.

Onya McCausland is an artist based in London and South Wales. She is Head of Undergraduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her work often exploits the occurrence of materials forming in post-industrial landscape sites to examine the subject of contemporary landscape painting. Individual works can behave as signifiers that index real places and, as real placesthemselves subject to processes and cycles of material production and exchange. She runs a small paint making facility in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales that turns waste sludge from mine water treatment into wall paint, forming part of a community led knowledge exchange examining the social and environmental legacies of the post-industrial and capitalist economy.

Joy Sleeman is an art historian, writer and curator and Professor of Art History and Theory at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Her research is focused on the histories of sculpture and landscape, especially 1960s and 1970s land art. She co-curated Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966-1979 (2013-14) and Expanding Painting: Landscape after Land Art, (2022-23); and wrote “Land art and the moon landing” (2009) and “Lawrence Alloway, Robert Smithson and Earthworks” (2015). Nancy Holt’s and Robert Smithson’s travels in England and Wales in 1969 are the focus of her current research project as a Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellow, 2023. She is committed to public engagement and developing scholarship and understanding of art related to landscape and environment in public arenas and artistic communities.

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This publication is dedicated to the memory of Barbara Steveni.

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