As part of Cultures of Sound, the School of Arts & Humanities at the University of Huddersfield is delighted to present Field Studies – Land Body Botany by award-winning photographer Dr Yan Wang Preston and leading experimental music composer Dr Monty Adkins, with guest artist Carrie Williams.
This exhibition pays tender attention to so-called non-native invasive species Rhododendron Ponticum within one of its many ‘infested’ landscapes. Luminous and exquisite works in a variety of media were made between 2020 and 2023, shaped by how the COVID-19 crisis altered our relationships to the landscapes, flora and fauna that surround us.
Yan Wang Preston has conducted careful and exhaustive artistic research around the rhododendron from her perspective as a photographer, and in collaboration with composer Monty Adkins and textile artist Carrie Williams has situated it within post and decolonical narratives, as well as literally within the landscape of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.
Here, visual and auditory representations of the passing of time and the turning of the seasons are manifested through material representations which reference the artists’ cultural heritage and complicate their relationship to the categorising impulse of the institution. For the first time Wang Preston has produced sculptural objects which contain layers of meaning bound up in her choices around construction and materials, whereas Adkins and Williams have brought their distinct artistic and artisanal practices to bear on this body of research.