Jean Newman


I live on the Isle of Grimsay in the Outer Hebrides, where the pace of life is slow and deliberate, and there is a strong sense of the past, concealed and unconcealed in equal measure, and of the continuum that is the land here, created through millennia by both man and the elements.

Concepts of time and temporal continuity interest me, and in particular, my practice is shaped by Bergsonā€™s thinking around duration and memory.  The land holds secrets of the past, about how people may have lived here more than 5,000 years ago, tantalisingly revealed through layered discoveries of fragments of pottery, or more recent patterns of activity in the landscape. 

Moving through this landscape, sensing the passage of time through the memories inherent in the place, my work seeks to invite curiosity and encourage a questioning of our understanding of time, continuity, place and movement. Interests in line, repetition and pattern are applied to different materials and processes, and often combined with walking as a means of both creative thinking and the collection of temporal information. 

Exploring time through the translation of ancient marks into rhythmic, repetitive grids and patterns infers time spent making, time passing and mindful contemplation of the continuity between the ancient past and our uncertain present, echoing our ephemeral hold on this time and place.