‘Landscapes’ is the second solo exhibition at Anima-Mundi by the London-based artist and academic Onya McCausland (b. UK, 1971).
Following on from her 2012 show ‘Sited: Salt Green / Blue Earth’, ‘Landscapes’ will extend across all three floors of the gallery and focus on McCausland’s recent collection of paintings in varying scales and applicaitons, guiding the viewer through three specific and creatively significant landscapes : Saltburn (floor 1), Cuthill (floor 2) and Deerplay Hill (floor 3).
McCausland’s multi-layered, minimalist paintings and wall installations are made from ‘waste ochres’, produced as a result of the mining industry, and each floor of the exhibition will pay homage to the origin of the materials used, recording the aesthetic intensity and unique quality of each landscape. McCausland’s research (in collaboration with the coal authority and UCL) has led to the creation of high-quality artist pigments in a range of rich, earthy ochres (ranging from primrose yellow to burnt terracotta) giving new purpose to an otherwise redundant and environmentally damaging material.
as living artworks with public access will elevate their status from industrial waste sites by bringing them into full view and valuing the processes of colour production they perform”.
Onya McCausland is a British artist born in Zennor, Cornwall in 1971. She currently lives and works in London.
McCausland’s practice consists of minimalist paintings, murals, installation and land art. Her work is concerned with how specific materials and processes can be used as a conduit to open up interconnected underlying ideas that draw upon the changing economic and environmental conditions underway in the contemporary landscape.
This is expressed in a current body of work that examines new uses for waste materials found in ex-coal mining regions across the UK. McCausland is collaborating with the Coal Authority and UCL to generate new uses for mine water waste ‘ochres’ as usable coloured pigment for paint. Her research repositions this ‘waste’ ochre as significant cultural material that can be used to change perceptions of post-industrial landscape sites.
In 2014, between 4 and 5 thousand tones of ochre were being sent to landfill every year because an economically viable use could not be found and landfill was the cheapest option. By reusing this otherwise redundant material in her work McCausland has demonstrated the uniqueness and cultural value of these colours and their landscape contexts.
The landscapes are perceived through the vehicle of the earth materials forming at their site. The medium of painting is used in its widest sense, drawing on the history of minimalist and post-minimalist aesthetics, and landart to examine the proximities between the idea of ‘ground’ and surface, where surface is used to join geographic, geological and painterly realms.
In collaboration with the Coal Authority, McCausland is working to designate five selected Mine Water Treatment Schemes as living paintings that perform the production of ochre, while generating an income for the local economy and producing high-quality pigment for artists.
McCausland is currently working as a Leverhulme Early Career Researcher based at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London working on her project : “From Coal Mine Waste to Landscape Painting - New British Earths”. Recent exhibitions have been supported by Camden Arts Centre in London, Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and the Delfina Foundation in London. She was also supported by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust and has received funding from the Arts Council, British Council and the The Arts and Humanities Research Council. She has also been shortlisted for the prestigious Wollaston Award at the Royal Academy and the John Moores Painting Prize. She has exhibited her work internationally and has work in numerous private and public collections. Onya McCausland is represented by Anima-Mundi.