Nicola Joanne Carter

Outdoor Adventures – there's no such word as can't

Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster – Studded : Lancaster University Art Department Final Year Degree Show 2004



Group show at the end of a three year degree programme of study, featuring the work of the following artists:

Catherine Adamson / Abigail Bailey / Nicola Joanne Carter / Wendy Cundill / Philippa J Fraser / Samantha Hardy / Bryony Harrison / Mira Houghton / Hannah Jauncey / Hannah Jones / Shireen Khammo / Anna Maughan / Laura Ockenden / Suzanne Pinder / Dan Savage / Ann Simpson / Elizabeth Snape / Morgan Tanton / Christopher Taylor / Manda Walker / Sarah Wood



At the time of the degree show I was making sculptural forms using copper wire and etched glass, and site-specific installations using string.

My final piece for the degree show was a site-specific installation using string as my main material. Lengths of string were suspended from walls and ceilings and then knotted to create organic fluid forms and nets. The work was very much process led and the form evolved organically and intuitively.

The walls and ceiling of the space were whitewashed. 100’s of adhesive hooks were attached to the walls and ceilings of the space, these hooks acted as ‘anchors’ for lengths of string. The lengths of string were drawn out away from the points of attachment, inwards, and together to the approximate central point of the space. Here the strings were knotted, repetitively… slowly a 3-dimensional form began to appear, and swell.

The concepts of repetition and time were very important to the piece: repeating the process of knotting / entwining throughout the course of the installation. The work became a visual record (or map) not only of the space but also of time itself.

My primary concern in creating this piece was to draw attention as much to the specific site as to the physical materials of the work itself. My desire was to ‘activate’ the space and approach it in a similar way to how a graphic designer may approach a blank white sheet of paper. I felt I ‘drew’ lines in the space, demarcating the limits, making connections, repeating a simple knotting process until out of the chaos of anti-form emerged a palpable form. This abstract and almost geometric form evoked a multitude of conceptual associations in the viewers. It was also interesting to observe the viewers physical reactions to the piece; some looked at the piece from only one viewpoint, others moved around the space, some chose to crawl beneath, lying down on the gallery floor and reaching up….

Some detail of my final site-specific installation piece, Cell [2004]) is shown in the gallery above.



My work was a popular and well-received part of the show. It helped me to receive an offer to show small sculptural pieces at local gallery, The Edge Gallery, as well as an offer of a residency tour around UK schools to build ‘planets’.

I gathered some comments from visitors in a ‘comments book’, you can read some of the excerpts by clicking on the thumbnails in the gallery above.



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