Lasma Poisa AIR  2017

Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost, I used my time at Outlandia to explore the idea of getting lost as a cultural and psychological metaphor; of losing oneself, of loss and longing. Because of its remote location and the distance from home, Outlandia held the potential of losing oneself in the wilderness.

Each day, planned in accordance with the weather forecast, I made the two hour round journey to and from Outlandia; time I used for observation, exploration and creativity. I made countless stops to record my findings, each time searching through my enormous rucksack filled with essential equipment for that day. I made journeys into the woodland in and around Outlandia and the neighbouring Cow Hill. During this time I created a wealth of source material (photographs, sound recordings and videos) to be processed later on my return to my Manchester studio.

I picked the brightest day to experiment with off-grid cyanotype printing, which, simple in theory, turned out to be more challenging than expected; carrying heavy 2lt bottles filled with mountain stream water up the very steep Peat Track, building ad-hoc darkroom due to unforeseen skylight and then balancing the chemical reaction of the ever changing sunlight. Eventually I managed to create a series of prints and cyanotype postcards of Outlandia that I sent out the following day.

I realise now that the work I created in my residency is about Outlandia; it is about the fantasy of withdrawing from society, the longing for wilderness and about finding somewhere to disappear.

“For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that colour of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The colour of that distance is the colour of an emotion, the colour of solitude and of desire, the colour of there seen form here, the colour of where you are not. And the colour of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.”

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005) pp. 29-30.︎︎︎

All images by Lasma Poisa