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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Have you visited the Town Collection? Have you visited the Town Collection?

Jonathan Claxton



If one stands in Huntly square you
see the horizon in each direction
Exploring the relationship between nature and language through looking at our physical horizons

Jonathan is a self-taught artist based in Aberdeen, specialising in land art. He was in residency with us in 2001.

Jonathan reconciles nature and language in his work as a land artist - creating images of the town that depict words, the horizon and the skyline of the town. His work follows the typology of a horizontal line, with the horizon potently symbolising the illusion of separation. This is the division between sky and earth, between the human realm and that of ideals, though this 'line' is all a matter of perspective.


Words have an ambiguous relationship with nature, and the world around us. Poets use them both to describe and transcend nature, and to create beauty. However, there is the view that a word is a barrier between subject and object - for example the word 'apple' does nothing to illustrate the flavours, texture or colour of the apple, the word and the meaning are two very different things. Although on the other hand words are the product of language, a device for communication, not separation.

Jonathan invited participants in Huntly to write their personal thoughts about the town in a poetry project that involved all of the shops in the Square. This shows that Huntly has meaning and intelligibility beyond that of its immediate visibility, and may be grasped at through poetic contemplation and personal engagement - a key starting point for future Deveron Projects projects. The horizon is not a set object, but a point of perspective particular to each set of eyes, so what we see in it, and how it relates to us, is completely up to the individual to decide on their own.

Jonathan also developed a mural project at the Gordon Primary School reflecting the always visible horizons in Huntly, and an installation in the Brander Library.


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