Stephen Livingstone – Leverhulme Residency at The School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Durham University.
ROBUST stands for the Regeneration of Brownfield Land Using Sustainable Technologies and was set up to investigate the potential for using waste materials (such as manganese and ferric oxides, the by-products of water treatment processes) to remediate contaminated land.
I am interested in the impact which human activity has upon landscapes and habitats and my work often involves the use of pigments made from earth, minerals and ashes. Karen came across some of my work in an exhibition at the university and immediately saw a connection with her own concerns.
I have an open brief to respond to the work of the project and I have begun with a series of exploratory drawings using ferric oxide, coal and galena (lead ore), reflecting upon some of the processes used to observe and analyse contaminated soils. I am also interested in rammed earth technologies and hope to explore the potential of this most ancient of construction techniques.
Much of my recent work has involved moth populations, the recording of moth species in specific locations or natural history collections and the use of this data in the development of images and artefacts. “Moths and Moons”, commissioned by the British Library, was exhibited at the World Heritage Site Visitors Centre on Palace Green as part of the Lindisfarne Gospels festival and “Gathering Dust”, a moth installation commissioned by the National Trust, is currently showing at Acorn Bank House in Cumbria. During the residency I shall be conducting a moth survey of the Science Site ans possibly producing a new body of work in response to the results.
Stephen Livingstone studied Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art and competed his MA at Chelsea College of Art. He has worked in community arts and art education and has exhibited widely throughout the UK and abroad including at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.