A Hand to Standing Stones, Scotland 1983

medium: a sequence of 22 black & white photographs, selenium-toned silver prints
dimensions: image size each 8 x 12 inches (20 x 30 cm); framed 20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 cm).
installed dimensions: 8 feet 6 inches high (from floor) x 12 feet 4 inches wide (259 x 376 cm).
collection: Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa

The idea of place—the specificity of place—has been the focus of my work for many years. I am interested in the relationship between human experience and the landscape: the intersection of memory, impossible truths and inevitable ambiguities. I am fascinated by the different layers—‘natural’ and human—that can occur in the same place.

In the remote places where I have gone to work, my projects are a kind of overlaying of a fragile moment on an enormous natural and historical past. The land is important to me, but even more important is the idea that it becomes a 'place' because someone has been there.

My purpose in going somewhere is not to see the most spectacular anything. It is simply to see what is there. It is to get a feel for the spirit of a place. My work depends on the specific and subtle details which—here, like anywhere else—make up life: touching the shape of a particular ancient stone, standing in a certain spot on a hillside.

Marlene Creates, 1985 & 1994