Aims and objectives-
I have decided to focus my third year project on Rock climbing. I have been climbing committedly for the last two years and during that time climbing has become not only my passion but also my obsession. When deciding what to focus my final year on it only seemed logical to combine the two things that I spend the majority of my time thinking about, climbing and art. Over the summer I have climbed outdoors whenever the weather has allowed, Trad climbing in the Lake district and the Peak district. Sea cliff Trad climbing in Devon, sport climbing and deep water soloing in Spain. Through perseverance and training over this 5-month period I have managed to climb to my hardest grade yet. The majority of this I have documented through journals log books, photography, film and sketching. I have read numerous books and articles including, The white spider-an account of the first accent of the north face of the Eiger and Touching the void-Joe Simpsons account of being cut off a rope and left to die whilst descending a mountain in Peru and have been inspired to push myself (although not in such a life threatening way.)
I have started the project with the following mini projects.
Firstly I began working a series of three routes called the unconquerables at stannage edge. The left unconquerable is an E1 grade, which is one grade higher than that I have previously achieved and after various attempts currently seems impossible. I have began a study of the climb, through detailed drawing, photography and also by looking through books, internet forums and videos to find out about the route and people who have previously climbed it. By the end of May this year I aim to have completed the route. The obsession has begun!
I decided to try some route setting of my own by traversing the length of my garden wall and documenting it through film and photography.
I have found a lecture on site TED http://www.ted.com/. Called Mathew childs 9 rules of rock climbing. I found this talk fascinating as each of the 9 rules applies not only to climbing but also to life. My two favorite rules being number 5. Know how to rest-“The best climbers are the ones who, in the most extreme of situations can get in to a position where they can rest their bodies and minds” and number 6. Learn to control fear- “If you are focusing on fear you are not focusing on what you are doing but instead on the consequences of failing what you are doing.” I have started to try to apply these rules to both climbing and life.
I have also started to study physical movement and strain during climbing through intimate photography. My aim with this is to portray how an experienced climber moves with the “strength of a gymnast and the precision of a ballet dancer.” (Joe Simpson-Touching the void.)
During this next year I will be exploring themes of; escapism, frustration, obsession, pushing my physical and mental limits and Mind over matter through art and the art of climbing. I will carry on as I have started by documenting through photography, film, log books, journals and written accounts, detailed drawings and paintings.