Lee Cavaliere

Cumbria Institute of the Arts: BA (Hons) Fine Art

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At the heart of my work lies the human effort, and the essence of a journey to a location, real or imagined, in order to examine the particular importance it holds for us.
Much of our method of perceiving landscape in general is based on how we see ourselves, and humanity, in relation to it. I address issues of the man in the landscape literally, by taking myself to these places and performing various actions in order to make art works. The locations then speak through the art created within them.
This methodology also brings up issues of the artist’s involvement in the work, and the symbiosis of subject, action and created object. These are photos, and the sound was recorded, by the artist, while up a mountain - these are important issues of a discourse between the artist and subject which are not often addressed within landscape art from a contemporary perspective.


Fire Paintings in progress


Arrow Painting 2 (After John Martin) 2001


Arrow Painting 3 (After John Martin) 2001



Flaming Arrows Were Fired into Primed Canvases by the Artist, a Novice Bowman, at Haydon Bridge, Northumbria,Home of John Martin (1789-1854) (Fire Painting 1) (2001)
Burned canvases, 24cmx24cm

In an attempt to represent the element of fire in visual art, I took inspiration from the 19th century sublime painter, John Martin. In his opium - fuelled paintings of the Northumbria countryside, terrified mortals flee in awe from the immensity of nature, personified by God’s wrath. Fire is a common representation of this great power in Martin’s works.
As an individual in the landscape, like those in a sublime painting, I went to John Martin’s home town, Haydon Bridge in Northumbria, and shot flaming arrows at canvases, wherein they burned until they went out naturally. As a novice bow-man, and as the artist, I was both the instigator and the viewer of the work. The point at which the arrow left the bow was the point at which my control ended.
Fire is not as controllable as paint.

Guy Fawkes-Remains in Progress




The Guy Fawkes Problem (detail) 2002


The Guy Fawkes Problem 2002


Back and Fawkes 2002



The Guy Fawkes Problem (2002)
Hello. I’m a Student Studying in my Third Year of a Fine Art Degree. I’m Planning a Homage to Guy Fawkes, Which Will Involve Me Laying a Thin Line of Gunpowder Along Three Canvases, Each Two Feet By Two Feet, and Lighting it. This Will Mark the Canvases But Not Burn Them. My Work is Centred Predominantly On the Idea of Space and Location, So I’d Like To Ask Permission to Carry This Out On Victoria Tower Gardens, Which , I’ve Been Told, Is Under Your Jurisdiction.

Installation, sound recording, book. Dimensions variable.

A work in which homage was paid to the myths surrounding location in England, via Guy Fawkes, and the home of his story, the Houses of Parliament, London.
Permission was asked of Westminster, repeatedly, to burn a line along three canvases with gunpowder on Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Parliamentary Estate, London. The main emphasis of this project was in the attempts to gain permission to produce the work.
On the telephone, as I was transferred again and again, the project became a reduced and pathetic reflection of the 1605 gunpowder plot, and, as the artist and instigator, I became something of a ‘communications-age’ parody of Guy Fawkes himself.
Guy Fawkes navigated the basements of the Houses of Parliament. I infiltrated the phone lines. This became a journey in itself, around an intangible Westminster, and conducted from over 300 miles away.
The canvas-based work itself, and later, a repetitive video piece of a match being lit, had to take place in the region of the Parliamentary Estate, in order to lay itself down upon the other layers of history there. It became another progression of the Guy Fawkes story.


A Walk (observed)


Sublime Appreciation;A Guide (detail)




Sublime Appreciation






How to Appreciate Sublimity (2002)
Photographs, Sound recordings, Cine-film. Dimensions variable.

The wilderness, though it does not truly exist in any particular place in England, still manages to remain important. Poets, scholars and artists have pointed it out to us. Caspar David Friedrich, John Martin, William Wordsworth; the romantic ideal of a place which is uncomfortable, cold, stormy and dangerous still holds us in its thrall - even more so now that we know we are a mobile phone call from safety.
The landscape has to be packaged, reduced into words or images, wherein individuals relate to us the importance of a scene. To the mainly urban populace, the modern view of the countryside is still influenced by the perceptions of the landscape-inspired poets and artists of the industrial revolution, the Romantics. Artists and poets become our guides, pointing out the ideal highlights of certain locations, and how to best appreciate the wild, dangerous and unaccommodating wilderness from the comfort of our galleries.
When observing a piece of grand landscape art, in a gallery, it is very important to notice the walls.




Lee Cavaliere

Cumbria Institute of the Arts: BA (Hons) Fine Art

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