Walking has been an important part of Brian Thompson’s practice as an artist for many years bringing that experience to the making of sculpture and prints. Central to this are ideas on how we value landscape as well as notions of natural beauty - with ideas springing from romantic poetry and the link between tourism and the picturesque.
Journeys are the inspiration for his work. He is interested in how they explore, reveal topography and how we come to know and navigate the world. Our paths are formed, get worn, compress and build up over many generations and rivers cut and change course as they journey to the sea seemingly constant but ever changing – constantly changing both the landscape and ourselves.
The journeys he works with are recorded through tracings from maps, photographs or GPS - the track of the walk or route of the river provides the line from which the sculptures are made. The making process is important; shaping through the cutting, layer upon layer, of the material of the “patterns”. This builds a sense of time into the work and reveals something of the history of the making. The selection of material, texture and colour significantly comes from the experience of the journey. Sometimes these become castings or painted constructions in materials relevant to the location; such as wood, paper, iron, glass, bronze, stone or lead. The prints bring together this collected information about the walk together with its “views” - using photographic records, maps and memories of the event trying to gain a collaged portrait of the experience of the walk.
The prints and sculptures serve as diary records, memories, souvenirs and sometimes trophies.