Alex Hartley

Commissioned by b-side

Artist Alex Hartley's recent sculptural interventions into the landscape have explored the relationship between the individual and place. They revisit the question of where do I belong. He has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad, making large scale sculptural public artworks, installations and photographic works. Through various media, his work broadly deals with how the individual occupies landscape. For b-side Alex has searched for a selection of migratory stones: wanderers, or transported foreign rocks, and he is presenting them with their stories of displacement within the confines of twin vitrines. These paired containers are built onto existing platforms, looking out to sea, between the new Portland Marina and the Island’s historic Castletown area - home to Portland’s old dockyard.

“These stones have been collected from Portland, an island famous for the export of rock and stone. They are all migrants to the island. Brought by the wind and tide, by longshore drift or delivered or dumped by ships over many centuries.

I have dived on a wreck sunk in the harbour the late 1800s, to retrieve a single piece of stone ballast carried to Portland within the now decaying hull, and collected a 'kelp holdfast' - a stone detached in a storm and carried here attached to a piece of kelp.  Innocuous objects that you might not give a second glance, they are rich in history and geology and unlock another layer of Portland’s history”.

Hartley is represented by the Victoria Miro Gallery, UK

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