Jacob Bullen

BA Fine Art 2D

Jacob Bullen

Jacob’s project depicts his obsession with Saddleworth Moor during a time when he was having an identity crisis regarding his sense of ‘northern-ness’ and the moment wherein he thought his relationship with someone from Dorset was going to fail.

The title of my degree show piece is Moors Burning; archive. It consists of a painting, VHS tapes, a revolving reproduction of my own head (with removable gargoyle nose addition), sea water from the Dorset coast and a bag of earth dug from Saddleworth Moor.

The work archives my obsession with Saddleworth Moor and the moment wherein I thought my relationship with someone from Dorset was going to fail. I began recording and painting the Moors, because of identity crises regarding my sense of my own ‘northern-ness’. I felt detached from my Greater Mancunian ‘home’ – the Moors became a real geographical anchor point around which to revolve my confusion. After attempting to archive/preserve them, I returned south disillusioned. And then they burst into flames. A series of – as the BBC described them – “apocalyptic” moor fires began just after I started this geographical/internal enquiry. Almost comedically, every time my petty northern dysphoria flared up, the real Moors would too, literally. Like the most specific prophet, myself and the anchor felt utterly intertwined.

Moors Burning; archive collection is the dust-jacket for my paranoid obsession. The painting, affixed to a plinth, structurally plonked onto the floor/earth of the degree show space (also my ex-studio space), depicts the flaming Moors, melting into the Dorset sea while undefined church ceilings rise. The man-in-the-moon and setting sun contest painted-space while a detachable gargoyle can swing into being. Across the sea of white-wall-space, hinging round the room’s corner, on the other page of the spine, stands the VHS player from my parents’ house and its CRT TV companion – these play looping static shot videos of burnt/raw moors, a haircut, the Dorset sea, a sheep skeleton and footage of my aforementioned peat theft. The CRT stand’s guts are sometimes visible, depending on whether I leave the door open when changing the tapes.

Jacob Bullen showcase Jacob Bullen showcase Jacob Bullen showcase

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