somewhere nowhere is the collaborative practice of Harriet and Rob Fraser – named from the opening lines of the poem ‘Still Life in Utah’ by Anne Stevenson. Our work focuses on the nature and culture of place; it celebrates beauty and makes space for wonder and it also considers the challenges of enhancing biodiversity, supporting meaningful human connection with natural ecosystems, and expressing different voices in a shared space.
We have been working together for over ten years, with a shared love of being outdoors and a curiosity that drives us to look ever closer, to talk to people, to learn continuously. Our creative work is rooted in visual imagery – photography and film – and the written word, with poetry, prose and sometimes randomly roaming words. For us, ‘art’ is deeply experiential, and the process is every bit as important as the outputs: we enjoy holding walks and events that encourage a slowing down and an opportunity to play with different ways of seeing, often using photography and poetry. We also create site-specific installations, some of which are very fleeting, in place for as little as an hour, others that last months or years.
For many years we’ve combined long periods of time out in the hills with research and meetings with experts, and we have held public events, worked with schools, toured exhibitions and given presentations across the UK and in America. We’ve enjoyed working with the support and partnership of individuals – farmers, foresters, woodworkers, artists, children – and organisations, including the National Trust, Woodland Trust, Farmer Networks and National Park Authorities. We live in Cumbria and have formed networks the county. These relationships have allowed us to see shared issues from a number of perspectives – and we’re quite dogged about appreciating complexity and multiple viewpoints, and navigating the ever-shifting middle ground. The formation of the PLACE Collective feels like a natural progression of our work through somewhere nowhere.