Tracy Hill – Spotlight – Our World, Our Crisis

Image:Standing Ash by Tracy Hill (2017)

As part of our latest collaborative exhibition ‘Our World, Our Crisis‘, we will be shining a weekly spotlight on each of the artists, giving you a bit more insight into how the artworks were created. We start off this week with artist Tracy Hill.

Works on show
Black Waters, 2017. Woodblock print
Standing Ash, 2017, Intaglio print on Somerset paper
Continuum, 2022. 11 Digital reproductions of cyanotype prints

Tracy Hill is a visual artist and research associate at Artlab Contemporary Print Studios at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. For many years Hill’s research has investigated the dynamic relationship between digital technologies, scientific understanding and the traditions of the hand created image, with a specific focus on wetlands and post-industrial landscapes.

These landscapes are complex, precarious, transient, and unpredictable. They are spaces, which have reinvented themselves to accommodate the changing economic and urban world, which surround them but have never completely surrendered to the desire of human occupation. They link and connect communities; they mark borders and define modern transport links. Crucially intact moss land provide a geological and archaeological heritage dating back over 10,000 years and is critical in the mitigation against climate change.

The importance and protection of such landscapes receives little publicity, through her artwork, Hill seeks to challenge the persistent and damaging misperception of what in 1726 Daniel Defoe described as “land entirely waste” in his ‘ tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain’.

Image:Black Waters by Tracy Hill

Black Waters and Standing Ash are taken from Matrix of Movement (2016/20). Drawing, printmaking and digital translation combine to create immersive drawings and works on paper exploring how digital technologies change our human experience and engagement with wetlands.

Walking journeys over a 3-year period enabled comprehensive exploration of 4 locations in the UK and Australia. Data collection from protected wetlands was made with commercial geomatics technology. 3D documentation software was then used to confront traditional interpretations of post-industrial landscapes
leading to a reconsideration of liminal wetland spaces.

Image:Continuum by Tracy Hill 

Continuum is taken from Carbon Synthesis (2020-ongoing): a practice-led transdisciplinary collaboration, between Hill, Dr Sarah Robinson and Dr Donna Franklin, which examines deep time and its human/non-human connection through carbon. Καιρός (Kairos) is a Greek word meaning Time (Ancient Greek) and Weather (Modern Greek) specific to surroundings and revealed in fleeting experiences. As global climatic systems reach tipping points, how much can the chemistry in the air and below the surface tell us about climate conditions?

During 2021, Hill undertook a year’s residency on Little Woolden Moss, a SSSI site on the outskirts of Manchester. During the year’s residency, Hill examined how the attention given to the land underfoot informed and expanded thinking and making, walking and pausing, seeing and listening.

Using cyanotypes to record the UV rhythms, Hill submerged preprepared paper in watertight pouches in the sphagnum pools overnight with the ambition to capture the reflected UV from the moon producing the view from below the waterline, revealing the language of the moss itself.

Hill recorded UV exposures every new and full moon cycle for the entire year, the resulting images revealing not only UV strength but Moss growth, hydrology levels and water temperature.

11 full moon exposures revealed a hidden energy system critical in the control of Co2, and mitigation of global climate change – 11 exposures because for one of the months the Hill family was isolating due to Covid-19.

Find out more by visiting her website  –


Our World, Our Crisis is a touring exhibition curated by West Yorkshire Print Workshop in collaboration with wearedarts. The exhibition is on show at The Point Gallery, Doncaster until 16th June.

Opening times:
Monday 9-6
Tuesday-Thursday 9-7
Friday 9-4.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Please do phone 01302 341662 before visiting to check what’s on – especially if you are travelling in to Doncaster.

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