Flotsam on the Clyde

February 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

Yesterday a walk on the shores of the Clyde River at Helensburg, waters which feed into the firth of Clyde. There were many mussel shells, empty and brittle, cracking beneath foot, creating smaller pieces still on their way to sand. Lots of detritus, industrial, from the maritimes. Sea glass, all shades of green that I could see.

Inspired by shapes here, voids, the nesting of items together and items out of their natural element. The colours muted, with gradients. I like the idea of slipways. The idea of boueys adrift, unanchored. What is it to be ‘unanchored’ or set adfrift? Cast away, come loose?  Unsecure, lost, lost at sea. Never making it to sea.

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Komulanköngäs waterfall & and

July 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

Yesterday I was a bit stir crazy. The isolation here is different to Iceland, as this isn’t just an area of remoteness, but an area remote from the already remote. There are several bikes here, but most have completely flat tyres, or pedals falling off. It took me the longest time to find a pump. One bike was in ridable condition after doing up the tyres, and I took off for the 14.5km round journey to the falls.

The road is gravel for half of the way, so it was slow going. The trip there is on the decline, so the ride back was quite a punish, but I did make it.

The falls themselves were interesting to a point, but I am so jaded lately (depression, preoccupation, mediated expectations, sickness) that I did not stay long, that and the bugs were out in force. The river splits in two (I am not sure if this is natural or man-made) before going over the falls. The smaller of the two streams has a mill built over it, so that the water funnels down a runway, which presumably powered the old mill.

This area is now set up for camper/walkers and has the obligatory wood shed and campsite/picnic table – however it also has a traditional wood sauna free for use – so I have suggested we all go in the van one day and make a fire and eat and have a sauna, and maybe we can run to the lake at the bottom of the falls (though I am petrified of lake/river swimming).

I really loved the ride down the big hills of the main road, it felt nice to have the cool wind over my body and through my hair. it was essentially just me on the road, four other cars in total, and they speed by and are gone like that – ghost people.

One thing about here is language. there are three Finnish people, two Germans and a Czech girl. No-one speaks English very well, so well all communicate in a pidgin, which makes it hard to have sustained conversations or really express my ideas or thoughts very well. I use gestures more. The czech girl must feel like me, as we do not have someone to speak with in our common tongue, so it becomes lonely and isolated.

Remoteness through language.

Remoteness through distance.

My heart is all over the place and I am struggling (?) to find a place of comfort and assuredness to settle. Its not so much knowing what my feelings are, but being able to keep them safe while I carry on with these other things in my life. It is hard not being able to have conversations. There is also the newness of everything that makes all emotions sharper, making me overthink things and push them more than they need to be pushed. I hope it gets easier.

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Installation documentation HD video and sound

June 21, 2013 § 2 Comments

Film documentation of my installation A place prepared for sleep / Staður undirbúin fyrir svefn. 01:10, June 2013.

This film shows the delicate nature of the piece, specifically how each string corresponds with its neighbour – coalescing, diverging, moving in accord with the wind. In the background you can hear the waves of the Greenland Sea and birds calling.

The piece is situated on the cliffs of a peninsula, and the wind can have a strong affect on the waves of the sea in this area. A stronger wind produces vibrant movement by the strings, and also a corresponding louder soundscape from the sea. In time the sounds and the movement of the strings start to share a symbiosis.

It is at this point, at the realisation of the connection, that I start to focus off each specific string. It becomes part of my larger field of vision. The exploration of liminality in this piece, is how it draws out the space between the sound and physicality of a space. How the piece gives visibility to the surrounding sounds (which change), and gives audibility to that which is invisible in a sense (the way the wind passes over a certain place, the space just above the ground).

A place prepared for sleep marries these ‘in between’ aspects and in turn gives the space a grounding, or physicality. From there we can look at collectivity, and how we might share liminal spaces with others.

Documentation above by the inspiring Yogan Muller.

Please view in HD, headphones recommended.

The sky has run through to the sea

June 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

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You were standing beside me when I saw both of these, ephemeral as they were. Immense. So outside of me.

Also another project. For now it is a cross continental blog collaboration before we can realise it in more than two dimensions.

Hafsjá. On being of the sea. A collaboration of seascapes and oceans by Yogan Muller and Marlaina Read. hafsja.tumblr.com

New sculpture/installation work. A place prepared for sleep.

May 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

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A place prepared for sleep / Staður undirbúin fyrir svefn. Found wood and iron, Icelandic wool. Skagastrond May 2013.

For the last opið hús at NES, Yogan made a sculpture from found materials he called Logn (calm). Two strings held a leaning shelf at an angle. As a response I made a sculpture of found wood, stacked, with light, and a string / cradle stretching from mine to his. A few days later we wanted to preserve the strings. I had thought about the mountain, but I had a dream about a place I had slept up on the cliffs behind our houses. I imagined the strings over that space, overlooking the sea.

So, we walked my string sculpture from the studio to the cliffs. We installed it over the space where I slept. The strings extend seven metres or so, and if you lie underneath they move and coalesce in the wind, and the strings look like how the waves sound. Meditative. Making liminal spaces habitable may generate new ideas of collectivity.

The piece is part of a public work / sculpture exhibition in Iceland – Summer We Go Public.

Thank you to Yogan Muller for inspiration. More images at www.marlainaread.com. Last image by Melody Woodnutt.

Greenland Sea

May 22, 2013 § 1 Comment

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Yesterday a chance encounter on a boat docked in Skags – we took portraits of the sailors for Guido to paint into murals in town, the mayor asked if we wanted to go on board for the final leg of the trip. Our destination was Siglufjord, a narrow and small fjord on the north coast of Iceland. It was about a 9 1/2 hour voyage…. sweet baby Jesus.

Huge seas (10 ft, 12 ft??), no sleep, one very sick cabin mate and a bit of time spent flying off our bench beds to floor. Drenched by huge wave outside while boat almost vertical… might have been some killer whale wrestling. A great adventure with fellow salty sea dogs Guido and Linda.

I was thankful to see dry land. Now to bed.

You need help

March 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

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The northern lights were beautiful last night due to a big solar flare recently. I didn’t take this image, Andrew Rewald did. They were dancing a lot, morphing, and I saw gradations into a slight lilac and also orange.

I took a walk on one of the beaches today and found the perfect spot to launch my boat. I will probably do a lot of on-site construction there also as its a little walk aways and I had to jump across some ice sheets where a snow melt river is running into the sea.

As this part of the beach there is a larger stone island about 200 metres or so off shore? That is my main goal. Just a little bit further down is one, about 50 metres or maybe even less from the shore, which I can use to practice.

I collected a bunch of stones from the beach, and some black sand for a drawing project I am doing of maps of my childhood home.

I also have some plans for an extended immersive performance piece I am calling “You need help.”

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