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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For Iceland

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Expeditions to find the north-east/west passage that resulted in disappearance of entire boats. Taking crew lists and descriptions of the vessel from first and second hand sources, recreate an entire lineage for each person and model of the ship. Envision scenario when captain finally knew it was all going to end. Create model boats that can sail and set them forth into the Norwegian Sea. Consult local prophetess about the souls of departed. Pray for them. Make own boat, anchor it to shore at three points, sail out. Rituals, winch myself back in again. Repeat. Find coordinates to the Bearing strait.

Go to beach with black sand, carve out a vein, take it with me. In place substitute the sand from yellow beach. Maybe bury it. Film the exchange. Repeat at yellow beach. Hide a talisman hope it gets washed to sea… now the both are present at each other. Take information on the tides and rate of dispossession of sand and renewal rates, estimate time before sand is fully absorbed at each site.

Works in progress

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

1. I spent time on one beach, transporting the stones from the shoreline to another beach area on the island, and then transporting sand from there to the first. People have such an investment in ‘taking things in’ and having an understanding or measure of a place, but now when people stand there at these places there will be a small part of it that has come from an unknown. An unknown unknown. I want to do this in Iceland too, where there is a beach of black sand.

2. I read blog posts of people who had visited the Island where they describe what what they did and where they went, and I went out to try and recreate their journey. An uninvited pilgrimage to the steps of unknown people.

3. I found feathers and made a nest, a sort of hyper-realistic one so that if someone stumbled on it, it might seem too perfect, too put together.

4. I walked some labyrinths and pulled a string behind me and at the end I buried a secret. But to get to the secret you have to find the string on your own accord and follow it, the same path. Maybe there is something there that will touch your head and so you have to bow to avoid it.

5. I have made a dictionary of ice/Arctic water forms from a variety of books I have read, and I am painting them, what I think they look like, as a sort of index of imagined forms. Maybe they will somehow resemble what they are if the term is exact enough, or makes me recall images seen briefly in my visual life. If I show them to other people as a representation, they might believe it.

What is the obstacle? What is the warning?

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

1. I don’t know if I can imagine three months alone in a strange land, carting sand from one end to the other. Shuffling a pathway (pilgrimage) through the snow, casting it, and then recreating it, that journey, that path, for others to follow. A map which can be laid on any floor. A portable hole.

2. Standing at the edge. I was at Bondi Beach in Sydney once and I walked out into the waves when I felt the sea floor below me give way and plunge into the beginning of the great deep. No more solid land to make you feel safe, land that can be walked back to shore, back across the sand, back across the road and then as far as you need to go before you reach home.

3. In a strange car at night on an unfamiliar road the kind where the bitumen rounds off on to grass, rocks and then trees. No houses about, headlights. A black cat crosses the highway and someone else in the car says ‘was that a cat’ and you say ‘yes’.

4. Hiding places. For physical things, for thoughts, for secrets.

5. A stream that is small enough to cross. A river that is too big.

6. The creek was cool and running fast. We laid our drinks and milk in the creek to cool them down. Further up the creek the water rushes over a crevice of rocks and you can shimmy up them, sit and wedge yourself in and the water flows over the rock to your lap.

7. A stranger who opens your window. Noises outside.

8. 25840 tonne icebreaker forging a path through sheer brute force. The sea flows where it shouldn’t. But we made it through.

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