Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Week 1 at Wooda

Wooda is a wonderful place - fabulous accommodation and studios, you are made to feel very welcome, the animals are very friendly too, especially the cat. I am very grateful to Max, Gary and Elspeth for this opportunity. I recommend a visit to Elspeth Owen’s new website, it is a delight and an inspiration.

I have spent the past week gently settling into a different way of life and it will probably take me another week to really engage with my work. As part of my acclimatisation I have been walking, observing, reflecting and cogitating, as well as practising my daily yoga and meditation.

I have taken strolls around the farm – down into the woods and up into the top fields. On Wednesday I walked along the road to Crackington Haven. On all of my excursions I take photographs, collect objects and document my thoughts, so to some extent they are meditation walks, in so much as I am open to whatever arises. In response to what I have gathered I have created some visual pieces, which I have entitled ‘Weaves’. I wanted to find a way of combining collected objects with the thoughts and feelings I experienced on my walks. Some years ago whilst on the Isles of Scilly I created a piece from the objects I found on the beach which I wove into a piece of discarded fishing net. So this week, using the same idea I wove the items I had collected, along with some text I had written, through strings held taut around a box like the strings of a guitar. For me the strings symbolise time and the resonance of time, the tension of the strings holding disparate things together in one place. The intervals of the strings represent for me the pulse of time, rather like the beautiful wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh sound made by the wind turbine here at Wooda Farm. (By coincidence I happened to catch some of Tuesday’s Horizon television programme and was fascinated by what was said about time and String Theory.) I then scanned what I had woven and manipulated the images in order to achieve the ephemeral quality I was after. Each Weave is in response to one walk.

Today in the studio I started creating movement for camera. I find creating movement requires so much clarity of intent and emotional fuel; it is like trying to tap into a vein of wisdom and honesty, which takes a great deal of searching for. However, being outside has inspired me - feeling the damp and the rain, the cool wind and, yes even at the end of January, the warmth of the sun. At the bottom of the wood is a brook and being there in the pouring rain I witnessed an eerie beauty, a feeling of otherness and of being watched by wildlife and in response I started to improvise with movement, albeit in wellies!

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