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Ghost Net Baskets

I started to weave baskets from washed up rope and that took me on a journey to understand the issues that fishing nets and gear create to marine life.

ghost net baskets

Ghost fishing gear refers to any fishing equipment or fishing-related litter that has been abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded and it is a danger to marine life. The baskets I make hopefully create awareness of the danger of this discarded fishing gear.

At the moment the vessels I create are somewhat functional, I could develop the design to be more of an ethical art statement than a functional item. I am also considering loom weaving using the materials that I use for the baskets.

I hope to make a display of the baskets alongside other fishing debris at the Lundy Marine Festival this Summer 2022

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Risograph Printing

Risograph printing sits between photocopying and screen printing. Its process works on the same principles of layering images as you would do in screen printing. The reason why I wanted to try the Risograph process, was to give me an understanding of the process which as it is ideal for multi run prints it could be useful for printing my own books and the printed result is more urban than if coming straight off a colour printer which uses toner.

The first step in the process is that you make layers of your prints in photoshop. Each of these layers forms a master for each drum colour. Once the master is etched onto the drum You can then start to print each layer. There are different colour drums for each layer of colour. It’s best to start with the black drum as the black ink dries the quickest and each layer takes quite a while to dry. The ink does tend to smudge even with the finished product. Once you have run some test prints you are able to quickly run off copies, hence the risographs popularity for situations where many prints are required; posters, zines etc.

The daffodil was printed on yellow paper so that made the printing process slightly easier. However the opacity of the black needed to be manipulated on the machine to get the correct image. I do like the illustrative effect of the flower and it makes it less photographic and pretty, thus challenging our image of the picturesque.

On the trespass poster I wanted to use three colours so the process would need three drums of different colours. I had created an illustration from one of my photographs in Adobe Illustrator, then created the layers in photoshop. The inks are expensive and at the time there were only four available colours that I could use, these were not the ones that I would have chosen as I wanted a yellow background and brown tree.   As the text was red I created a white mask for the red text to sit on, otherwise the blue would start to bleed through and change the colour. This required quite a bit of test prints to get the red to correctly sit on top of the white. 

Text
Background
Final
Tree with mask for text

Final outcome

On the final copy there were some streaks down the outside edges which I could not erase. I will need to revisit the process to try to master the skill of risograph printing, but in essence I feel it gives a similar outcome to screen printing with the benefit of being able to create multiples. I also created a simple printed copy and as a result I could see how the more ‘rough and ready’ risograph print lends itself to posters and propaganda material.

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Meanderlings

Welcome to meanderlings, this site came out of a desire to make sense of the research work I am creating for my MA in Printmaking at Plymouth College of Art. My original research proposal was to research pilgrimages, pilgrim routes and investigate the rise in the number of people walking pilgrim routes. To question what of this walk, this pilgrimage? are we merely walking or are we trying to connect the landscape to an inner experience. However lockdown presented me with a travel issue and my pilgrimage through Portugal to Santiago de compostela was put on hold. As an alternative I took the advice of the British Pilgrimage Trust (BPT) and started to bring the notion of pilgrimage closer to home with mini pilgrimages. By creating a destinatination of holy places, churches and specific sites and by adding an intention to my walks, I found that I could create my own mini pilgrimages. The BPT cite in the Guardian

‘structure your walk around a purpose unique to you, determined by your heart and activated by your feet. All of us usually have at least one question we want answering, something we want to bring into our lives, or let go of. So choose one intention from your many options, dedicate your daily walk to that purpose, and perhaps the world around you will start to resonate with it.

An offshoot of my proposal is how we can connect with specific places such as; Holy Wells places that we may come across on a route or by using them to plan a route. Also to question can a Holy Well create a space that society can use today? Can it be re-purposed or indeed used for its original purposes. The SouthWest has hundreds of Holy Wells, not all of them are classed as holy but some are simple springs. I hope that this blog will help me to contextualise my work and show the steps I have taken in the process of exploring and refining my research question. It will be a platform to identify strengths and weaknesses of my research proposal and show how I have engaged and experimented with different methods and approaches. It will show a body of work that inks together or takes a departure from my original research proposal. I will explain what and who are the inspirations behind the work and analyse what progress I feel that I have made in creating the work. My MA is in Printmaking so I need to come back to this method at each twist and turn.

References & Bibliography

How to turn your daily lockdown walk into a pilgrimage (no date). [Online]. Available at https://britishpilgrimage.org/how-to-turn-your-daily-walk-into-a-pilgrimage/?mc_cid=b5b5353c54&mc_eid=3dad3dd64c. [Accessed on 04/03/2021]

Guardian staff reporter, (13/01/2021). How intention turns a walk into a pilgrimage – plus 5 British pilgrim trails. The Guardian. The Guardian. [Online]. Available at http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2021/jan/13/how-intention-turns-a-walk-into-a-pilgrimage-5-british-walking-pilgrim-trails. [Accessed on 12/03/2021]

Hayward, G., and Mayhew-Smith, N., (2020). Britain’s Pilgrim Places: The first complete guide to every spiritual treasure. Heartwood Publishing.

Maja, N. A., and Fowkes, R., (no date). Unframed Landscapes: Nature in Contemporary Art | NeMe. [Online]. Available at http://www.neme.org/texts/unframed-landscapes. [Accessed on 08/11/2020]

Sea Thrift Weave

The West side of Lundy has high rugged cliffs often a haven for climbers there is a little plant that also clings to the cliff; Sea Thrift. Their presence is a sign of summer and the delicate pink is at odds with with the rugged windswept terrain in which they grow.

I wanted to represent their presence on the cliffs in a mini weave. I produced this on a hand made cardboard loom and used some driftwood to hang it from. I adore the effect the contrasting colours of the pink and green make. The blue in the fringe is a hint of the sea.

Weaving Stories Sea and Sand

Although I come from a cotton mill town in East Lancashire, I love sea swimming and dipping especially in cold water. I have lived near the sea for the last twenty years but it is only in the last two years that I have actually enjoyed going in the sea especially in the winter months.

When I moved to Lundy I needed to find like minded people to dip with so I set up the Lundy Bluetits which is part of an International network of Chill Swimmers. Now a few of the Lundy residents dip with me and I particularly enjoy it when we meet visitors who also love a cold dip. Everyone has great stores to share but we were all incredibly motivated when we were joined by Sadie Davies who is the only female to have swum to Lundy from the mainland. Sadie is in the middle with two other amazing females with their bluetit badges for their first bluetit Lundy swim.

Spending so much time by the water inspired my Beach Weaves. These were both created using home made cardboard looms with a variety of fibres and patterns to represent the landscape and hung with pieces of local driftwood. They represent the beaches; sand and the waves of North Devon an area which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has now become the first Uk Surf Reserve. The cardboard looms will be ideal for running some mini weave workshops in the St Helen’s Education Centre.

A writing retreat and a bit of hygge

Time keepers hut

Felix Gade Hut is situated on the East Side of Lundy Island and was the Time Check office for the Quarry workers in 1863. Courtesy of the Boys Brigade (a group of men who visit Lundy each year) there is now a bench running around the circumference of the hut. This creates a seating area which is a perfect place to sit. So, on a late October day, I took along Anna who was a regular Lundy visitor from the Island of Seil, Ayrshire. We were supposed to be going swimming but that would wait till later, I had convinced her to come on a mini writing retreat.

After a walk round the quarry we ended up at the Felix Gade Hut, however there was already a lady there, who we later found out was called Nicky, she was sat waiting for friends who had gone off to Brazen Ward. We lit a fire and with Anna being half Danish we started to chat about Hygge, a Danish Way of living. This little hut with remnants of candles, bare walls and a fire felt very Hygge, especially when we unpacked cake and hot chocolate. As we chatted to Nicky, we discovered that she was a Publisher ! So we asked her to join our little writing group and to provide us with a topic to write about and so our little writing retreat began. The topic she gave us was ‘what makes us happy’ so we all wrote for a timed session and then shared our most noteworthy findings.

Just as we started to discuss our findings our retreat was interrupted by Nicky’s friends returning from Brazen Ward. They stayed to chat although this called a halt to our little writing retreat, it added to the hyggelige moment, by the fact that that a group of random strangers were sat in a stone hut on a granite rock with no place to be, no noise, no phones. Maybe that is Hygge but it is also Lundy!

The arrivals

The MS Oldenburg arriving at the Jetty on Lundy Island

The boat is a crucial link for the Island, it’s a lifeline for the Island as it not only brings passengers but supplies and communications from the mainland. One Autumn day, I sat watching the boat arrive at the Jetty, I penned a few observational notes, what follows is the result.

I watch and wait as she arrives, from Bideford she set sail

MS Oldenburg, 230 passengers, Luggage, supplies and mail.

Sitting still I watch, from my little sheltered spot

I question and wonder….who will be the first off?

With The beach road ahead, It’s a challenging climb

Enjoyed by the fittest, but for some it’s a dread

They pass me by on steps by the track

An old fishing place, rocky ruins of a shack

With the sun on my face, I settle back and lie

Receiving cheery Hello’s, from passer bys 

Wrapped in scarves and hats, It must have been cold at sea

These clothes they will shed, When for the hill they head

A family with a picnic, they are in for a trek

A birder dressed in green, binoculars round his neck

A smiling lady, with a few days away

Alone in a cottage, away from the fray

Families with teenagers, dragging their heels 

Searching for 3G, they are oblivious of the seals

A couple with a baby on their back, jackets already off,

they are ready for the climb, It’s all uphill on a very steep track

Here comes a camper, carrying his own tent 

Sleeping in a field, will cut down his rent 

A grey haired couple, they are Holding hands 

Recounting their last visit, to this granite land

Next comes the land rover, Hugging the edge of the rock

People startle and scurry, they need to move over 

A man with Tilly hat,  walking boots and big socks

The sound of Waterproofs swish past, as he walks between the rocks

A rainbow of waterproofs, comes along next 

A clutch of Students ready to research, excited there is now wifi at church

A case on wheels rumbles on up, creating a noise on its way to the top

I think the steep climb, will result in lots of stops. 

Just then a lady shouts ‘Hello Jane’, fancy seeing you 

A lady from Barnstaple, at last Someone I knew

A pilgrimage through Ancient woodlands

I would like to take you on part of a route followed in June known as the Jerusalem’ Pilgrimage, from Haslemere to Chichester. Dismounting from the train in Haslemere you head out of the town, past the large gated houses. After about 15 minutes you leave the busy road and enter the ancient woodland. First there are easy climbs up and through the woodland. Passing tidy piles of logs hewn from the old trees, where once woodworkers would have been busy creating and making in the wood itself. Then, an unexpected find; a plaque in the woods dedicated to a member of Clan Farquharson from Upper Deeside, Aberdeenshire the stoutly named Bernard Alwyne Farquharson.

Remembering the past

The cross section of tracks through the woodland takes you across the Serpents Trail, to the highest hill in Sussex, a place which Tennyson fell in love with; you can imagine him striding out wrapped in his cloak, notebook in hand. Based on the top of the hill is the ‘Temple of the Winds’, named after a bronze age circular bank. Here you will find a spot that has a mystical feel, a curved stone seat from where you can admire the views.

The Journey continues as you enter the deep, dark, Green woods of Ancient Sussex a woodland which consisted of Oak and Ash and Thorn. Although tired by walking the woods offered an opportunity to immerse oneself. The thick intertwining woodland with moss bedded floors, remnants of the bluebells, fading in colour and life as the trees thicken with leaves and take over the forest. At intervals you can see old tracks sunken between hedgerows, pause to wonder the many who have travelled along the track

Trees that once bloomed are showing signs of wear and tear, maybe a life that once was or maybe they are still living and breathing. A whole collection of gnarled faces embedded in the trees.

As the walk continued through the woodland the walk started to feel slightly oppressive, the trees surrounding us 360 degrees, the lack of open space created a feeling of being trapped . The humidity sucking up our energy on a warm day. Eventually as we started to reach Midhurst the woodland moved to one of pine forests, the sun managed to get through the trees and dappled light on the forest floor. The following day would be one of Chalk Downs.

On returning back to the Studio I wanted to represent the woodland in a painting, so I took some found sticks and used these to create a painting of the woodland.

Experimenting mark making with different sticks

Ancient Woodland: acrylic painting with sticks

Holy Wells

Devon has over 300 Holy Wells and Springs. According to the website insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings.com

“A holy well, or sacred spring, is a small body of water emerging from underground and revered either in a Pagan or Christian context, often both. Holy wells were frequently pagan sacred sites that later became Christianized. The term ‘holy well’ is commonly employed to refer to any water source of limited size (i.e. not a lake or river, but including pools and natural springs and seeps), which has some significance in the folklore of the area where it is located, whether in the form of a particular name, an associated legend, the attribution of healing qualities to the water through the numinous presence of its guardian spirit or Christian saint, or a ceremony or ritual centred on the well site. In Christian legend, the water is often said to have been made to flow by the action of a saint, a familiar theme especially in the hagiography of Celtic saints.”

Although I knew about Holy Wells and Springs I had not really looked until researching pilgrimages quite how many there were even in Devon. In lockdown, I was able to find several within a 10 mile radius of my home. There was even one in the next village, which although visiting the village hundreds of times, I never knew of its existence. I thus used a few of the wells as start points or destinations on my walks. I am interested how they differ, some are tranquil places in the ground of churches, some by the sides of roads and in one case on the drive of a house. The tranquility they offer varies, but the ones where I have found time to contemplate to connect with the landscape are those connected to churches. However the ones that I find interesting are the forgotten ones.

Some wells visitors leave ribbons or rags, which does offer some connection with the thought that people have been before you, it does not really fit with environmental matters. I am currently investigating what could be left maybe pine cones something similar to the scallop shell carried or left by pilgrims.

scallop shells on pilgrimage

https://insearchofholywellsandhealingsprings.com/

Formative Review Feedback

Feedback from staff and Students at PCA

Jessica Corlett – Student11:17 Walk On exhibition that was in Plymouth 6/7 years ago

Timothy Ridley – Student11:17 Derrida, ‘The animal that therefore I am”

Jessica Corlett – Student11:19 sound mapping

Leah Jewitt – Student11:21 The walk itself is a piece of art

Timothy Ridley – Student11:21 Marcus Coates work with birds and sound hops into my head

Timothy Ridley – Student11:26 The tone of your work should reflect your personality I always think?

Jessica Corlett – Student11:27 people with synesthesia have mixed ways they feel and see sense – could you represent senses through visual metaphor? I followed this up with a article on synesthesia which I incorporated into the essence of the essay

Timothy Ridley – Student11:28 Just walking is politically charged along lines of trespass and being outside of the capitalist day to day. I followed this up with a piece on Trespass

Leah Jewitt – Student11:29 When talking about senses and print, you could print with found objects which stimulate your physical senses, using them as printing blocks for example. This has moved me to using essential oils and pigments.

Ray Goodwin – Student11:30 I was going to suggest psychogeography too, as well as the Flaneur

Timothy Ridley – Student11:30 Yes place over space seems implicit in your work Jane.

Steven Paige11:31 look to http://www.timknowles.co.uk/

http://walkingartists.altervista.org/tim-knowles-windwalks/?doing_wp_cron=1616067102.8273611068725585937500

Stephen Felmingham11:32 Psycho-geography. http://www.mappingspectraltraces.org/about-us.html se

Antigoni Pasidi11:32 https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/end-matter/

Stephen Felmingham11:33 also look at Paul Nash – Fertile Image – which I have since done.

Patrick Keiller – I have since looked at this work and it definately has some resonance with my work. I used this idea to take forward the work ‘Wandered lonely as a cloud.’

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2014/event/walead-beshty-a-partial-disassembling-of-an-invention

Dr Iain Biggs – Deep Mapping. I need to explore this work more. Antigoni has provided me with an array of slides on Deep Mapping. I will need to look at how this affects my research proposal, is it complimentary?

The work of David Nash I have referred to Land artist David Nash in my work before. His work with sculpture and wood connects with the landscape.

Trevor Borg His work is interesting as he uses a variety of media which is born from site specific practice; His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, installations, photography and film. Which is something that I would like to explore. He investigates territory and aspects of temporality. He uses Found matter and repurposes it. Borg’s work explores the potential of matter and how it contributes to an understanding of place. This is feel is related to my work.

I felt bound by print but after a conversation with Antigoni I feel that I can explore as a fine artist would and just come back to print. Even a printed catalogue of my work could be the work. At this point I went back and visited the lectures and I was thankful that they had been recorded as I could start to see where my work had become multi-disciplinary.

 http://www.timknowles.co.uk/

http://walkingartists.altervista.org/tim-knowles-windwalks/?doing_wp_cron=1616067102.8273611068725585937500

https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/end-matthttps://www.artangel.org.uk/project/end-matter/

Psycho-geography http://www.mappingspectraltraces.org/about-us.html

The granite quarries

My travels often take me to Lundy, I like many others are drawn to this granite rock in the middle of the Bristol Channel. On my latest visit it was the quarries on the east side of the Island that were my intended destination for a walk.

This desire to engage with the quarry was stimulated when it was suggested in a tutorial, that I look at the work of artist Katrina Palmer. Katrina Palmer’s work The Loss Adjusters focusses on deviant goings-on in the history of Portland Stone. There are many similar narratives around the Lundy Granite Company and the management of the Lundy Granite Company which was set up in 1863. At the time of the quarry activity, there were between 200-400 men on this tiny island which usually housed around 17 inhabitants including the Owner of lundy his family and lighthouse keepers. The men employed by the Lundy Granite Company found little to stimulate them and were often drunk and disorderly, as retold by Ternstrom, M., (2008).

it was complained that Ryan, the engineer , was continually drunk and abusive. It was perhaps inevitable that with some 200 workmen, laxly supervised, on an island with very few sources of recreation apart from the canteen, there would have been fights, disturbances and damages. When one case came to Bideford court in 1865 the judge said that Lundy was; ‘….a refuge for the destitute .. the fag ends of society’

Like the Portland stone in Palmer’s Loss Adjusters, Lundy Granite was in demand for building parts of London, Palmer re tells the narrative around the quarries and how Portland stone had been shaped and hollowed out over centuries by convicts and quarrymen to provide stone for some of London’s best-known buildings – one million square feet of Portland stone is said to have been quarried for St Paul’s Cathedral alone. 

One is confronted with the juxtaposition in history when walking past middle quarry, which once full of quarrymen it is now named VC quarry, renamed in memorial to John Pennington Harman, awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions during the Burma Campaign. (The Quarry was one of his favourite places when a boy on the island).

Whilst in the quarries it was my intention to explore being in the landscape, rather than just being an observer. Stephens (2000) refers to the work of Peter Lanyon when he talks of how Lanyon integrated with the landscape when creating artworks;

 the Artists use of the experience of space and time as the source for his painting also Incorporated the historical experience of the place and it’s people. This was not just a question of the countryside holding the deposits of earlier occupation but of its contents embodying a human past. ‘Rock and and boulders’ he said (lanyon) ‘are touched by centuries of work and life. For me they’re stones with a human history and meaning’

One cannot fail to be mesmerized by the granite as on a sunny day the whole island glistens from the minerals within the granite, the silvery coloured mica contrasting against the black, white crystals of feldspar and greyish transparent quartz crystals. Whilst researching the concept of geology and the landscape I discovered the work of Tania Kovats whose practice is inspired by rocks and the whole concept of geology

The landscapes that interest me the most are geologically explicit landscapes where you can clearly read the narrative of formation or erosion. This leads me to be working with landscapes that are often remote – cliff edges, deserts, odd geological incidents. The way our experience of landscape is culturally mediated is of central concern to me. Much of my thinking over the last few years has meant I have looked to geology to help read landscape to further understand how landscapes are made outside of what we effect upon them. No landform exists forever but only within a particular time span in the earth’s history. I see landscape as a series of incidents coming into being.’ Kovats (n/d)

The geology that surrounds granite is intriguing as can be seen by the microscoped view below of a piece of granite below. This is definitely something I wish to investigate further with my work.

Fortunately for the Lundy of today, the quarries did not prove that successful commercially and were badly managed as recounted by Ternstrom and thus only mined for 6 years. What interests me is the devastation that might have been experienced on this Island, if they had been successful. The quarries now resemble dramatic amphitheatres looking out to the North Devon Coastline, whose stories are hidden in the rocks.

References

Granite – Lundy (no date). [Online]. Available at https://www.virtualmicroscope.org/content/granite-lundy. [Accessed on 22/04/2021]

Tania Kovats (no date). [Online]. Available at https://land2.leeds.ac.uk/people/kovats/. [Accessed on 22/04/2021]

Stephens, C., (2000). Peter Lanyon: At the edge of landscape. 21 Publishing London.

Ternstrom, M., (2008). The Lundy Granite Company: An Industrial Adventure. Westwell Publishing.