Monday, 27 October 2014

'Longshore Drift'

Great day out walking today with Creative Research Workshop in association with the Atkinson
and Sefton Coastal Project.
'Longshore Drift' is a collaboration between 'Fevered Sleep' and 'MDI' and part of TheAtkinson’s Sefton 'Coastal Path Project' 2014 and An Infinite Line: Merseyside
Met some great people and got lots of exercise, inspiration and fresh air

The organisers of the event are in collaboration in connection with a creative project entitled
An Infinite Line: Merseyside.
This is a project inspired by the quality of natural light on Merseyside’s coast and estuaries
MDI is one of the UK’s leading strategic dance organisations, based in Liverpool and
work of Fevered Sleep takes place in arts venues such as theatres and galleries, in unusual places both indoors and out, and in the physical and virtual spaces people encounter in their everyday lives.

Formby Coastal Heritage workshop.

The second workshop that I joined alongside the Atkinson 'Chorus of the Coast' Project was the trip with Formby High school pupils with Danielle Clark of the Atkinson, Eve Harrison, composer and John Dempsey, wildlife expert.
The walk lead us through pine-woods, sand dunes and onto the beach where we encountered ancient foot prints of red deer, and hoofed creatures such as large cattle. it is also reported that wolves were common inhabitants of the coastal area up to 10,000 years ago.
We also noted a variety of plants, such as rose bay willow herb, evening primrose and a large selection of discarded Christmas trees that have been gathered to help form a barrier against the tide.

The Boats that pass through the Mersey estuary

The Boats that pass through the Mersey estuary are varied and many carry cargo to a variety of distant places. These were a source of inspiration during the Crosby Marina coastal workshop as they display the industry associated with this busy portal area.

Crosby Marina Coastal workshop

In connection with the Atkinson 'Chorus of the Coast' project, I’m developing a series of silk prints called ‘Fabric of the Coast’ based around the diverse character of the coastline from Crosby to Southport, influenced by sounds, textures, plus music and drawings from community groups. 
I have joined the group on different workshops to experience the coastal environment with community groups and to discover the coast from the perspective of the sounds that can be heard, the local wildlife, flora and fauna, the surface and textures of the surrounding area and the people and  industry of the place.

Pupils from local Primary School, St. Elizabeth's in Litherland, accompanied us on our walk along the coast at Crosby Marina.
Not only did we enjoy a very pleasant, warm and lively time on the beach, but we also examined the variety of objects such as shells, rocks, pebbles and seaweed on the sand.
The pupils learned about the names of birds and the songs and sounds they made.
Composer, Eve Harrison encouraged the pupils to write postcard conversations that the Gormley statues on the beach might have with their creator, Sculptor and artist, 
Antony Gormley.  They also visualized graphical scores of the sounds they could hear.

I created some fabric designs from a mixture of my own watercolour observations of the place and overlaid some of the pencil drawings that the children created in layers over my own interpretation to visualize my impression of the experience.

Wildlife expert, John Dempsey was our guide and shared a broad range of facts about the environment along this coastal stretch.
Crosby Marina is home to Antony Gormley's 'Another Place,' where 100 cast iron statues stand looking out to sea. See link for more detail.

There is something very magnetic about the Antony Gormley statues at  
'Another Place' in Crosby marina.

They have a 'presence' that's not only tangible material, but also
they evoke a sense of 'being' and awareness, almost as though they 
exist in more than a physical form.
I spent several hours immersed in filming on the beach on a cold, 
blustery day and I felt 'surrounded by folk,' only to discover that I 
was actually alone on the beach by tea time.

Below are some examples of the images and films I made of Mr. Gormley, 
clad in silken print from my coastal watercolours.

See Film sample here.

Chorus of the Coast

I have begun to explore my experience of growing up beside the sea, using the coastline as a site for investigation.   
I‘m interested in making drawings of the beach with a view to being able to introduce a new understanding about this ‘place’ in conversation with diverse groups.

The Atkinson recently organised an inspirational meeting at Crosby Marina for their current project called ‘Chorus of the Coast.’ We met with Eve Harrison, the Composer for the project, along with pupils from St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School, Litherland and local wildlife expert, John Dempsey, author of 'Wild Merseyside,' 

Sefton Coastline is a great place to look for wild life - mossland, dunes, pine woods and estuary right on the doorstep.
“There’s the RSPB Reserve at Marshside, the Ainsdale and Birkdale dunes, looked after by Sefton’s Ranger Service,  the Marine Lake, or the miles of shoreline between Ainsdale and the Plough roundabout," says John. See link.

The Atkinson has commissioned versatile musician, Eve Harrison, to work with schools and community groups located along the Sefton coastline culminating in the composition of a single piece of contemporary music.  The project will work with four groups including; children and young people from a primary and a secondary school, and an older persons’ group living with dementia. The project will be engaging with audiences from a wide range of backgrounds and needs.  Each group will explore a part of the coast that is local to them and digitally record the sounds they experience.

'The aim of the project is to portray the human perspective of the natural world by drawing on human interaction with the surrounding environment. 

The project will culminate in a concert that will be performed to the general public at the Atkinson on November 24th 2014 to convey a message that local people should value and seek to conserve their unique and irreplaceable environment. The piece will be performed by some of the groups involved in the project alongside and supported by professional musicians.' (The Atkinson, 2014)