the hills were bleached & the teme had gone to earth
my ankles ballooned & i cut hazel for support as i walked for three
days & two nights between coordinates fancied significant in twenty
years of life & landscape
sleeping on & under a tri-folded tarp, begging facilities, food & water,
i tested myself without knowing the question
in some ways i became the landscape & the landscape became me
to prevent duty of recording from eating into being present, i carried
an old polaroid which set a limit of sixteen shots & with reluctant
responsibility to those who love me, i buried a phone in my pack
pathways have been rewalked & reworked
these words & images are my attempt to link life’s switchback with
time spent in the unmappable space that lies adjacent to a linear route
White ribbon walk
“I decided to tie white cotton tape on to branches as I walked so that, on the route home, in a ‘breadcrumbs in a fairytale’ sort of way, my head torch might illuminate them. I packed a shawl that my brother had brought back from the Annapurna mountains over 20 years ago, a torch he had left behind when he visited (the last time I saw him) at Christmas 2015 and a large, leaf shaped piece of felt that had been made from the fleece of his sheep to be placed on his coffin. I thought these things would be useful if I became too tired and had to lie down in the forest to rest.”...
Read full accounts of these walks and others made during the Lines in the Landscape residency.
I found a way
"Perhaps it was the absence of people that confused time and place; or perhaps it was my state of mind; most probably it was because I carried no map. I have recognised a tendency of mine to confuse a map with the ground; to use a paper representation of the landscape to try to determine where I step and to predict what’s around a corner. I need to remind myself that ‘The map is not the territory’. These old ways were not navigated by following a green/red, dotted/dashed line on paper/screen; they were navigated by the depression in the ground made by the footsteps of the people who had walked before. I could have been walking from Wigmore Abbey to Limebrook Priory or from Brandon Camp to the now lost village of Pedwardine. I stopped worrying about the ‘Right of Way’ and looked at the way the ground was sculpted by human and animal traffic; at the incline of the hill and the dip in the horizon where one could pass into the next valley; at ancient trees that beckoned and nodded, ‘Safe journey, Traveller’ as I passed by.".......
Tracks larks coastalpath
“So I found myself on a steep green field overlooking Salcombe and the Kingsbridge Estuary, a patch of diesel marking the point where he died. Leaning forward, I walked up the slope between the wheel tracks. When I reached the road, lines of mist, like breaths from the sea, passed in front of me and the skylarks were singing to my right but I couldn’t see them. I chose a bridleway of rocky chevrons, followed a stream through patchy gorse and met the coastal path as the stream fell off the cliff.”...
“Thank you for welcoming me into your home a few weeks ago; and for the magical tour of the grounds.
On reflection, I truly felt I had walked alongside RPK, following the flow of his Gorge-in-miniature garden from beneath his crows-nest of a window.
And the light!
RPK would have surely approved of the abstraction of that weak spring sunlight as it squeezed through the rain drops.
I suspect that such an atmosphere of intimacy and connection to the past may not be surpassed by even my visit to the Gorge proper on Saturday.”......
After 4 months
“Home was becoming somewhere I felt both safe and trapped and the motivation to breach its walls for any length of time was withering. I felt my body had failed me; how could I ever learn to trust it again? Maybe by propelling my tiny shape across the surface of the Earth, by making indentations with my feet, by casting a moving shadow, I would be able to reaffirm my existence. And so I simply placed one foot in front of the other, again and again.”...