Conversations examine the possibilities of a deeper understanding when we begin to read and feel the land.
Humans inevitably change the place they are in; each receives an impression of the other, influencing how
landscapes are shaped, experienced, valued and imagined.
Perceptions of landscape are determined by our geographic place in the world, formed through historical, social and cultural contexts. Our experience of landscape is predominantly led by vision, learned instincts, for many often seeking the desirable view.
Porosity seeks to reveal unseen connections between invisible landscape and the walking body.
Porosity is a conversation with subterranean landscapes, the invisible shaping the visible.
More than a century of mining has left a void beneath Cheshire’s surface. Salt’s demand and commercial value out weighed any concern for the impact of mining and extraction on the landscape. Salt has many properties, which make it valuable but critically it flows and dissolves, running silently beneath the surface brine runs shape the landscape. Subsidence hollows have historically been present as a result of brine extraction and continue to appear anywhere where water and salt connect. Invisible energy flowing below the surface carving out ever-changing topographies.
‘Imagine if there could be a geography of displacement. A geography that’s not predicated on the fiction of a fixed point. You could even call it, not necessarily a relational geography, but a relativistic geography’.
Initial research connected me with two women: Deborah Bell – artist, walker and water dowser and Dr Rosalind Todhunter BSC PhD – walker, cyclist, Coal Mining Geologist (Retired) and Lecturer Geology / Geophysics (Retired).
During lock down our conversations revealed unique personal reflections. Connecting to unseen subterranean landscapes through walking.
Each of us with a unique view and connection to the landscape, each decoding through walking, observing and sensing.
Phil Phelps, sound artist and audio programmer revealed the possibilities of exploring the unheard sonic landscape. His insights and skill for capturing and tracing sounds outside of normal human perceptions provides the opportunity to challenge existing knowledge and communicate a new understanding.
These conversations and our shared walking journeys have become an important thread reshaping my thoughts, expanding the way I observe and understand Place through my walking body. Key questions emerged and underpinned conversation and walking journeys.
What affect does unseen energy have on our sense of Place?
What happens to us as we move through a landscape?
What happens when unheard traces of sound and unseen views occupy the same space?
How does the body decode the natural and man made energies which surround us?
Do these invisible forces connect us or repel us?
Words connected ideas and thoughts; words became a starting point for drawing. An unseen landscape mapped and revealed through body gesture and movement. Energies surround all human and non-human bodies as they move through the landscape. Each body is a receptor and potential de-coder if we listen and learn to read the responses. The resulting works of this project explore energy between materials, thought and movement, traces which notice detail, to slow down, to witness, communicate and to be curious.
Finding Centre: Pace: Depthing Point: Crossing water: Energy Lines: Contact: Scanning: Water Line: Assertive: Magnetic: Passive: Holding: Transmitting: Interpretation: Agency: Thoughts: Time: Process: Systems: Change: Between: Passing: Concept: Legacy: Future: Walking: Looking: Listening: Feeling: Breathing: Pausing: Movement: Pulse: Rhythm: Scent: Encounter: Recollection: Capture: Place.