Monday, 28 December 2015

A Book of Maps

It has been a golf course since 1895, but at the start of 2012 I noticed it was closed, and for a couple of weeks people were trying to get a free game. Then it became an empty space in transition. It became my country park estate where I walked with my dog Cosmo. I drew maps of the walks we shared, the things we saw and some of the events that happened over there. It has been a place of day dreams and reflection and I am continuing to write a blog about walks and thoughts.

To read the blog (click here)

3 years of walking over the golf course

two walks and a black dog

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Guerilla Master Plan

My Master Plan for the new development over the Golf Course
So to explain briefly then:
The golf course in Herne Bay was sold off and a large redevelopment is now immanent.
For about 3 years I have walked around this golf course and kept a blog of what I saw happening over there:

Redrow Homes are to build a recreational and residential development there with a strap line of 'a sports hub'.

 I have drawn an alternative master plan.
Probably the main difference between mine and Quinn Estates (the developer) is that mine was started by tracing the trees from an arial photo and designing my community using the existing tree layout as the design starting point. 

Other differences might be that mine has a Arts and Heritage Centre, Health Centre with Gardens. A School with livestock, shops, a pub in the usuall way and something I have labeled as an Exchange and Recycling Centre? A place where no money is reqired and exchange and upcycling is the rule here. I won't have nearly as many houses as required and other flaws, but hey ho this is me just wondering what what communties might need. Its a little like playing with a dolls house when young. Moving things around and placing things where you think they should go. A park, perimeter cycle paths and I tried to place many houses so that their gardens were 360 degrees around the property. Something which is done by the community in Dungeness which was striking.

I think it will feel odd next time I walk around the golf course as I will be pointing out to myself  'this is where the School is' and this is where I put a lake to try and manage any flood risks? This bit I called the 'Rookery' as a often see crows in these trees.   

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Big Draw at the Beaney.

Animal Stories

This is the result of the Big Draw event which was timed to coincide with the British Wildlife Photography Exhibition in the special exhibitions gallery here at  Beaney Museum in Canterbury.
The theme is story telling using wild animals and looking at that in relation  to fairy stories and folk tales. A set of animals templates cut from mdf was made  for participants to draw around to get things started. 

mdf templates

The drawing was made on a drop in drop out  basis by visitors to the exhibition and includes work by both children and adults often working together in family groups. All of the decisions about what to include has been made by the participants. This has resulted in a series of small stories and scenes which add up to form a larger whole. This imaginary world has mountains ranges, a giant spiders web to catch you, thick forests which are populated by magic animals, dangerous birds and wicked Queens, it  seems to be a dream, or a place visited after a fight with an Ogre.

A couple of children who did not have actually draw, but came up to me wearing a fox/frog masks and bent down and ate the magic carrots someone had drawn earlier.

As  some people left to go home, they asked me if they could to see the finished drawing on twitter? When the workshop was over the drawing looked unfinished, so I brought it back to my workshop and continued to tidy it up and I thought it an interesting exercise to complete the drawing and then posted it up on twitter. It was a fantasy piece of work and the result is fantastic. Rabbits were the most popular animal though my favourite is probably the deer. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Canterbury Peoples Map

Canterbury Cathedral

 As part of my artist in residence position at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge I decided to draw a map of Canterbury with multiple authors, with multiple views and interests, to create a map with the people of Canterbury. This was made with visitors to The Beaney and decisions about what was included on the map was led by people who are growing, living , working or visiting Canterbury.
To read project blog (click here)


The Beaney Museum


The Canterbury Peoples Map

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Wantsum Channel Sculpture

The Wantsum Globe

In the March of 2014 we had amazing floods and the river Stour and large swathes of lowland areas in Kent were flooded for several weeks. I now realise these low-lying areas I had trouble navigating on my bike rides because there was so much water, were once covered with water before, as this was part of the long gone Wantsum Channel. The Wantsum Channel was the stretch of water that separated The Isle of Thanet from the rest of Kent. 

I cycled through this flood.

What brought this into focus for me was coming across the Gough Map, (to view click here) this is kept at the Bodliean Library in Oxford. It is thought to be the earliest map of UK ever made about 1360. What is really odd about it is that Kent is at the top and Wales at the bottom with Scotland way over to the left, as if the whole of the UK is laying down on its stomach!  You can zoom in and have a good look at places you know to see what was drawn there, I went straight to Canterbury and saw Kent represented as a cluster of Islands! That's when I went.... 'Oh yeh,.... Grain.... Sheppey.... and Thanet'. So then I researched the Wantsum Channel in more detail, already being very familiar with Reculver and its location and role as a Roman fort and site of a Monastery etc.

My map of the Wantsum Channel

I remembered reading a folk tale about the Wantsum Worm, it lived in the Wantsum Cannel. It would swim out and somehow by magic shape shifting disguise itself at parties and dances and over a period of years had managed to eat all the young girls in the surrounding area. A series of bizarre people were brought from far and wide to locate and kill this monster, these people who seemed to be just parts of bodies, like a pair of large ears, or just a pair of large legs and a pair of huge hands, I think there was a massive nose in it as well, who all tried to locate and kill the monster.

It put me in mind of Hieronymus Bosch paintings. The last girl to be eaten was the Princess and she was supposed to marry who ever managed to get her out (she was still alive inside!) But it had a really rubbish ending where as all these bodyparts people had played some role in her rescue and it was confusing as to who actually saved her. The story asked the reader to decide who the Princess chose to marry. Oh What..I was shocked.. I had invested emotionaly into a story without an end. That's rubbish!

The characters in the story are carved into the globe

I made an artwork based on the Folk Tale called 'The Wantsum Worm', I liked the idea of a maps and stories merging together. The result is difficult to describe, it's definitely a sculpture, it's also a globe and by drawing a 2D image of the Wantsum Channel onto a 3D sphere inevitably distortions occur. In this particular case Herne Bay has Deal as the town next door! I'm not going to explain why or how, but this has to happen to enable the drawing to join up.