That Which Flows From This.
That Which Flows From This was a one month residency, which I undertook with Edgework, a social media platform set up by Layla Curtis, for artists who are interested in place. During this residency I deviated from Adele Clarke’s ‘Situational analysis’, which proposes a method for mapping complexity. Each post that I submitted responded to one of the tactics Clarke uses to map and understand a context. However rather than taking on the role of researcher exploring other I used my own biography and experience, re-visiting the coastal village where I grew up and where I now live. The experience of undertaking this residency allowed me the space to really grapple with my relationship to this place. A place where I have a deep affinity but also dislike for reasons that have never been clear to me. During the residency I undertook a psycho-geographic approach, walking each day, photographing and talking to people about the village. I came to understand that the contradiction in my own experience was a response to the poor design, the bad architecture and the limited use of materials in a number of developments in the post war period, it could be abreviated as crushing banality! These developments crowd the historic centre of the village but make no reference to the local grain or existing roads and pathways. In effect, they are fields of houses, commodities; rationalised economic units. However it became clear to me that not only is this housing impoverished in terms of design and therefore its contribution to the culture of the village, it is also a symptom of a changing post- war society. A historic move away from ‘community’ towards ‘independence’ – the suggestion that we must all be able to function alone or in nuclear family units. These houses also speak of things that we have lost. A connection to the deeper rhythms of landscape. The body. A distance between us and ‘the land’ so that we have become viewers of ‘nature’.
Below are a number of excerpts produced and posted as part of my research.
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PROTEST> 03/11/18 Some 300 people turned up to protest against plans by developer, Pennyfarthing, to build 42 executive homes on green belt land. The strong feeling comes from the sense that the developer has tricked the planning authority- or that there has been back handed, insider deals made between the developer and the landowners, Edgars. The right to build on Greenbelt was granted so that the developer would provide affordable homes. In fact the percentage and design of the homes on the proposed development is small and mean 6, afforable flats and the rest large and expensive. People are angry that Penny Farthing would get away with this. We organised a banner making workshop then went out to protest.