Exeter Cathedral statues. Image credit Ali May on FreeImages

Where prayer is valid

During the days between Ascension and Pentecost, I found myself ruminating about Exeter Cathedral as building and people, prompted by the lack of access of most people during the Coronavirus lockdown to the church buildings we know and love.

"Listening to Silent Spring"

“Listening to Silent Spring” audio

“Listening to Silent Spring” is a piece of sound art, based on a listening walk around east Exeter on the 50th anniversary of publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. The sounds I noted became the script for the piece. The work is mostly silence, which allows the listener to become aware of their own ambient soundtrack.

Lynn Bailey: "The Works IV" from the "Regeneration" series

Regeneration with Lynn Bailey

Yesterday I had a great meeting with print artist Lynn Bailey, who had come to Kaleider to hear my talk on Working with Gold. She had produced work responding to Mincinglake Valley Park for the dissertation part of her Fine Arts masters.

Didcot Power Station - where else with those cooling towers? Photo credit: Forester2009 CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

“Energy infrastructures inhabit our interior landscapes” for Power Culture blog

I am almost certain that Didcot Power Station’s looming bulk sparked my interest in energy and shaped my environmental interests and career. But I am not the only person which it has sensitised. Many regard it as a blot on the landscape, many others have seen its sculptural appeal. A guest blog for Regen SW.

The cooling towers of Didcot Power Station. Photo credit: zootalures CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Didcot Power Station, art installation

Didcot Power Station dominated the landscape of my childhood. I am fairly sure that its looming bulk sparked my interest in energy, and possibly shaped my environmental interests and career. It has also generated a surprising level of artistic response.

What apocalypse lies behind frosted glass?

Zombie Apocalypse

“I would ask you to take a walk on your own (where and at what time of day is up to you) for at least half an hour. I would like you to walk ‘as’ the last human survivor of a zombie apocalypse.”

Yes, it's a pic of books in a library. Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash.

Exeter Library Square

How we name our streets and public buildings is a reflection of the values of history and our values today. It subconsciously and subtly affects our self-worth.

Digging where we stand. Photo credit: goiwara on Pixabay.

Digging where we stand

Clare Bryden. Digging where we stand. Third Way Magazine, June 2013.
Driven by restless searching, our modern world often seems to undermine the very community we crave. But Clare Bryden believes that’s an invitation to dig deeper for the roots that truly sustain us.

-den means pasture, usually for pigs. Photo credit: Fran Linden on Free Images.

Surname migration

The Great Britain Family Names website allows you to find out where your surname comes from, and how many people share it. Bryden isn’t that common, but what interests me is the geographical spread.

Ploughed field in Ludwell Valley Park

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Brueggemann: “the yearning for land is always a serious historical enterprise concerned with historical power and belonging. Such a dimension is clearly played upon by the suburban and exurban real estate ads that appeal to that rapacious hunger.”

Blackberries. Photo credit: Benjamin Stangland via Free Images.

Smash and grab

I cycled to the dog-walkers’ field above Ludwell Valley Park. I found blackberries. I picked blackberries. I cycled home. I made blackberry water ice.

Blackberries. Photo credit: Benjamin Stangland via Free Images.

Summer fruits

I was away from Exeter for a couple of weeks, and when I returned (though I returned) I remained absent. It was several days before I remembered it was ‘high summer’ and there was free fruit to be had in Ludwell Valley Park and along the suburban margins.

Old Heavitree Quarry face on Quarry Lane

Heavitree quarries

When did the Heavitree quarries stop being worked? The old maps provide some evidence.

Woodwater Lane by night

Woodwater by night

I spent a day immured in the office at the computer, feeling wintry-cold while it rained and rained. By night-time, I was completely frowstie at being stuck indoors. As the rain had pretty much dried up, I decided on some mythogeography. Going for walks at odd times, like 10.30pm, follows mythogeographical principles, after all.

Digby Water Tower on a Woodwater wander

Woodwater wander

As a birthday treat, I promised myself a walk down Woodwater Lane, from home to water to wood to home again. A satisfying experimentation in exploring the present day.

Local explorations triggered by a corn cockle

From wood to water

Yesterday, cycling down a section of Woodwater Lane, I noticed a corn cockle in the bank. It struck me that I have cycled down the lane many a time, walked down it occasionally, picked blackberries at that time of year, but I have never really paid attention to it.