Yesterday I had a great meeting with print artist Lynn Bailey, who had come to Kaleider to hear my talk on Working with Gold.
For the dissertation part of her Fine Arts masters, she engaged at depth with Mincinglake Valley Park. Mile Lane borders the Valley Park to the north east. Lynn spoke to many of the residents about these things, the nature they had observed, and their experience and hopes for the place.
She showed me her portfolio scrapbook chock full of background material: sketches and pressings of its flora and fauna; newspaper clippings about the Mincingbrook and what used to be a landfill site. The brook, which lower down becomes the Northbrook and forms part of the boundary of St Loyes, was even more contaminated then than it is now. She still had the samples she had collected of contaminated earth.
Among the work she produced was a long concertina’ed board book of the Lane, collaging her collections and representations, and residents’ quotes. She also made a series of work called “Regeneration”, incorporating some of the plants and polluted soil she collected. One of these is the feature image for this news item.
I’m hoping to do something similar-ish as part of Working with Gold. It will be much less in depth, and the outputs will be different, but in a similar way engaging with the place, its history, its topography, and its habitants, human and non-human.