Friday, 13 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 13th november - day 5

Today was the final day of the Haarlem Artspace Residency.

We had a Zoom check-in at 9.30am and a deeper sharing/closing of the residency at 1pm. I decided to share the image of the leftover pulp from the rosehips and hawthorn berries gathered yesterday. I wonder at the pulp of our week, what nutrients will nourish, what might be discarded? I've been surprised by how my week started and how it ended. A huge shift. By doing the same walk again and again veils fell from my eyes and I LOOKED with a deeper consciousness (the bellowing calf and cow helped). The listening circle drawings were a great companion too, helping me to tune in and the hedge flail provided an insistent nudge.

Straining simmered rosehips and hawthorn berries

Heart's ease syrup

Pulp and muslin

Thursday, 12 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 12th november - day 4

Walk encircling Haarlem Artspace and Hob Wood.

A strange day. I'd thought I'd be uplifted by daily walking, I like the idea of walking as ritual, that a protective 'spirit' might linger within the circle walked. But nope, today I felt out of sorts, cold, irritable and sad about splintered hedgerows, tumble down stone walls, animals as units of protein and TOO MUCH GRASS. Towards the end of the walk I watched as a calf was rounded up and separated from its mother, to the distress of both animals and felt overwhelmed with grief.

There is so much caught up in all this, I can't even begin to untangle but I'm glad I'm not walking tomorrow.

There's so much beauty too, and practical/inventive/thoughtful human interaction with the land.

Trusty stick

Flailed hedge with old pleacher - evidence of past hedgelaying 


Wednesday, 11 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 11th november - day 3

Walk encircling Haarlem Artspace and Hob (hobgoblin???) Wood. 

Mistook this mineral/salt lick for a pink plastic bag, was amazed when I got close. Made a listening circle drawing sitting next to it, comfortably leaning on the oak tree. 

A tractor and flail have been working noisily in the landscape these last two days - appearing forcefully in some of my drawings. The track I walked along had been flailed previously and I felt sad observing splintered branches. I thought of the alchemy of hedgelaying by hand, the human to plant scale, a measured progress pace by pace. Later, I spotted gnarled pleached branches beneath overgrown hedges and wondered, who laid these? What would they make of today's mechanised trimming?

Tomorrow I will gather hawthorn and rosehip. I've spotted the abundant places and shall return and pick what I need and no more.   

Mineral/salt lick


Final drawing of the day

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 10th november - day 2

Walk circling Haarlem Artspace and Hob Wood. Found footpaths missed yesterday and paths I'd walked once felt familiar. Made four listening circle drawings, enjoying the process of listening in the landscape, attempting to draw without judgement (almost impossible).

I'd like to draw inside Hob Wood, but on approaching a promising gap in a hedgerow found a barbed wire fence, and another surrounding the wood.

Tomorrow I'll walk the circle again, and again on Thursday, the last walk during the virtual residency. Thursday I'll gather rosehip and hawthorn for a hedgerow tonic to share with residency artists. 

Pratthall Lane

Drinking trough and drawing

Hob Wood

Monday, 9 November 2020

haarlem artspace residency - 9th november - day 1

Today I began a week long virtual residency at Haarlem Artspace exploring my practice in relation to the landscape around Haarlem Mill alongside Tracey Meek, Anna Mawby, Tricia RiceJo Heron and Christine Thomas.

Walk circling Haarlem Artspace and Hob Wood. Got lost a couple of times, over estimating distance and walking further than needed, and this led to an unexpected meeting with a friend on the footpath - perfect.

A mild day, muddy underfoot, was grateful for the sturdy stick I took along. I find a walking stick grounding and supportive, giving a particular gravity to a walk and making me more in my body somehow.   

Pratthall Lane


Hob Wood

Wednesday, 21 October 2020


I treated myself to Spell Book of the Good Witch of Pendle by Joyce Froome recently, purchasing a signed copy from The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, North Cornwall.

The book is a fascinating imagining and I particularly noted it's mention of nine as a number used in magic: nine nails, nine pins etc, and I began to ponder the number nine.

On the bus last week (aptly at Artists Corner) this orange nine leapt out at me! I'm assuming this tree is due for removal along this stretch of the River Derwent. It's days are numbered. 

This fluorescent sign is keeping nine in my thoughts as I travel to the studio.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

button sheet - october

I stitch into the evening/night, crossed legged on bed, stretching numb muscles at intervals. Sitting like this hurts a bit now, the ageing process giving me a nudge, my right knee complains especially. Hours of work looks like nothing (but is something).

The sheet becomes increasingly cumbersome, buttons weighty, creating tension in the cloth. The tension makes placing buttons not too close/not too far from each other a challenge. 

The sheet drapes across my arm, hugging, buttons clack and shimmer. 

The precious Lenor scent fades as I work, a loss.

Progress traced in grey zigzags.