Reflections from two resident artists
Back in September there was a patch of land in the Duddon Valley that became a source of inspiration, friendship and the threads of creative journeys that continue to extend. The residents who spent a few days there were tasked with giving us a sneak peak at some of the work that has emerged as a result of the residency.
All the artists will produce work to show at an exhibition at the Wordsworth Trust; their pieces will be shown alongside artwork created by 2020 residents (yet to be selected – something else to look forward to!).
For now, it’s a real delight to share work-in-progress in a series of blogs. To start, here is the combined work produced by Hugo and Melissa, with Melissa giving a poetic response to Hugo’s images and the stories of the landscape featured in them.
This work is a taster from their ongoing project that uses lines in the landscape to tell stories of how the land has been managed and impacted by humans. The stanzas in Melissa’s poem relate to Hugo’s images that follow.
Lines in the landscape
lines reclaiming land
to mark the in-take, bracken and juniper
needle the fell below the wall.
Lines making the in-bye glow even greener
smell sweeter with each improving spread.
Visitors weave lines in the narrow space
while water flows unconstrained, throwing up its arms
in abandon when the rains pelt
gorging ghylls with glass chaos.
Spring lines threaten flash foods,
winter slumps against a cross shelter
defying animal instinct to escape
Tracks of iron tram to the pass
where lines carry green slate from mine
to seventeen twenty eight
beyond the fells—
following the axe heads of Langdale
along lines of time
of the inaccessible blade.
Lines in the waterscape,
straight and steaming tragedy
of the Bluebird K7, a life line that ended
with the water speed record attempt.
The steam yacht still left on time
and the Arctic Char simply altered their course.
Timing is everything,
eyes to summer sky and the curved line
of the scythe trembling to cut.
Old ash pollards know the bite of mechanical teeth,
while the river that monks pushed
England’s wettest valley successfully contained
by stack lines of dry stone
and ancient water restrained—
in the cloud a thousand feet striding
edges onto ridges, adding human
lines to the landscape.