SENSE OF HERE

January 1st, 2020

The first day of January: a new year, a new decade, and here we are beneath a sky that’s a drift of racing clouds, wind blowing at us from the Scafell massif. Despite the cold and nagging wind, I’m sweating: we’ve been walking steadily uphill for just over an hour. There is only the wind for noise, and the echoes of falling of water in rocky gullies all around us. We’ve just passed Sty Head Tarn and stand at the pass, mesmerized by the play of clouds across the fells.

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The light is changing from moment to moment, fast clouds skitting across the sun, and the sun itself sinking with that rapidity that characterises the days now, so close to midwinter. One moment the canvas is bright, the next it is in shade. Behind it, Skiddaw holds onto the light. This is the first blue sky day we’ve had in just under two weeks, and it’s very welcome.

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To continue reflections on the residency in September, here is Hugo Hunt, sharing his thoughts. Hugo uses 35mm film in his photography, but it’s not just about the images. Behind every image is a process of seeing. His blog reveals a few things that fell into place and maybe shifted for him, and how this is influencing his photographic work.

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During the residency with us in September, Anna was perhaps most impacted by our time in Grizedale, a place she already had associations with. In her blog, she shares what this means for her, and the key issues that she wants to portray in the prints she will be making, drawing on photographs and text collected from and inspired by the residency.

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Following on from the ‘Into the Light of Things’ residency that we ran in September, we’re sharing a second blog from the series that is being contributed by the residents. Emmie Coxey used the time to explore ideas for dance related to place … and here’s what happened.

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Fog has curled and settled itself in the valleys, locking the low land into a monochrome hush. We drive in it, and then through it, emerging to see mountains floating above a clouded land. We’ve come to Whinlatter Forest, and as we walk into this wooded landscape, we tread lightly over birch, oak and hazel leaves sugared with the morning’s frost. Beneath them the forest floor is a dense spread of brown pine needles, each one edged with white crystals of ice. Cold has covered the land.

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… smaller than some element
smaller than the elements
a connection to death
or risk
a caterpillar can be as wild
as a storm …

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Voices travel featherlight on the wind, like a kind of music, and then drift off and the air is a tumble of water once more, the chill of October edging in on the tail end of the year. The grasses around me have faded to brown. Heather too, withdrawn and quiet now, forgetting flowers and its warm pink August flush, holding energy instead in roots and leaves.

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September 7 2019

I’m sitting beside Wastwater, looking at the canvas and the land beyond it where the sheer rocky screes tumble into the lake. I’m still, and quiet, simply watching the play of cloud shadows on hills.

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Phew, what a week. This is a very brief blog on the first Sense of Here residency, something that’s hard to sum up and in fact is about the sowing of seeds, the beginnings of ideas and the forming of relationships.

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We were completely taken aback by the quality of applications that came in for the forthcoming residency, The Light of Things : Making Sense of Here. It’s not easy making a selection when you’re faced so many applications that shine. But we did it.

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Storm at 414 metres

N54° 25.807′  W3° 04.742′

in the black pitch of our tent
we have entered the breathed-out silence
of a sleep that floats on moss and mountain air

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