30 Nov 2020

Conversations In Chaos

Third blog post in a series which revisits the Sensitive Chaos project conducted at the coastal site of Orford Ness (Suffolk, UK). Excerpts from 'conversation walks' with some of the main participants are copied here. These are transcribed from audio recordings which were originally presented on cassette tape as part of an exhibition and installation trail in Summer 2019.

 
Duncan K.: So now we come to our Zybolian ruined civilisation. What on earth were these forms? They resonate with things like burial mounds. As if they were just built as monuments. And that is what they look like you know, big longbarrows,

29 Nov 2020

A cabinet of curiosities

Second installment of notes and reflections from the 2019 exhibition Sensitive Chaos, derived from an extended artist residency at Orford Ness, an ex-military zone on the Suffolk Coast (UK).

What follows is a selection of exhibition notes assembled to accompany a 'cabinet of curiosities' in one of the four exhibition rooms. The full exhibition has been described in a previous blog post.

NOTE 1: A CHINESE MISCELLANY

Synchronicity: no causal connection, yet possibly meaningfully related?
Since my first visit here, I have been struck by the accumulation of references to China.

24 Nov 2020

Foraging on the shingle shore

Orford Ness artist residency. First of a series of blogs revisiting findings and reflections from the Sensitive Chaos project, 2019.



Prompted by some recent requests and discussions, I have assembled imagery and notes from parts of the Sensitive Chaos installation trail. Unlike the project's video-sonic works (NebulousNess and Blue Danube Redux) and the photographic series (Lethality & Vulnerability), the elements featured here have not been documented elsewhere. More broadly, I was asked by a cultural heritage researcher to reflect on the artist residency and the ways in which I interacted with the specifics of the site (a former military testing area), the controversial strategies of heritage management (by the National Trust and others) and the legacy of a long pattern of artist involvements with this unique place. Some of these general reflections are included here.

The image above was taken at one of the observation windows on the top floor of an all-timber, eight-sided building called the 'Black Beacon'.

30 Sept 2020

Long Exposure

Some early writing from an artist residency with Elan Links, in the Elan Valley, Wales. This upland landscape is dominated by a cluster of reservoirs - some over 100 years old - built to supply water to the city of Birmingham, in the midlands of England.

The first opportunity to share work emerging from this residency has been provided by the 'Ten Acres of Sound' festival organised by the Artefact co-operative in Stirchley, Birmingham.

This is an entirely appropriate setting, as the purpose of the creation of the Elan Valley reservoir/dam/pipeline system in the early 1900s was to supply water to the rapidly growing city of Birmingham. Fittingly, my installation is hosted by the Birmingham Brewing Company, emphasising this watery connection and dependency. Under the title 'Also listening with my eyes', there is a programme of six short 'video-sonic poems' on-show. These are works-in-progress from the Elan artist residency. Below I have extracted text and images from the exhibition:

27 Feb 2019

Landscapes In Limbo part 4




SENSITIVE CHAOS @ Orford Ness
a creative installation project by Antony Lyons
APRIL-OCT 2019 
Part of the ‘Limbo Landscapes Lab’ project 
supported by Arts Council England and the Heritage Futures research project (AHRC)



“Nothing is weaker than water,
But when it attacks something hard
Or resistant, then nothing withstands it,
And nothing will alter its way.”
Tao Teh Ching (via Bruce Lee)


Sensitive Chaos * - flow, change and futures on Orford Ness  From April to October 2019, the National trust site of Orford Ness (UK) will be hosting works by environmental artist, Antony Lyons. As a creative researcher attached to the Heritage Futures academic project, Lyons creates ‘geo-poetic’ responses to landscape situations that are ‘in-between’, and undergoing transformation. The presented works reflect his explorations with people and landscape, based on visits over the past two years. Working with invited participants, he will use image and sound installation to give exposure to human, non-human and biophysical aspects of this unique place.

20 Jan 2019

Landscapes in Limbo part3

Poster for Limbo Landscape Lab (2018)

With special thanks to:
Nick and Ellen (Letterpress Collective, Bristol)
Adrian Utley (Musician-Composer)



Landscapes in Limbo part2


Geopoetic reflections, exhibition notes and images from the Limbo Landscape Lab

An exhibition at Wheal Martyn Museum, Cornwall, UK (July-Nov. 2018) 
by Antony Lyons, Heritage Futures senior creative fellow.

Assembling human and non-human stories in a transforming landscape

#Transformation theme of Heritage Futures


“It is the children born now who will see if
we humans can turn it around…can re-balance?
It’s not us. We’ve messed it up.
They will fix it…or they won’t.
I would like to be around in 75 years’ time to see 
which way it will go; what they do; what is done to them
…but I won’t be there”
(a worker at Wheal Martyn, Aug 2018)


a) DEEP-MAPPING in the mists of DEEP-TIME

"This film is time-compressed. I recorded it - hand-held - for over 30 minutes, from the shelter of my trusty mobile studio/campervan. The circumstance was happenstance, serendipitous. The occasion presented itself after many visits, over the course of a year, in the environs of the Sky Tip mound of mining waste outside St Austell in Cornwall - the centre of the long-established industry of kaolin mining. The Sky Tip has slowly, yet inexorably, inserted itself on my radar, and also now it is the focus for a project by a group of photography students - from the local Poltair School - with whom I’m working.

17 Jul 2017

Landscapes In Limbo - part1

Section of Google-Earth track of first joint field trip by Antony Lyons and Caitlin DeSilvey in Cornwall in 2014
Landscapes in Limbo

JULY 2017
part 1 - juxtapositions and speculations


Two years into a four-year creative research involvement with the boundary-pushing academic project, Heritage Futures, I’m taking stock of what’s slowly emerging within my field of view; attending to the germinating seeds of some site-inspired video-sonic creative responses - or activations - in three 'landscapes in limbo'.

22 Mar 2017

Revealing Hidden Waters


To mark World Water Day 2017, I'm assembling a few words and images to offer glimpses into a current watery research project that I'm involved with, as part of the NOVA Creative Lab. The project is called Towards Hydrocitizenship, and this blog post looks in particular at one of the site-based case studies - Water City Bristol. The overarching theme for the Bristol study is hidden/forgotten waters.

5 Jan 2017

Salt of the Sea - Salt of the Earth

I've received two messages...about salt...


One message is from Vancouver; a weather report from a friend:
Weather wise, we got another huge snowfall on Saturday and another expected today or tomorrow. Vancouver has used 7000 tonnes of salt to melt ice so far, whereas most winters they only use 1000 tonnes. Salt shortage everywhere prompted Vancouver to hand out free salt on Wednesday but it was gone in minutes and people who had been lining up for it left disappointed.

Re-directions, solidarity and support

or... Re: Directions, Solidarity and Support - at the turning of the year



I posted a variant of these words on a water forum, but am inclined now to repost here - as a prompt (mainly to self) to reflect on the topic of the myriad of water-related conflicts and rumblings-of-conflicts emerging around this globe.

The link below is now old, but is given a new lease of life by a very current, acute situation,

8 Apr 2016

Canyon Correspondences Revisited



Due to a technical (hosting) meltdown elsewhere, I'm attempting to retrieve and piece together some remnants of a 'creative diary' - a rescue mission. These writings were originally assembled during, and soon after, a period as artist-in-residence at the Grand Canyon (Arizona) in 2011.
(Below is a combination of all the entries into a single blog-post; parts of the entries are currently missing. Perhaps the time has come to pick up some of these old threads?)

20 Mar 2016

Conversations Around Water



There was much talk of 'conversations' at a recent gathering of a group of - usually - geographically dispersed watery investigators - all of us immersed in the Towards Hydrocitizenship research project, a 3 year AHRC initiative. With NOVA, I'm involved as lead artist/creative adviser - alongside Iain Biggs - on the Bristol-specific case-study - 'WaterCityBristol'...

26 Jan 2015

Water Citizenship, Creative Conversations, and Water Consciousness in action


Some thoughts on an emerging co-created project for Bristol EU Green Capital 2015

NOVA (the eco-creative fantasy-lab) and WaterCityBristol have joined-up with the education charity My Future-My Choice and performance artists Desperate Men in creating a new collaborative project called Bristol Loves Tides - celebrating tidal culture, processes and ecologies in Bristol, in the context of participatory research and fostering broader water-consciousness.

Bristol 2015 have chosen to fund our project as one of its flag-ship initiatives, and the roll-out of the year-long programme has now begun. The core elements are:

3 Jan 2015

Autumn Leaves


A long overdue addition to the blogosphere - so this one will be a time-spanning assemblage. Working back from the recent past:

I'm on a train travelling through the birch forests of Sweden. My thoughts are drawn to some filmic memories and resonances. Strongest is the echo of Elem Klimov's powerful and troubling Come and See, which does not have a Scandinavian setting - but the atmosphere of the landscape feel somehow similar. Another of Klimov's films is Farewell, set amongst a Soviet community whose island-homes and lands are soon to be submerged by a huge reservoir project. There is a powerful theme of (loss of) deep place-attachment running through the film - a work that is inhabited by the spectral trace a different loss - the death of Larisa Shepitko (Klimov's wife) who was part-way through making this film when she and her film-crew were killed in a car-crash.

23 Aug 2014

Return of The Aliveness Machines

Posters produced for exhibition at RGS conference in London next week. A platform for a new development phase of The Aliveness Machines - first seen in Devon in 2012. A NOVA research project.



Invitation to The Black Wood



This is a re-post of something recently published on EcoArt Dialogues, which is a record of my ongoing conversations with Glasgow-based environmental artist duo, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto, supported by an a-n Re:View bursary.

Waking up to Glasgow sunshine, I was transported by my generous hosts to the world of The Black Wood of Rannoch - 

7 Jul 2014

Evidence plus Inspiration (in the field)

Professor Poole - wild man of the marshes
"Concern over climate change and rising sea level, coupled with recent extensive flooding across Europe, reminds us that wetlands, ranging from extensive coastal marshes to inland river floodplains, still dominate the landscape of many regions. In an era of intensive settlement and agriculture we often see water in such landscapes as a problem and complex drainage and flood defence systems have been constructed to control their watertables. In the past, however, water was perceived more as a resource..." 

24 Jun 2014

A Long View


With Glastonbury Festival now kicking off, it seems appropriate to give an brief update on the creative research project - Submerged (Drowned Lands). Recently, I presented some early findings at a workshop on an island in the Wadden Sea (Netherlands). These relate to a collaborative exploration of the dynamic and contested landscape of the Somerset Levels, its waters and 'lost islands'. Glastonbury Tor (pictured above) is an ever-present landmark throughout this area...