7 Sept 2022

Coa Valley Ecological Art part2

Greater Côa Valley residency - Wild Côa Symphony

Creative Team: ecological artist Antony Lyons, archaeologist Bárbara Carvalho and musician Jesse D. Vernon.

Music and sonic walk in Vale Carapito

Situated in an an ecological regeneration area, the aim of our collaborative working is to establish a space – real and metaphorical – for the co-creation of a video-sonic ‘portrait’ with which people can genuinely feel an emotional relationship, and which can continue to evolve over time.

9 Jul 2022

Ravel, Unravel and Poetic Hauntings in the Terrains Vagues

Some further ponderings from the Here Commons Everybody creative programme - soon to enter a second phase - What Commons Next? 

Participants from new ecological projects throughout Europe created 'site maps with objects' at a workshop in Cambridge in June, 2022, led by Antony Lyons and hosted by the Endangered Landscapes Programme. Images here from the co-created collective exhibition.

In relation to two connected artist residencies in Côa Valley, Portugal and Elan Valley, Wales) my strands of creative exploration seem to be circling around a vortex;

22 Jun 2022

Coa Valley Ecological Art

Wild Côa Symphony. A 1-year artist residency project with the Endangered Landscapes Programme & Rewilding Portugal. Summer 2022 update. 

[Extracted from a news article on the ELP website, and including personal reflections from primary creative collaborator on Wild Côa Symphony, Bárbara Carvalho, creative ethnographer, Portugal]

Imaginative weavings of landscape, ecologies and communities:
Working closely with local communities in the Côa Valley, the ecological artist, Antony Lyons, and public archaeologist, Bárbara Carvalho, have been exploring this impressive riverine landscape

16 Dec 2021

How Wild Is My Valley

wanderings, wonderings and ponderings in two valleys

“All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost”

Bilbo Baggins, describing Strider, in Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkein

Last summer, I was back in the sanctuary - or retreat - of the ‘artist cottage’

26 Oct 2021

The Hills Are Alive

The Hills Are Alive...

[Adapted from published catalogue text] In Autumn 2020, invited by Artefact Projects in Stirchley, Birmingham, I set out to weave together field recordings (video and sonic) from two places - the Elan Valley in Wales and River Rea trail that passes through Stirchley.

7 Apr 2021

A Culture of Transgression

The images (above and below) presents a collection of extracted details from a single old discarded ‘mosaic’ of aerial photographs of the China Clay mining area in Cornwall (UK). Whilst artist-in-residence at Wheal Martyn Museum in 2018, I discovered a large (6ft x 4 ft) glass-framed assemblage - technically termed an ‘uncontrolled mosaic’ - dating from about fifty years ago.

7 Mar 2021

Lovely Weather

The Lovely Weather Donegal Residencies was a Leonardo/Olats art-and-climate project that took place in Donegal, Ireland, in 2009-10. As one of 5 commissioned artists, my artist-residency project - titled WeatherProof - was undertaken in the River Finn Valley. Recently I have written responses to researcher questions about the residencies. They are presented below.

Q: The level of community engagement and how this was organised

My understanding is that there was a high degree of community engagement extending through all stages of the project. I wasn’t involved with the inception, but I know that elected representatives were involved with the initial stages and selection of artists...

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.


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

a creative installation project by Antony Lyons
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?)