Tuesday 15th November. A balmy day.

Its a balmy day, so mild for November. Its only in the wind that the month reminds us that time is passing. Sitting here on my twisted over tree trunk, I suddenly become aware its moving. Its strange how sight tells us something is solid and static then other senses gradually awaken to tell us otherwise. I am aware of the complexity of this place – at once a haven but also having the potential of destruction. This landscape has a past, it is resonant with memory and the working of everyday life, far from the rural idyll. Remnants of former days scar the hills, which are poxed with underground workings. Rosevale Mine runs close by under where I walk…

Its still warm, sweet scented air. Calm, still, like the height of summer. It’s unreal yet feels like it could last for ever – time is such a strange thing. This moment is long-lasting. Sitting in the blackthorn wood – more a thicket than a wood – strange forms in the trees – animated, foreboding perhaps summer will come to an end after all. The sun begins to drop casting long shadows, the stream a mirror, sounds from the depths…

reflection

Time and shadows lead into another story that is at the source of this project. Linked to the story of memory is that of repetition, the everydayness of walking, of site becoming place through repetition and immersion. It is also a story of slow-time in which the horizontal dimension of past-present-future is intersected with a dimension that spans between collective spatial memory below and the potentialities and practicalities of everyday life practice/performativity/affect, what Owain Jones refers to as the ‘present moment of practice’ is indelibly linked to memory through the trajectory of the past into the present. Owain goes on to suggest that ‘Memory should not be seen as a burden of the past, rather it is fundamental to becoming, and a key wellspring of agency, practice/habit, creativity and imagination… (Jones, 2011). This I find laid out in the trees before me, the continuous babbling of the brook and in the deep ground under my feet riddled as it with the excavations of the tinned past.

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