Archive | May, 2012

Bede and landscape

31 May

Here is a response , in the form of a painting , to a passage in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England , AD 731

‘Another of the king’s chief men , approving of his wise words and exhortations , added thereafter: “the present life of man on earth, O King , seems to me , in comparison with that time which is unknown to us , like the swift flight of a sparrow through the house wherein you sit at supper in winter, with your ealdormen and thegns, while the fire blazes in the midst, and the hall is warmed but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad. The sparrow flying in at one door and immediately out of another, whilst he is within, is safe from wintry tempest, but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter into winter again. So this is life of man appears for a while , but of what is to follow or what went before we know nothing at all. If, therefore , this new doctrine tells us something more certain , it seems justly to be followed” ‘.  from A.M. Sellar ,1907 translation of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England.Image

Two Lives across a Dorset Hill, 2011 : the two vertical lines are like two sparrows , the hill and the markings on it, represent traces of human and animal existence , pathways and movement. When I drew a picture of this story in a sketch book , it seemed that this episode also could be seen to be looking at time : two unrelated lives , in their own time zones ( that of the sparrow and that of the King’s men ) are connected for a brief moment and then on they go.. it also made me think of  the complexity of portraying time in the EnglaID project , a striving to understand the layering of human trace , brief connections and then more questions!Image


Emerging Dartmoor

21 May

Emerging Dartmoor

Having spent three days drawing on Dartmoor with Letty Ten Harkel and friends from Devon, I became more and more intrigued by how to look at this particular landscape and try and understand a part of it.
This is a drawing ( unfinished) is of a view with no known archaeological interest, there was a deliberate decision to look at a piece of landscape in between known sites. The reason for this, was to have an unbiased careful look at a chunk of land, drawn at different times of the day,9 therefore at no fixed time), to see if there were any interesting ,emerging patterns. I was thrown by a different sense of scale, the clouds felt very large and close, the trees were perfectly formed but smaller than trees away from the moor.
Due to certain horizontal lines , looking at the land felt like scanning or reading a page of strange handwriting that is ..almost readable.. Maybe it will be more so, when the drawing feels more complete.
Above the drawing is a detail which I have inverted on Photoshop , again to see if anything emerges.. but also to experiment with how lines appear differently depending on what surrounds them, and questioning which appears clearer.