Monday, 25 August 2014

Ramble 1 OUT & ABOUT / some Crepuscular Activity

Since my last blog, Ramble 1 has been out and about twice more - at Cambridge Junction and Warwick Arts Centre...  And I also made a gentle walking piece as an offshoot of Ramble 1 for Cambridge Junction called Crepuscular Activity.

Crepuscular activity was a walk at dawn and dusk designed to slot into the Junction's 24 hour festival Nightwatch and offer a chance for attendees to escape the building and get some fresh air!  It was also a chance for me to explore whether I've been correct in resisting making a walking piece as part of Rambles with Nature and to be honest I think I have.  As I led those two walks I realised in the pit of my belly that the walking in Rambles with Nature is research - an ambulatory way to do some thinking, talking, observing - not necessarily where the art lies... in this project at least.  I still felt extremely lucky to get the chance to walk with a group of people at dawn and dusk though - I had some great conversations.  One of the meanings of the work Crepuscular is 'animals that are most active between dawn and dusk' - so in effect that was us - a group of animals engaging in the activity of walking at Crepuscular times. Conceptually I really liked this idea.  The route itself felt so different each time I did it (4 times as research in the daytime - Once at 9.30ish and Once at 3.48ish in the morning). It was utterly amazing how dark and unknown Clare Wood became at night and how deafening it was in the early hours of the morning because of the dawn chorus. It was also great to spot a small water deer in the early hours of the morning on a suburban road and hear some real owl hoots. Lots and lots of snails and slugs  were out and about during the nightwalk too...

In the end, because of research and a series of coincidences, the focus of the piece became The Owl - a bird that often hunts between dawn and dusk.  I was keen for the group to have a live encounter with an owl at the end of the walk (hired in of course :-) so, this in effect was what the "Walk in 3 Acts" was moving towards, but this just wasn't possible as we couldn't persuade anyone who owned one to come and stand in a field and wait for us at those particular times on a Saturday night.  Strange that! 

I did however still ask Lucy Cash to put together a short film of owl footage and photographs which I showed on an IPAD during it - again a link between our Ramble 1 together.

Crepuscular Activity feels unfinished to me as yet, I know where I want it to get to (and some other elements I want to include in it), but it's not quite there yet.  Great to get the chance to begin its making though! Thanks Cambridge Junction.  Also, supremely brilliant to realise that walking (even when informed/underscored by a tight idea/ thought) isn't quite enough as a finished work in the context of Rambles with Nature.  OR... perhaps I just haven't made the right walk yet...

Warwick Arts Centre - rambling hedge

One of the cinepoems at Cambridge Junction