A project with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis – exploring hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the south country of England
We began our collaboration in the dry Spring of 2012, walking the South Downs above Lewes. Starting that day, we went in search of bodies of water that are concealed, forgotten or overlooked. We found places rich in history, wildlife, culture and myth. Over the past six years we have made work in response to all kinds of watery places, from dewponds to ancient wells, old clay pits to furnace ponds, from chalk springs to the manmade pools at Glyndebourne.
Our work for Springlines has been exhibited in Lewes (2013), at Glyndebourne (2015), at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery (June – October 2017) and the most extensive show was mounted at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery from April to June 2018. For each exhibition we create new work focused on water sites in the area. You can view a short film about the New Forest part of the project here.
A full colour book – Springlines – has been published by Little Toller Books (April 2017), price £20. More details of the book are here.
I am a dent in the ancient Downs –
shallow crater, unhealed wound. I am lens,
bright coin on the dip slope’s tongue.
I am the shock of water
filling the hollow left by the hoof.
I am found at the heart of a midnight storm,
in the pause after the snow’s rough song.
Sink to your knees in my summer dew,
winter rain and sleet.
Held by chalk-light between sky and hill,
I mirror the dark
through countless nights. I am thought
by earth and air, gorse and hawthorn.
Under the sun, I shrink
to a sliver of platinum. I am gone.
50º 54’ 02” N 0º 06’ 25” W