For the last few days I’ve been drawn out into the August autumn that has shrouded the south coast, searching for mist. The view through the window suggests mist, yet when I reach the sea it is gone. A chill greets me, cool crisp air with a hint of muggy telling me summer has not given up completely.
Mist and rain have evaded capture so I have begun sorting out work in my plan chest. Stacks of prints and portfolios of work long since abandoned for shiny new projects, domestic demands and day to day humdrum. I’ve got round to repacking my prints from my MA show. Hurriedly tidied away five years ago they have been moved twice and sat languishing in their own debris ever since. I realise the significance – I have been here before. Right here. Asking water to draw for me.
Six months spent in a cave like space at the bottom of the cliffs of Hastings, was ‘Cave’. The back of Arthur Green’s, as it was, when it was the pier shop. The pier has since been (re)built and opened. The shop with all it’s beautiful Victorian fittings now passed to an antiques dealer. ‘Cave’ sat in the space beyond the shop. It was filled with the detritus from the previous owners and inhabitants. It was totally enclosed, barring the spaces that water got in. I sat on Saturday afternoons in this dark space, listening, writing, drawing and photographing. I was mesmerised by the constant dripping, the endless movement of water. A final task was to record this in some way. I made a sound recording of it and lay strips of paper on the floor, for the cave to make it’s own response.
Different weights of paper were left in different areas of the space for different lengths of time. A variety of decay and degradation took place as well as marks and lines created in the mud. These are some of the prints it made for me – drips and splashes, paper was soaked and walked on. Lovely long sweeping lines of tails and tiny foot prints of mice and rats crossing paths on the paper.
I found a sketch of a mind map, linking words on a diagram, right at the back of the case. A way of working out what I was doing. It’s oddly reassuring to see it could link to what I’m doing now too. Things are shifting but I’m circling around the same stuff.