Felicity told me about the most easterly part of Long Island: Montauk Point. I started to find out about the area and was struck by a number of commonalities with Orford Ness, an area in Suffolk that has fascinated me for a while, and that I had visited several times as part of my East to East project.
- Both lie in the counties of Suffolk in their respective countries USA and UK.
- Both are fairly remote east coast thin spits of land.
- Both lie just over 100 miles east of major cities (New York City and London respectively).
- Both have nature reserves (The Nature Conservancy and National Trust Nature Reserve) of international significant scientific and ecological interest for migrating birds, coastal vegetation, moor and marshland.
- Both are subject to coastal erosion.
- Both have lighthouses that are used as beacons for westward travelling ships (the building of Montauk Lighthouse began in 1792, the same year that Orford Ness Lighthouse was commissioned).
- Both have been used as military sites by the US Military and the UK Ministry of Defence and both specialized in long range radar research technology during the Cold War.
So we decided to develop a week-long research residency in each location. Felicity would visit me in Suffolk, UK in June. I would visit Suffolk County, USA with her at the end of July. We would record our observations of these two locations and see what potential they might hold for further projects.
I was awarded an a-n Artist Bursary 2018 that made my travel to Montauk possible. Our research project Change, Chance and Circumstance: Field Notes was about to begin.