Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Harlech Day Two

Overall, we didn't stray too far from the Coleg yesterday. I became infatuated with the Coleg's Halls of Residence which is an austere block building, now standing derelict, waiting for demolition. Much of the day was spent in the board room, making plans, and listening to calls between Antonio and the world press, building towards tomorrow's burning of an abstract marble sculpture.
We went for a drink in the afternoon at the local pub, stopping on the way at the outpost at the top of the hill to view the castle - this looks very much like the point which Turner's painting might have been made, and after that all discussed the need to get down to some serious work today. This may have spurred us all to sit and work all evening until bed.
I began to put together my How To Explore Kit, but I need to use it this week as well as consider how to display it in the exhibition. Also I had a good look through 'The Book of Harlech' by Lewis Lloyd, which was lent to me by John. And this leads me to the next part of the work which I am to do this week. A strange coincidence, and a remote collaboration.
Last October I worked with Bethan Lloyd Worthington, from Manifold studio group, London - on a collaboration as part of the BCB. See that Blog Here.
Bethan saw that we are here for the residency in Harlech and got in touch to let me know that 'Harlech is home.'
My practice in Stoke has for the past 5 years involved leading tours, sometimes as a tour guide, and sometimes as myself. It makes sense that I can create manuals and brochures about Stoke-on-Trent, I live there and I know the place well, but in a new place like Harlech, indeed a new country, it would be crazy for an outsider to try to come in and make a guide. It is great that I have met the landlady of the pub, and will meet her later today to think about the guide, but this coincidence with Bethan leads to another type of guide: Bethan is to become my 'Remote Tour Guide of Harlech'. Based on Bethan's personal memories and experiences and family connections to this place I will take Bethan's tour. It turns out that this fantastic book I am reading, 'The Book of Harlech' was written by Bethan's Uncle Lew, who taught at the Coleg where we are based. Everything is connected up. So it seems right that now, Bethan will be helping me to write an alternative guide/tour of Harlech. We are back in touch again, and the same push/pull that happened last time we worked together emerges: this is a secret/private place for Bethan - and my work is all about the public - this personal tour that I will take will reveal something. I plant to use my kit on Thursday when taking Bethan's tour. It is going to be interesting.
I aim to take this tour on Thursday, so today, I need to work on my kit, meet the landlady of the pub, and go to this evening's WEA lectures at the Coleg. Better get on with the day.

No comments: