Tag Archives: drawing and performance
Page one of Things that changed other things, a sketchbook project that is archived by the Brooklyn Art Library ,who allocated broad themes hence the clunky Things that changed other things, specifically;unspecific more absolute generality wherein the fiction of history as a fixed datum is bashed into a more user friendly prospect. Focusing upon the mournful but oblique looking stone-lined cockpits that would appear each autumn from beneath the dying bracken on the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall. These kilns or Kelp Pits have a pragmatic history that seems hellbent on refuting any humanistic element. Surely such long suffering landscape features have more to reveal than being a handy place for a childs game or even a seabirds nursery, used sometimes in what may seem defamatory as a barb-e-que by the serendipitous tourist.
The Kelp Pit, subject of School natural history rambles and picnics on uninhabited islands ,
is imbued with an array of socio historical strands that lead to many further questions. Starting on The Isles of Scilly we see an early development in Soda Ash making , introduced from Brittany with whome The Isles of Scilly and Cornwall were much more favourably aquainted than the heavy handed Landlords of English Monarchy. A Mr Nance whose name would stem from Nantes, Brittany was licenced by the afformentioned authority to burn Kelp in the manufacture of Soda Ash on Gwynynys :White Island, (Blessed Island) and Tean Island. to this day the “local” name for the inhabitants of St.Martins Island is Gynyk, dialect is rapidly being transformed by mass media and relocation but this would appear to be poetic link as well as a potentially informative one. The remaining Kelp Pit evidence on Scilly is scant compared to the former activities popularity, one perfect example on the island of Gugh, some on Samson Island, some on White Island and some on Tolls Island, they seemed less valued than the bronze age antiquitaries of which there were and are, so very many excellent and unique examples. The socio historical connections with Kelp Burning are generally centred on the the widely accepted inhumane clearances of the Scottish peoples, who like their Cornish counterparts were forced to leave their homelands and resettle in the colonial margins that had been acquired by the very authority responsible for their eviction. Kelp Burning was, it seems a cash crop situation that bought actual money into the equation as opposed to subsistence of farming and fishing which provided food and shelter, possibly some other tradeable materials but Kelp was bought for cash, it involved the whole family and although licencing was imposed by the English , it seemed to be a way out of the cyclic seasonally dependent existence. Writers like Quiller-Couch attempted to romantice Kelp Burning by transforming the act of burning a six hour bonfire into a ritualistic ceremony with pagan attributes, this treatment was clumsy as I believe there are real connections of gnostic and sacred history with Kelp Burning, the alchemical act of transforming an elemental feature such as seaweed into a chemical to be used in the process of textiles, linen bleaching, aniline dye manufacture, early photographic chemistry, medicines like Iodine and later alginic acids in foodstuffs and manufacturing processes.
All books will be included in an exhibition that tours the following cities:
Brooklyn, NY Austin, TX San Francisco, CA Portland, ME Atlanta, GA Chicago, IL Washington, DC Winter Park, FL
2010 Sketchbook Tour
2010 Sketchbook Tour