My inital thoughts about St. Ives, TIME-TRACE-PLACE, and the visual/sonic potential of this project.
Over time, industry, culture and the elements all leave their traces on the land. Years and years of human history and natural metamorphoses are written into the shapes, lines, and symbols of a map.
A map of the area surrounding Porthmeor Studios illustrates the result of this rich history with many layers:
Maps give us directions to navigate though a place just like a musical score gives us directions to navigate through time using sound. Instead of simply using the map as a graphic score, however, I want to explore using separate layers of the map / score, standalone and superimposed, to investigate how the layers fit together and influence each other within the structure of the real and sonic landscape.
I'm looking forward to exploring the sonic possibilities of each layer with the amazing musicians on this residency. Here are my initial ideas;
Next step: Trace and paint each chosen layer of the map...
Welcome to the blog space for time-trace-place, our 2-week performative installation at Porthmeor Studios & Cellars, St Ives!
Over the next few months this space will fill with ideas & plans from all the collaborators involved: Clare Wardman, visual artist; Rachel Graff, composer-performer; Sarah Keirle, composer-performer-visual artist; Nina Whiteman, composer-performer-visual artist; Gary Farr, trumpeter & creative collaborator; & myself,.
We're all excited about arriving in St Ives & working across 2 spaces in the Porthmeor Studios complex - but why trace, & why St Ives?
Trace is an interesting concept because of the sheer amount it can bring in - we leave traces, we leave tracks, we can also trace (or track) something, or make tracings. Traces can be ephemeral or concrete, historical or current, can build up in layers; a trace can be followed or left in many different ways through time & across space/place.
St Ives is a great example of a place in which trace & its various possible relations is wonderfully present in almost any way one could choose to explore. Its history as a fishing town which eventually attracted many artists, & where both these aspects are now bound up in a variety of ways in the town's tourist industry, is written in traces through its layout & architecture that are still clearly visible. Multiple & changing usages, additions & alterations can be easily found, often with visible layers tracing various histories & stories.
Porthmeor studios is itself emblematic of this often living palimpsest - a building still used by both artists & fishermen together, as well as the sensitive & sympathetic renovation of the building revealing not only architectural traces (layers of over-building, use of newspaper & beach sand to insulate walls), but also the traces of generations of artists at work, as well as the fishing & pilchard processing industries.
Finally, other traces - the manifold presence of the natural world & its processes on a coastal place, & the day-to-day human traces that run through the town are all fertile grounds for exploration.
How we plan to explore & bring together our findings through creative collaboration will be the subject for future blogs...