Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Black Middens diagram

The birth of Black Middens

Well it has been a long time since I last wrote an entry here! The Black Middens Project has come to some sort of a conclusion, but it is by no means over. It was a surprisingly pleasant birthing process, absolutely a labour of love!

Since I last wrote here I have had my head down editing together all the information I gathered on my various forays to Black Middens Bastle House. Phil made a great sound piece with the sounds he captured on site. He also convinced me that I had the right voice for the layer of sound that forms the structure for the whole piece. I wanted to use all the co-ordinates I had noted down for the places that encircled Black Middens on the OS map as a framework for my editing so Phil sat me down in front of a microphone in his sitting room and I went through the list.

Above is the diagram that formed the structure for the piece.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

more measurements

Myself and Phil Ogg were up at Black Middens on the 12th March.

I took more measurements with the Colour Cue. I'm working on connecting the Bastle House with surrounding places which have colours in their names. Once again I circumnavigated the bastle house this time with a compass. Using calculations I'd made from an OS map, I took colour measurements and photographs in a bid to relate Black Middens to places such as Green Eyes Craggs and Greymare Moss. This information will feed into an animation I plan to make for presentation at the VARC ten year anniversary celebrations (early June at High Green).

Phil (who is a sound artist and musician based in Allenheads) took himself off in search of sounds to record. He made about 40 recordings which was no mean feat, it is very quiet at Black Middens!!

We are going to get together this week and see if we can work with the sounds in relation to the ideas I have for drawings and animations. Working with sound is a new direction for me so time will tell what will develop out of this latest visit to the Tarset area.......

12th March visit

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

visit 14th to 16th February

It was crisp up at High Green, the snow had retreated, though soon to reappear, and I made head way with the Black Middens Project. Although it was head down and concentrate on the task in hand for most of the time I did indulge myself with a couple of photos of the landscape I travelled through one early morning.

finally getting out into the field

It felt like a long time since my last visit to Black Middens during the Bastle Weekend, but finally I managed to get over to High Green for a couple of days in mid February. I stayed with Jilly, the current artist in residence at VARC. This was great as not only did we have good conversation about art and life but, I could get started good and early. As with most of my work the task I had set myself over the two days was labourious and time consuming, but not I might add unenjoyable. It is easy to get distracted by the beauty of the vast open landscape, but I had to stay focussed on the task in hand. My mission was to record colours at Black Middens with my great new gizzmo the Pantone Colour Cue.

I decided on a simple approach taking a line of thread around the circumference of the building and measuring at hand-widths apart. This resulted in 187 measurements of colour, which I recorded in my notebook. I now have to decide just what I'm going to do with all this information!

measuring the walls


following a line round

the colour cue

my book of records

red water in the frozen landscape

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tiny miracles

OK so the image below isn't the most spectacular but believe me it was quite a magical moment. Sunlight glinting of a puddle at the foot of the Black Middens Bastle house created a mini rainbow. I've been thinking about trying to manufacture some rainbows.

Circular theme

It has been a while since I last blogged, if you have been following Jilly's blog you will have a pretty good idea why I haven't made it up to Black Middens in recent weeks! I have been looking into the history of colour, how it was organised in colour charts throughout the ages and early understandings of optics.

There is certainly a circle thing going on.

The next map drawing I am going to make will follow this, I plan to place Black Middens in the centre of the piece and work on a radiating theme.

I am also really interested in the rainbow as something simple but magical in relation to ideas about colour and also weather systems.

I captured some tiny 'rainbows' when I was taking small videos back in September the still images aren't too impressive but I think there might be something to develop with this.

Colour wheels

There are a whole host of colour wheels in this great book I've been looking at "Colour and Culture" by John Gage. I just love the combination of scientific exploration and ornamentation. These little putti just seem to get everywhere!

The formation of the rainbow

I love these diagrams! look at the little dog to the right of the man, he's looking at a disembodied eye just growing out of the ground, which in turn is gazing at the double rainbow. This is from "Physica Sacra" by J.J. Scheuchzer 1731.