Torridge estuary: Spring 2012

Spring is here! Images and sounds gathered from recent explorations around my local landscape.

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Above is a snippet from recent work along the water’s edge near where I live. It is somewhere I come a lot, for peace and tranquillity.

Images were taken on three separate days in the same place. The first day, I looked out of my window at 6.30am, and could see nothing but grey mist… but by the time I got down to the river, the mist was clearing in the warmth of the sun, until there remained just a soft dreamy haze. The other two days were idyllic sunshine.

I have mixed up the days a little, to give you a clearer idea of this extremely small piece of coastal land. The proliferation of flora and fauna, and the subtle differences here from day to day is just incredible.

“… As I come to my favourite bench up high overlooking the river; the daffodils that were flourishing here just a few weeks ago, have died down now, and are replaced by bluebells.

It is here that people sometimes bring wild bird seed, and deposit it on either end of the bench. One end of the bench has been carved into quite a sizeable bowl by the pecking of a myriad beaks over time. A robin parades around in front of me, looking bright and handsome. I pretend not to notice. I hear the quiet fluttering of many wings around my head, and spot a chaffinch hanging around in the bushes. I never bring anything, (I am so mean!).”

I lay back amongst the sea campion at the foot of the cliffs, soaking up the sun… I sat very still, watching the river, at that motionless low tide point when life seemed to stop … and then, in mid-river, I saw the beginnings of a thin stream of fast water run in from the ocean, causing the reflected world to shiver… The memories sank deep within and became a part of myself.

At the end of this video clip you can see the woodland stream running down to the place on the beach where I made the seaweed rings.

I am hoping to continue my creative explorations and researches in this area over the next year or so. But unfortunately it is being threatened by the possibility of what most of us would consider inappropriate ‘development’. In the knowledge that our physical and mental wellbeing, indeed our very lives depend on our natural environment, this is sad news indeed.

Is my experience of this beautiful place all the more precious because of the threat of its destruction? Well, no – because I consider this infinitely complex balance of ecosystems is precious anyway.

However, it has given it certain intensity – a realisation that I cannot just sit back and take it all for granted!

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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