Living and working alongside local people in Ingestre as an artist in residence with Ama Josephine B. Johnstone and Verity Birt, field recordings, photography, nature writing and dances in the Orangery grounds develop into a suite of four composite works. Film, text, sound, and a triptych of digital collages, Diaphanous investigates hidden intangible histories, sensory and not-strictly-sensory elements of Ingestre Orangery and gardens.
Embarking early along the long walk, Black Mondo grass sprouts modestly low, easily missed in eager anticipation of pretty flowers. Two bushy blankets of Japanese Maple flank either side of the promenade. Passing under the Yew arch, further down on the left, the Smoke Tree plumes upright.
On dewy-soft lawn I bathe. Born again, today, my soles are purified. Water leaks up from the ground and over me, mingling with salt, sublimating into bright birdsong skies.
Unhurried, listening to the dew and to the trees, I pour into a full sky, listening to the drifting shade and to the warmth on my face: I reach into entirety and faith.
Soaked into the ground and washed away, by rivers flowing into seas flowing into oceans: blood-loss, and extraction, and death: spiked flesh stratified within the mantle of life.
Unmet expectations: hearts that lead the eyes to see the superadded trauma, the ghastly, insidious, transpiration. And the enduring, sophisticated sufferings cultivated in a bygone era, piercing as deeply now as then.
Peace, restoration, and remedy – that the death soaked bedrock might give way, might yield an answer, an opportunity, a cure in a tincture of dark clouds and smoke.
Questions shore up.