Diaphanous (2022). Camera: Gavin Repton. Editing and Sound: Adam Moore.
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. Encounter the full suite of works with Ingestre Orangery here
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.
How much more attention is required to perceive the Black blood soaked roots, the shoots and branches writhing in earth fertilized with fear – recoiling and ruddy beneath the green lawns that roll across each square inch of British soil? And what of the enclosures: how many souls are encroached upon this side of the subterranean?
Diaphanous is a research-based commission for Ingestre Orangery, developed during Pleasure Ground — a residency and commissioning project and public programme funded by Arts Council England, initiated and supported by Ingestre Orangery and Haarlem Artspace, curated by Haarlem Artspace Co-Director Olivia Punnett.
Special thanks to
Ama Josephine Budge Verity Birt Olivia Punnett Lara Rowe Bev Shepard Anna and Aaron Chetwynd Gavin Repton