Monday, 30 September 2019

Welcome to the LV21

Let's Take a Moment : A Walk for Reflect; Arts and Minds, Gravesend, Kent.

produced through Thread and Word

October 11th , 12th and 13th

 3pm meet @LV21, an arts and performance venue on a Light Ship, moored  at St Andrew quay, Gravesend.

This is a walk involving benches, the coast, memory and ritual .

The walk will take approximately one hour and is mostly on flat terrain.


Those of you who have visited my studio looking out at the sea over Tankerton slopes near Whitstable know that there are many benches along the slopes above the beach  huts looking out to the sea. These give people the opportunity to create memorials for loved ones and also a place to take time to sit and stare at the sea. I have always been fascinated by these benches placed at regular intervals along the slope. So, when the call out came to take part in Reflect:Arts and Minds in Gravesend I jumped at the chance to be able to  create a temporary installation on a bench as a shrine or memorial in response to this event .

A vara
We will be walking from the LV21 to the bench I have been allocated in Promenade Gardens. The installation of the bench will take place on Friday October 11th. We then invite you to walk with us on Saturday October 12th and Sunday October 13th at 3 pm. to celebrate coastal living and what the sea means to you through  Reflect: arts and minds in Gravesham.

 I will be delivering this walk through the arts group Thread and Word which I set up in 2014 . This group invites artists to collaborate in walking performative events. These walks also give participants the opportunity to record their feelings as they walk  through a meditative knotting of ropes which are attached to a pole called a Vara at the end of the walk, to record the event.

We will be walking, with Thread and Word to celebrate all thing coastal in Gravesend, reflecting on what the sea means to us.

Anna Bowman
The artists joining this walk and offering poetry, performance and their own response to Let's Take a Moment are:

 A. Bowman, L. Claire, V. Fitch J. Mckay, S. McClymont, C. Lovey,  O. Lowery, S. Overall,  E. Penfold, J. Riddiough, L. Shawyer. 

Anna Bowman is sharing a personal anecdote of trips to the seaside as a child. She is also a talented film maker and photographer and will be photographing the event.

Anna Bowman
A plaque for our bench 

Lucy Claire is a composer and musician who works with soundscapes and will be collaborating with the group to create a  soundscape of the walk. This will be available to download . The piece will commemorate our walk through a plaque on the bench in Promenade Gardenswith a qr code linking it to the soundscape.

 "Soundscapes can transport the listener from one environment to another. Listening to a soundscape can calm the mind and encourage time for reflection. Let’s Take A Moment is a sound world reflection of a collection of poetry by Owen Lowery that focuses specifically on the coast and shoreline from With the fisherwomen of Nairn to the Mediterranean horizon of Pathos Sunset. I worked with sounds from the shore, the harbour, the hissing and sucking of the shore, the heady buzz of insects and the rhythmical sploshes of oars moving in and out of the water to bring another dimension to Owen’s words and help transport the listener from one place to another. "

Lucy Claire

Virginia Fitch will be reading a well know poem by Shelley to help us on our way.

Julia Riddiough is sharing two pieces, 'Windmills of my Mind' connecting with the story of the area with links to Don Quixote and his own inner daemons . Laura Shawyer will be enacting her second piece 'A Gesture of Harmony' a ritual devised by Julia using Palo Santo oil connected with well being, meditation and enacted through the holding of the knotted ropes as we end our walk.

Julia Riddiough

site specific work with James McKay
James McKay has created three interventions using poetry, place and string. It might even involve some costume changes. Looking forward to a few surprises.

James McKay

a mosaic by Susan Mc Clymont
Susan McClymont will share her poem "Pocahontas and me" She has also created a fab mosaic for our bench.  The design of the mosaic that accompanies the poem, is of an oak leaf overlaid by fern koru floating on the river. (Reflecting the oak trees of Pocahontas's Jamestown in America and the fern that emblematic of her native New Zealand).

Christina prep at Contemporary Art and Ritual
Christina Lovey is offering a personal reading of the knots in the ropes through tap dancing. Looking forward to some Flamenco rhythms . 

Owen Lowery has shared several of his poems read in his own voice for the soundscape. He has also helped with selecting the sounds he associates with the poems and the coast. We are delighted to take Owen's voice on this walk with us.

Owen Lowery

If you scan the qr code you can be transported to Owen's reading with a soundscape by Lucy Claire.

Sonia Overall  is joining us with pause/play
What is the quality of a moment? What do different pauses feel like? We will carry a bag of pauses with us as we walk, select one at random and enact it. Pause, play, repeat.  

Elspeth (Billie)  Penfold is inviting you to knot ropes to record the experience as we walk. These ropes have been made by hand by Elspeth for this event in her studio.The ropes will be attached to a Vara or pole at the end of the walk to create a document of the walk.
Elspeth (Billie) Penfold

I am always amazed by the creativity and generosity of all artists who collaborate with me in these walks with Thread and Word. I hope you are able to join us on the day and do feel free to share any readings/ memories or rituals with us as we walk.

although free, the walks are ticketed :Eventbrite and numbers will be limited .

The bench installation, soundscape and the walks have been delivered thanks to Funding from Arts Council England with seed funding from Sound Uk and the Welcome foundation.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

The LV21 Gravesend , two walks and a tactile bench in October

A Commission, Soundscape, blog, research and funding.

An MA in Creative Events Management at Falmouth University

Well it's been a while and there is  a lot happening. 


I am delighted to be working on two projects with LV21 and Sound uk. These are part of 'Reflect + Arts and Mind project, Gravesend and Bude, 'Time to Sit and Stare'.


I attended the launch of the project in May and am busy working with a group of artists to deliver two walks and a tactile bench.These projects will be delivered through 'Thread and Word'.

 Now thanks to the generous funding from Arts Council England ,we will be able to record a soundscape.


As things evolve, and they always seem to, it seemed a great opportunity to record a soundscape of the walks. I am delighted to say I put in an application to Art Council England and have received the funding. This will enable me to create a team through Thread and Word to work with The Mess Room in Chatham and the artist and music composer  Lucy Claire to widen participation in our walking events and soundscape.

 It is great to have the funding and I am grateful to the Arts Council England for their support.

Blogging, a new Thread and Word reflective blog and research

I have recently started an MA in Creative Events Management at Falmouth University. My first assignment has been to create a blog. This is part of the assessment for the MA and I have now completed it and handed it in .

I have used the metaphor of weaving to create insights into The Journeys with The Waste Land project at Turner Contemporary applying ideas and knowledge recently gained from the MA  course. 

New beginnings, creativity and project organisation

Here are images with themes for the blog postings . I hope you enjoy them. If you'd like to read them  click the caption,  I'd love to have some feedback !

The Problem, defining events.
Weaving, walking ,blogs and reflecting?

Moving the Heddle changes the pattern - how we measure value.

Unravelling the budget   


A reflective weave , hope you're having a good summer!            

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Are You Listening, Elspeth - Billie-  Penfold 2019

Are You Listening?

A Soundscape produced by Thread and Word.

 Weaving together of sounds from our walk in Battersea Park on Sunday May 26th.

Tracks :

1. Trees Can Talk
     Billie Penfold

2. A Late Blackbird
    Owen Lowery 
    Read by Virginia Fitch

3. Go with your creative flow 
    Julia Riddiough
    enacted by Laura Shawyer

4. Orange seeds
    Billie Penfold , Julia Riddiough, Laura Shawyer

5. Listening to Blackbird as You Fly Out
    Owen Lowery
    Read by Virginia Fitch

6. Miracle
    Susan Sciama

7. The importance of Listening and the Volcanic
     Billie Penfold and Lucy Claire drawing Sounds
     Poetry Susan Sciama

8. Blackbird ay The Streatham Fox by Owen Lowery 
     read by Virginia Fitch
     Wordsworth read by Susan Mcyntire

9. London Calling, A Shout Out
    Julia Riddiough
    Enacted by walking group led by Billie

You can listen to these tracks here: https://soundcloud.com/user-287878104
We Hope you enjoy it!

With thanks to:
Lucy Claire for recording and putting these nine tracks of our walk together
and to all who walked and participated this walking event.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Are you Listening?

A Video and a Photo diary

A walk in Battersea Park for the Chelsea Fringe

As we take part in interventions on our route and listen  to poetry readings we knot handmade ropes as a record of the emotions we feel as we walk.

These ropes are attached to the Vara at the end of the walk.The Vara is covered in a weave hand made on an inkle loom.The design of the weave created by Elspeth (Billie) Penfold as a response to the place and walking event.

 The knots attached to the Vara.

A photo diary

House keeping : stay together, pace of walk  

photography , Anna Bowman, with thanks.

Introduce walkers to each other


Introduce Flags , work and play scrapstore - opportunity to discuss , look and touch.

Introduce Lucy Claire  , setting up to record the soundscape

Introduce walk :  a derive of sorts…

We will be visiting sites chosen by artists who wish to have their work located there specifically . So we will set of to find these places.

Pump gallery, an invitation to participate in an action to HUMMMMMM, an action led  by Billie 


    Listen to the trees, an action by Billie 



 Go with your creative flow an invitation by Julia Riddiough at the Barbara Hepwort sculpture, enacted by Laura Shawyer


 A Listening exercise (  listen draw what you can hear) lino print map by Billie


  London Calling by Julia Riddiough at The peace Pagoda enacted by Billie

These interspersed with poetry readings. 

"Blackbird poems"  en route 
sent by Owen Lowery ,
read by Virginia Fitch intermittently at various stops during the walk.

'A Late Blackbird'
'Listening to Blackbirds as You Fly Out'
'Blackbird at the Stretton Fox'

with thanks to Owen Lowery

Susan reads 'My Heart Leaps Up when I Behold' by William Wordsworth.

 Susan Sciama reads ' Volcanic Ash' by Susan Sciama

a flag by Saffron Saidi, using materials from the Work and Play Scrapstore. She used plastics, Saffron writes:

 " I tried to keep it simple 3 colour blue pallet and include plastic of all kinds which you often find in rivers as a result of littered pollution, I think the theme of plastic flowers, waves and texture created within the flag remind me of the sea, netting, plastic and ribbon to represent the natural movement."

You can view the slideshow/ video here

Some Notes:

Why Listening?

Cecilia Vicuña performance by the Mapocho in 1970, Listen to the River

  “ the water wants to be heard . Everything is falling apart because of a lack of connections. Weaving is the connection that is missing , the connection between people and themselves , people and nature. Life is a winding adventure. At times it is rough , at others, calm and peaceful. Life, in a lot of ways is like a river.” (Cecilia Vicuña)

As I prepared ideas for the walk , I started with a focus on the river as a metaphor for our relationship wit the environment . However, as time continued and I attended talks and events, walked by the river and spoke with contributing artists the emphasis shifted on our need to listen to the earth and the world around us.

This walk has poetry readings and actions that draw our attention to the environment that t surrounds us and how we might consider listening to it.

Owen Lowery Blackbird poems. Virginia Fitch  reading his poems at various points as we walk.

Poem by Owen Lowery read by Virginia

 Hummmmm :  Courtyard of the Pump House , stand in a circle, our first action to consider how we can listen to our surroundings.

OSE     (Resonance and the museum Claire le Croeut ) The world is the repository/ museum , our legacy which we leave behind.

(Bill Viola considered the idea of materials having a unique sonic signature or voice that he describes as “ a second shadow existence,)
and a Quote Pythagoras “ told his followers that a stone is frozen music  - he understood the universe to be organised as a system of mathematical harmony - he believed in the healing power of music."

We Hummmmmmmmm to the courtyard in a circle at Pump House Gallery.

Walk to trees  —- use ‘can’ action, a conversation between two trees in the park.

Poem by Owen Lowery read by Virginia

 Barbara Hepworth 

Orange knotted rope

Anottal seeds

Julia riddiough ' Go with your Creative flow' … all hold orange knotted rope. 

Meditation and visualisation

Poem by Owen Lowery

 Listen and draw sounds Walk around the lake , find a space for action 

Introduce Sumak Kawsay , give booklets..
Read Volcanic Ash - Susan Sciama

Poem by Owen Lowery

peace pagoda

 action Julia Riddiough, ' London Calling' , The Clash 1979
A protest poem, song and shout out concept by Julia Riddiough enacted by Billie Penfold and fellow walkers.

S.O.S recorded by Julia Riddiough in Deal.


A soundscape of this walk: Are you Listening?