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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
     Paradox
     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.



End 





A soundscape of this walk: Are you Listening?








Saturday, 25 May 2019





'Contemporary Art and Ritual'

An  Exhibition in The Crypt Gallery St Pancras

May 16th - May 21st 2019


Photo courtesy Rikard Osterlund












With thanks to Caro Williams
Deborah Burnstone for curating this exhibition

Exhibiting artists, a pleasure to work with you all:
Photo courtesy Rikard Osterlund

Rosalind Barker
James S Bond
Deborah Burnstone
Zara Carpenter
Blandine Martin
Zoe Simon-Walker
Hannah Stageman
Sally Tyrle
Nne Uzolgwe
Jane Walker
Caro Williams


For more about the exhibition and the artists involved

https://artandritual.wixsite.com/mysite


                                                             
Varas photo courtesy Anastasia Miller

It was wonderful to be able to exhibit the Varas in such a perfect setting.

Matt Bray (Artist and Curator) describes the Varas in his review of the exhibition:

"The first work you encounter upon entering the crypt are a series of knotted rope poles or Varas by Elspeth Penfold, which are actually archives of performative walks. The Varas were made as part of an exploration of the relationship between walking, weaving and storytelling over the past 5 years. They feel like something you might imagine a witch doctor using to conduct a healing ceremony, and the connection is apt as the artist uses her walks in the same vein; expanding our normal small window on the world to allow in something of the divine."

Review by Matt Bray

With thanks to all who came and visited and those who were unable to but  sent us good wishes.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A Wander with Thread and Word.   

Contemporary Art and Ritual 
St Pancras Gallery

This exhibition ends today

This Wander took place last Saturday at St Pancras Crypt . I was delighted to be given the opportunity to create a wander which took participants on a different type of gallery tour.

We walked , re-imagining the way we spend time in art galleries. 







We took a leaf out of the poem  May 5th written by Sonia Overall in The Art of Walking. We thought about being toddlers running into a gallery space , squealing at the giant SILENCE on the wall, gleefully stamping our boots , "you realise that she is participating."






A Vara recording A Walk for Armistice Day
by Elspeth (Billie) Penfold








We experimented with alternative approaches to the ingrained walk, stop and glance, as we wandered through the exhibition.

These approaches included actions and poetry readings that responded to the artwork in the exhibition and also to the beautiful space in the St Pancras Crypt.





photo courtesy of the artist








The Mountain Pose as we contemplated fab work by Blandine Bardeau.




Paintings by Nne Kauzoigwe
 Paintings by Nne Kauzoigwe were viewed through a poetry reading of Owen Lowery's
poem Blackbird at The Stretton Fox :

"shared under a gentle whisper
of early light, stopping us as we grasp
that it is what it seems, a last
and a first from the thickening
dark, a sense or a gesture,
an invisible picture."


Photographs by Blandine Bardeau







Thank you to all who came walked and participated through  the  knotting of  ropes which recorded/scored  the memory of our experiences walking together in this wander through Contemporary Art and Ritual.


 The ropes are now attached to the Vara titled A Wander and will join the rest of the collections of fifteen varas, now sixteen, recording walks over the last four years with Thread and Word.




We ended our walk with an impromptu performance by the artist Christina Lovey. This created a beautiful connection with our next walk Are you Listening? in Battersea Park next Sunday at 2pm.

We hope to see you there!


For our next walk :Are You Listening?




A Wander was inspired by Ways to Wander the Gallery , by Clare Qualmann and Claire Hind. Published by Triarchy press. This book contains two walking scores by Elspeth Billie Penfold.