These male Hazel Catkins are looking for a mate.
I suspect that these catkins have been hanging around at Llys Nini Animal Center woodland area for a little while as the weather in the UK this winter has been confusing to say the least!
Barbed wire has been both a feature and a theme in my work as an artist for many years now. The idea to try including barbs within the weave of my tapestries came from my need to represent something of the tension I felt whilst listening to the peace talks in Northern Ireland back in the late 1990s. Having grown up in Belfast during the 60s and 70s, it seemed to me to be the perfect material to represent conflict as my memory is of there being so much of it around at the time.
The first people to see the first tapestries I wove that incorporated barbed wire, did not think of it as representing conflict except in terms of texture – the soft wool of the weft and the hard sharpness of the barbs. They were living in the local rural community of SE Wales and only thought of barbed wire as a material for use in farming.
Metaphor or not, for me the barbs still represent conflict and although that theme in my work has broadened over the years, it is still a fact that the hard, sharp material of spikes, either man-made or natural, are there to protect one thing against another where there is a conflict of interests.
I have included a photo of one of my earlier tapestries from this thematic period – if you would like to see more examples of my work, please visit Design Fibre ICT at www.acmd.co.uk
More examples of my tapestry weaving can be seen at www.acmd.co.uk
One of the many woodland jobs carried out as part of Llys Nini Animal Centre woodland management is the building of wattle fences. The woodland is managed by Phil Morgan and it is he, along with an extensive team of adult volunteers and visiting school children, who create these wonderful pieces of weaving in the natural environment.
This abandoned section of wattle fencing I came across in one of the fields next to the woods, gave me some great subject matter for my photography. I love its unwinding form and apparent keenness to get back to the earth.
I had forgotten that if I am posting sound files, I need to embed them in the post if they are to be seen in an email. The post that went out this morning only had the two sound clips below linked to the StillWalks SoundCloud account. That is fine for many of my followers but for those who receive and read the posts in an email, here are the two sound clips recorded at Llys Nini Animal Centre woodland last week. Like I said, the birds sing regardless of conditions and traffic and care not what recording equipment you may use.
I had my camera with me, my Edirol RO9 recorder and my iPhone but was frustrated that I had not brought my Fostex FR-2LE field recorder and RODE NTG-3 shot gun mic. It would have been an advantage considering the proximity of the M4 motorway. I am pleased to say, however, that the birds sing regardless of conditions and traffic and care not what recording equipment you may use.
The centre is in Penllergaer, near Swansea and my first discovery of this woodland was through the StillWalks project “Sights and Sounds of the Countryside” – that was about 18 months ago.
Since then the woodland and the footpaths through it, have been developed further and there is more to see and hear there all the time. The first image below is of a team of volunteers planting hundreds of new trees – oak, ash, alder, hawthorn and many others.
The bespoke StillWalks video “Marching Feet, Crackling Leaves”, produced as part of the “Sights and Sounds of the Countryside” project, was made with StillWalks by the children of Pontlliw Primary School and features a (miraculously) dry day in Autumn.
Sounds from my walk there last week will be posted tomorrow.