My walk this week is back up on top of The Mawr again – this time as a visit to the Awel Aman Tawe Community Wind Farm above Cwmgors. It was a beautiful day and the wind was blowing well, with the result that the turbine blades were turning fast and producing the electricity they were designed for.
This moorland is on the eastern edge The Mawr – in fact I am not even sure if it is considered part of that upland landscape! Whether it is or not, the scenery is beautiful with views over to Pen-y-Fan, the Brecon Beacons highest peak and a peacefulness most of the time that I have spoken of before.Continue reading→
My walk this week is around Sunbury-on-Thames walled garden. It is just a few minutes down the river from Hampton Court where my walk took place last week.
I was lucky with the weather and thoroughly enjoyed both these recent walks. The reason I was there was not for walking but to discuss the arrangements for an exhibition of my tapestry weaving and sound work to be held in the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery next year.Continue reading→
My walk this week was at Golden Grove or Gelli Aur as we call it in Wales. It was particularly enjoyable because the park has been closed for the last five years or so and it was wonderful to be able to wander round it again.
Although the arboretum is only accessible if you pay, the rest of the park, even without being able to walk the circuit through the arboretum and the deer enclosure, it is still a beautiful place to visit. The cafe has opened again too and is serving some very nice home made food.Continue reading→
My walk this week was short, cold and through the remnants of Storm Hannah – it was part of a sound and weave workshop I was running over the weekend. The first stage of the workshop was to go round Swansea Marina and listen to the sounds which featured what is known as the Marina Orchestra.
The leading orchestral instruments are the masts and rigging followed by the percussion of clanks and bangs, thumps and gloops of other maritime artefacts and of course the choppy water of the marina itself.
It was wild and cold and although we found a relatively sheltered spot to listen to the “symphony”, when we ventured down to the seafront, Continue reading→
My walk this week is through a section of the forest in Penllergaer Valley Woods near Swansea in South Wales. I was keen to find a moment in our currently wet weather to see the colours that I know exist here at this time of year. Being a valley means you get to see the and hear the woodland from different vantage points with overviews of the slopes of yellowing trees as well as the closer details around the footpaths.
The soundscape is different in the depths of the valley to that on its upper edges – this is partly because, down below, you are sheltered from the background sound of traffic on the motorway. But the sound of birds is still masked somewhat by the waterfall at this time of year when it is raging and thundering down from the lake.
I hope that you will click the play button below and listen to the soundscape while viewing the images in sequence – perhaps the sound will help to bring the images to life and bring you closer to my own experience of the walk.
Hi everyone, for a number of reasons I have decided that My Walk this Week is going to be posted just once a week . . . on Fridays. So I hope you will look forward to Friday for my next walk which presents the sights and sounds of an Autumn woodland – see the image below as some encouragement to look, read and listen to the post.
The posts will still include a soundscape for the walks and I hope to encourage you to click the play button for these and then browse the images in sequence. This does not give the same experience as a StillWalks® video, which I will soon be making available through membership, but I hope they are still enjoyable and give the opportunity to take five minutes out from the hubbub of modern life.
The most important reason for me to visit Dumfries was to check out Gracefield Arts Centre and the space in which I would have work in an exhibition later in the year. The British Tapestry Group exhibition “Sound and Weave” is now on at the arts centre and runs there until 29th September.
My tapestry is experimentally interactive with light sensors embedded in the weave – the sensors trigger different field recordings layered over a looping background soundscape when they are cast into shadow by, for instance, the viewer’s hand or body.
“Experimental” is the key work here and it proved a challenge to calibrate the sensors to react at their optimum in a space with lighting quite different from my studio. In this instance I am happy for the interactivity of the tapestry to be sensitive to the changing ambient light as much as the gallery lighting and human intervention, but in future venues I will provide my own lighting with a view to a tighter control of the sensors.
INTERCONNECTION – interactive woven tapestry by Alastair Duncan
INTERCONNECTION – interactive woven tapestry by Alastair Duncan
The videos below show both my own tapestry “in action” and the other works in the exhibition. Thanks again to Dawn, the Arts Officer at Gracefield, and all the BTG people involved in setting up the exhibition. It will be my turn when it comes to Swansea in March 2019!
If the videos do not show below in your browser, please click the links below to view them on Vimeo.
On this, the third side of my triangular urban walk this week, my main focus (or perspective) is on steps. It was a long set of scaffolding steps that I originally wanted to photograph and which turned into a walk round the block that revealed some other angular and twisted (spiral) steps. I was amused by the “floating” gate below which advertises the entrance to The Forge.
As someone who enjoys many different aspects of metal I couldn’t resist the first perspective shot below of the structure and pattern of shop front shutters, but as I turned the next corner I was also taken by the colour, repeating pattern and perspective of the short terrace across the street. I found other perspectives Continue reading→
Looking through the sights and sounds from my walk this week at The Waterside, Felindre, I find I am already looking forward to my next visit. On this walk I have focused on some of the details of the place, in particular the different effects of water, both in sight and sound.
It can be a challenge to keep seeing things afresh, but however familiar we become with a place or situation, the conditions are always different from day to day, both in our surroundings and in ourselves. Taking the opportunity to try and see and think about things from a different perspective, both the big picture and the details, can be very helpful and The waterside is one of the places, for me, where I can do this.
It is different to the many other places I walk because a visit to Sue and Steve in this small, secluded Welsh valley involves connection and conversation with others as well as observation and appreciation of the beautiful surroundings.
Walking is important to me for many reasons – one of which is free-thinking time and exploration of ideas. Creative conversation with others as a part of the exploration can be a helpful consolidation of thoughts or a chance to further explore alternative mental routes and this is one of the things I get from The Waterside and Collective Headspace.
Looking back from the bramble beginning by the road on my walk this week along the Tennant Canal near Swansea, South Wales, I can see and hear again some of the varied natural and industrial features of this environment that I enjoy so much.
I first discovered the beauty of this place on a guided walk with a bird specialist who worked his magic at identifying and translating all the birds and, seemingly, their conversations. The ability the human brain has for focusing our senses in different ways is remarkable but there is no questionContinue reading→