River Fleet

My Walk this Week 178 – Scottish Woodland

My walk this week is another from Scotland where I took a stroll through woodland on the edge of Gatehouse of Fleet. Starting from the banks of the river Fleet, I enjoyed the familiar footpath as I twisted and turned in a loop, looking at my surroundings with a strong green cast to the light.

woodland footpath

It is a peaceful part of the country and while there is an inevitable background of man-made sound, the ambience of the forest was more noticeable with its birds and flowing water, a gentle breeze in the trees and just the occasional sound of other people in the area.Continue reading

foxgloves

My Walk this Week 170 – Wind on The Mawr

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.

Awel wind turbines

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

lavender and box

My Walk this Week 163 – Sunbury Walled Garden

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.

entrance

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

pussy willow

My Walk this Week 154 – Golden Grove, Gelli Aur

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.

Golden Grove

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

rigging and masts

My Walk this Week 151 – The Music of Storm Hannah

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.

dark water

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

Autumn pine

My Walk this Week 133 – Autumn Woodland

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.

Autumn Woodland Soundscape

My Walk this Week 133 – Format Change

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.

woodland footpath

 

tapestry weaving

Dumfries 3 – Sound and Weave

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.

Gracefield Arts Centre

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.

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.

INTERCONNECTION at Gracefield Arts Centre

https://vimeo.com/285860378

Sound and Weave at Gracefield Arts Centre

https://vimeo.com/286544845


zig zag

Zig Zag and Twisted – Perspective, Steps and An Urban Soundscape

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.

spiral steps

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

Down by The Waterside

Sights and Sounds by The Waterside – Reviewing the Walk

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.

Looking at the lake

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.

A Watery Waterside Soundscape