GREAT HOVERING ROCKS!

UPDATE before the Bank Holiday (!)

ANTICLINE: GPS-triggered soundscape for Westdown Quarry (now running). This work can be downloaded free from my website (all instructions for downloading and use are HERE!)

SYNCLINE: array of 6 autonomous megaphones beaming audio content into The Amphitheatre at Fairy Cave Quarry (work-in-progress)

PERICLINE: sonic audio-art gallery piece for the Black Swan, Frome: this is the third piece in the triptych of audioworks for Step in Stone; it’s now in its final stages:

Maquette1 - signed

Very many thanks to great guy Charles Clapham, Workshop Supervisor for the School of Earth Sciences, Bristol University. I rang him up out of the blue with my strange artistic request to create rock core samples out of the Fairy Cave Quarry rock so I could animate them and he said, “bring’em in!” “When?”, I asked. “Now,” he said. Two weeks later he rang me up – he’d made two 25mm cores out of the rock. Thanks to Bristol Uni!

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[Ralph Hoyte working with Phill Phelps]

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Step 2 Installation and Opening week

It’s been an incredible fortnight, unleashing inner reserves of energy I didn’t know I had, and thank goodness for the unyielding patience and support of partner Nick Weaver, helping to pull off the installation of Step 2 while finishing off artwork, getting signage done for 2 venues and co-ordinating it all…  Halecombe and Westdown quarries are now open daily for all to visit – see Duncan Simey’s wonderful selection of pics from a very rainy Friday.  Jack Offord filmed us for the documentary – looking forward to seeing the results of that on our Preview evening of 2nd October at Black Swan.

Below is a selection from our Step 2 installation days and a couple of photoshoots by Duncan Simey taken since.

WESTDOWN:

step in stoneInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown Quarrystep in stonestep in stone

HALECOMBE:

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And some of our finished work:

WESTDOWN:

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step in stoneBunker circa 1970's Westdown Quarry grid ref ST717456 pigment inks on Somerset enhanced paper

Installations at Westdown Quarrystep in stone

Installations at Westdown Quarry

HALECOMBE:

step in stoneInstallation day at Westdown Quarry

Installation day at Westdown QuarryInstallation day at Westdown Quarry

My main pieces are the ones with long colourful tentacles, based on crinoids (see earlier post about the making process)!  Sadly a heavy steel spring (a small component of my work) went missing and other parts tampered with at Westdown the first weekend – if anybody spots this lurking in the bushes there, do contact me, it might be from my work!

The past week has been filled with our workshops, guided walks and talks, held at SESC, Westdown and Halecombe Quarries.  The guided walks, in collaboration with Rosie and Pippa from Somerset Wildlife Trust, have been really well attended, and workshop participants of all ages have explored a range of creative approaches related to artists’ work and the project.  Thanks to our wonderfully inspiring workshop leaders (Bron, Tanya, Christina, Suzie), all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience!   Sally’s talk was much appreciated and I did a talk for 27 Active Living members, who were enthralled.

IMG_0718 IMG_0714DSC_0002 DSC_0019IMG_0698 IMG_0690 IMG_0699 IMG_0702  IMG_0752 Installations at Somerset Earth Sciences CentreIMG_0803 IMG_0823

Last week culminated in a very inspirational performance at Westdown/Asham: Artmusic’s ‘ECHO’ sculpture and sound installation on Saturday 22nd Aug was animated by live performances of Artmusic’s ‘BLAST’ – a theatrical response to the rock and mechanics of quarrying, with specially composed trumpet music being played from locations which echoed around the quarry.  We had a great turn out and the audience seemed to really enjoy the unique show and setting. “A delightful melange of live and recorded fluttering trumpets grab our attention this way and that while butterflies flit among the stones…. As they move slowly up the valley from stone to stone, always edging closer to melody, we begin to follow, or not, or meander above and below. ..”  Caroline Radcliffe

People brought picnics, dogs, cameras, sketchbooks and the sun was scorching all day!

IMG_0775 Artmusic's BLAST at Westdown QuarryIMG_0778 DSCF2039 DSCF2071 DSCF2078 Artmusic's BLAST, trumpeter John Plaxton (photo Rupert Kirkham) Artmusic's BLAST, trumpeter Jack Vincent (photo Rupert Kirkham)

Can’t wait to download Ralph Hoyte’s GPS Soundwalk ‘ANTICLINE‘ – now available for your smartphone before visiting Westdown.

step in stone

Hope you can visit soon!

Fiona Campbell  24/8/15

Cyanotype / Van Dyke workshop – Halecombe Quarry

Awoke to a bright sunny day (amongst a series of very wet days) so it was all systems go for a workshop ‘in the field’ ! Conducting a workshop outside has logistical problems, especially when you have to construct a mobile ‘darkroom’ (ish!). Halecombe has a lovely grass walkway along the rim, with a large clearing and outstanding view of the working quarry. The bench was the obvious structure to use to create the sunlight proof room, so using blackout material I was able to create a space where the participants could coat the chemicals onto paper and cloth, leave them to dry and process after exposing.

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A blue tarpaulin demarked the classroom, giving us somewhere comfortable and dry to sit on!

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After introducing and discussing the processes and their applications, we coated the materials with the cyanotype sensitizer, made by mixing Ammonium Ferric Citrate and Potassium Ferrycianide.

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Whilst they were drying, we collected plant materials which were then arranged into compositions using printing frames, which were then loaded with the sensitized paper. The frames were then exposed to the sun!

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Watching each print change under the sun, going from yellow to blue to grey, once it is correctly exposed is a fascinating process!

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To ‘develop’ the exposed prints, you wash them in water till the yellow from the unexposed area is removed. This is done under the ‘sun proof’ room as is the drying. We then changed water and chemicals for the Van Dyke process, the poor man’s ‘Kallitype’. The chemicals involved are mixed from Ferric Ammonium Citrate, Tartaric Acid (Brewer’s Yeast) and Silver Nitrate. It is a more complicated, but produces a much more sensitive solution. The bright sunshine meant it could overexpose quite easily!

 

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All 3 under the blackout material, coating paper!!

The prints were exposed the same way, but turn bright orange! We then wash them, and fix them in Hypo solution (Sodium Thiosulphate), which makes them turn brown.

 

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Working in a field situation has its problems, but it is a wonderful way to engage with the landscape. The background of the quarry and its noises enhanced the atmosphere, and at the same time we were able to look at the installed artworks. The results had an ethereal quality and were not as precise as under controlled conditions, which in itself enhanced the experience.

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Christina White  22/8/15

step in stone – my story so far

Bronwen Bradshaw

step in stone – a project taking place in the East Mendip quarries this summer and autumn – gave me a commission to make work inspired by the quarries. The Quarries were indeed inspirational, but what to make to go into them? There is so much there already: stone, plants, fossils, bird life, insect life; the list goes on. After several visits and much pondering I found that the beautiful Google earth map of Westdown/Asham quarry had stuck in my head. So I made my work ‘You are here’ by increasing the scale of the map mightily, and making 10 etched aluminium plates that fitted together to make a map that measured 2 x 1 metres. Here is the story of the project so far, in pictures.

Google earth map

Image drawn with wax onto aluminium plate

the plate is etched in a solution of copper sulphate and salt.

Some of the finished plates in the garden

All the plates

My rubbings of the plate, to be displayed in the Black Swan Arts exhibition for SAW 15

Entering the quarry in pouring rain

Contrasting drills

It looks small now!

YOU ARE HERE

Workshop participants have a go at a rubbing

Rubbing close up

Back at the Earth Science Centre

Brass Rubbing 'heel ball' sticks make good rubbings of leaves etc

More drawings and rubbings.

The books are finished

Group photo

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The Wood Firing

Very Exciting!

The Seed Forms I have made using Whatley Clay have just been fired in my friend Bill Crumbleholme’s Wood Kiln. The whole process took more than 24 hours and I visited as the kiln was coming up to maximum temperature – lots of flames!

The Seed Forms will be shown at Black Swan Arts in October

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Caroline Sharp 18 August 2015

Sally Kidall setting up: Lest We Forget: is enough enough?

Stage 2 openings today at Westdown Quarry and its a glorious day! Come down today and check out my grass growing chairs in “Lest We Forget: is enough enough?”
Materials: wheat grass, soil, timber chairs, plastic, water, rocks, glass-fibre rods, string

First image of finished work last night, light was fading, rain easing, better images to following.

Lest we Forget 1a

What an enormous week organising my first work for ‘step in stone’ at Westdown Quarry, sourcing 12 old chairs, the right soils, tools & materials, planting seeds with in an hour of arriving from Australia after traveling for 36 hours!! It was a relief to find my bags were going to fit my motley collection of old chairs sourced from Northwich, Cheshire, Bristol.Lest we Forget set up2

Sarah McCluskey, my very good friend from art school days, kept me going through the jet-lag with her endless wit and hard labour!! Here she is, totally soaked, filling my plastic pyramids with puddle water, yes we had online water supply yesterday, thank you rain!Lest we Forget set up 4

Sarah loading rocks into the base of the chairs to anchor them to site. And thanks to her husband Steve Woodcock too for helping me the other night attach the chair bases.

Lest we Forget setp 5

Here shows how the well traveled grass cushions, that have been in & out of my van all week, sit on the seats with more soil below to nourish them over the next few weeks. The plastic bags are them supported with fine glass fibre rods.Lest we Forget set upLest we Forget set up3

To find my work you need to keep walking, its about 15-20 minute walk from the entrance gates, keep following the path along the river, don’t give up its worth the walk to this beautiful enchanting site!

sallykidall.wordpress.com

Sally Kidall  15/8/15

Back in Fairy Cave Quarry – Evidence

A terrific afternoon and early evening exploring Fairy Cave quarry. Walked the perimeter collecting evidence of natural history and human activity and picked up snail shells, feathers, broken plastic car light fragments, pieces of ceramic, a glove, a wheel, a watch, bones, unusual stones and many other treasures for mounting and presentation. Worked with card and plaster to cast interesting tracks in the little mud that remains and stood alone in the middle of this wonderful sunken void as the rooks called and the light faded.

e August Quarry #1 e August Quarry #2 e August Quarry #3 e August Quarry #4 e August Quarry #5 e August Quarry #6 e August Quarry #7

 

Duncan Cameron  7/8/15

Sally’s Kidall’s final preparations….

I am now packing my bags ready to leave cold wintery Australia on Friday. All the light parts of my project are finished at last after many weeks thinking, planning, making, sewing…… my studio space is a complete mess as is the rest of the house, my poor family suffer with every project. It looks like I’m sewing for a bridal company!!

SISmaking SISmaking2SISmaking7SISmaking6

My project for Fairy Cave Quarry is called “Terra Firma: there’s no place like home”. It consists of 21 transparent tents of various sizes arranged in concentric circles reminiscent of a large ancient monument. Each tent will contain various growing/changing narratives, yet to be made, all will be revealed nearer the time.

SISmaking5 SISmaking4 SISmaking3Terra Firma drawing

I have had a passion for making tent projects over the last couple of years, some floating, others hanging onto exposed cliff tops, or beaches or sitting comfortably in an arid S. Australian bushland.

Nomadic City_lest we forgetNomadic City_lest we forget IIIpark_UWS2014NomadicCity5_SKidall_sm

Recently some of them have taken to wheels and I have had a couple of opportunities to try out some ideas for ‘step in stone’.

There's No Place Like Home is enough enoughThere's No Place Like Home_Kidall

At the Table_time for action Sally Kidall3At the Table_time for action Sally Kidall2

My first project to set up next week is called “Lest We Forget: is enough enough?”, this project is a new larger developed version of an earlier work made for Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi. Westdown quarry is a great location for this work and I’m looking forward to setting it up next week. Its made of 12 chairs housed in large plastic bags with grass growing seats inside and arranged again in a large circle, plus an outer circle of water containing plastic pyramid shaped bags I’ve made.

In the Bag 2012 In the Bag 2012 detail

I’m looking forward to returning to Somerset and the Mendips area and meeting all the artists and visitors.

sallykidall.wordpress.com      www.axisweb.org/p/sallykidall/

Tentacle-making

After months of collecting and creating, I’m now in the final stages of work for Step 2 at Westdown/Asham Quarry – with just a few more tentacles to make.  Time is short and tentacles are long but I think I’ll get there!  Ideally, I would have liked to have made more work but time has constrained.

Seeds were my starting point.  Just as they have blown in to fertilise these ancient deserted rocky environments I envisaged large tumbleweed-like structures rolling around, like old man’s beard seed heads growing there. Thoughts have evolved around life’s energy force, neurons, repeat forms in nature, nature’s persistence,  sea creatures (see previous post on Crinoids)…

Rusting machinery and discarded mattress springs left in the quarries, old horseshoes (thanks to Luke Ellis) and other scrap found locally and donated – fossils of the modern era, remnants of past, have provided most of my material to make the work.

Scrap donated by Chris Lee Pile of tentacles Table of scrap Inner structure for Scrap as fossil Making process Collection of scrap Making the scrap skeleton crinoid structure Tentacles in studio Colour sorting Crinoid skeleton Crinoid skeleton

Fiona Campbell 1/8/15