'over the horizon'

Artists David Harbott, Anna Keleher and Kate Paxman are exploring the Berry Head National Nature Reserve which lies on the urban fringes of Brixham in Devon. Berry Head is a 400 million year old limestone promontary and is a designated SSSI for its nationally rare plants, its colony of horseshoe bats, the largest colony of guillemots on the South Coast and its geology. It houses the remains of 2 Napoleonic Forts which are scheduled monuments, and a vast, abandoned quarry which dates back over 300 years.
'over the horizon' is a Smooth Space project in partnership with the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust with support from the English Riviera Global Geopark

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Life at x10 - Quadrat 2

2m square, acrylic line marking paint on asphalt

Each of the two artworks are paintings enlarged from photos taken on the Southern Rabbit Lawn. This lawn is a fragment of Calcareous Grassland, variety Carline Thistle - Sheep's Fescue Turf, sub-variety with Portland Spurge and Autumn Squill.

You can walk on the artwork and the real thing, they wont last forever so now is a good time to see them while they're fresh.

posted by dave

Friday, 28 September 2012

car park artworks finished

Life at x5 - Qudarat 1. detail

acrylic line marking paint on asphalt


There are now 2 paintings on to the asphalt in the car park. They depict the rare class of calcareous grassland .... more to follow...

posted by dave

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

White Ash Talisman Story

White Ash Talisman is a visualisation by Anna Keleher for  Berry Head National Nature Reserve and English Riviera Global Geopark.

-->"Long long ago after the great ice melt when the sea was a bit smaller than it is today and the shore was further out, the bay was filled with a waving sea of ash trees. Giant cattle roamed the soggy ground kicking up mud with cloven hooves and bears, wolves and lynx sheltered in the caves. A river snaked inland.

"You are in the mouth of the creek, a breeze from the open sea is tickling your back, you sit upright in your log boat. Your sleepy eyes rest on the flat black back of Winding River, it is she who will guide you safely home. So now lift your dear carved, decorated paddle and stir the heart of female river snake. Its easy to propel your craft along her sinuous length. Your log-boat slides easily over the dark waters as you lift your arm and let your paddle drop creating galaxies of bubbles.

The river is overhung by the lower branches of enormous trees. Leaves whisper to each other while white egrets and black cormorants watch you pass. A beaver slips from the bank and pale rocks grow suddenly out of the trees, rearing up now, to form an impressive cliff. Your home cove swings into view and pulls you in close.Dip your paddle one more time, and you power your boat out onto gritty red sand.

Chattering children fill the cove with their delight as they heap drift- wood kindling from the large pile in your log-boat into their woven baskets lined with resin tar. They are laughing as you watch them lift the baskets onto their heads and head off into the forest.

So drag your log-boat to the top of the beach, roll it over just as you always do in that special spot out of reach of the flicking tongue of female river snake. Enjoy the tingle of sand on the arches of your feet and feel for the warm smoothness of the mud trail home. Follow laughter up the narrow path between Red squirrel pines, but don’t get distracted.

You must remember to leave your paddle, just here in the shadow of Great Red Boulder Man Sharpener of Blades. But first use your paddle blade to deepen the grooves on Great Red Boulder Man’s face. Know that he will keep your sight sharp and your hearing keen. His tattoes will show you the patterns of the world in sounds and shapes and your blades will always be sharp. 

Now scramble upwards over the loose stones and big white boulders on this final slope and spring up onto the close turf of the friendly red soil.

Woodsmoke and fish drying on racks is the sweet scent of home.

The flap of the big tent is up, so now duck your head and follow the dark shapes of your cousins into the interior, dance your legs around the red hot fire pit, you must greet the charcoal embers for they are alive and will bite if you forget to do this just one time. Now sit down on a cool fresh woven mat of iris leaves and wait. You have waited a long time for this moment and now it is close. Enjoy this tranquil moment.

You have made your special journey to the island in search of the fingers of the white ash tree washed up on the shore there. You have heaped them in your log-boat and brought them back home as a gift for Wiry Uncle who will give you your first talisman. 

You have remembered to leave your paddle in the shade of Great Red Boulder Man Sharpener of Blades and you have traced the pattern of tattoes on his face. This action has keened your eyes and ears. Now you have entered the tent that breathes, with reverence, you have saluted the threshold fire and now you wait expectantly on that fresh green mat for the ceremony to proceed.

Small Wiry Uncle, with his head of shiny ringlets steps forward, his brow is marked with ochre and he has a sharp canine at his throat. He's really young to be an elder and today he is wearing an armlet of red fox fur on the top part of his arm. Turn your palms skyward ready for White Ash talisman. Your eyes are shut. This talisman is named for your tribe and it will be your guide. When the ceremony is complete you will have the authority to make talismans for yourself and others.

Wiry uncle takes a pinch of ash and sprinkles the light fluffy powder into your palm. and you smell soft fire. He blows hard and ash puffs into the air, leaving your palms streaked with grey.

This is the moment White Ash Talisman chooses to jump into your palm. Let him rest there a while and get used to your smell. Open your eyes and be still for a moment waiting while Talisman looks back at you. Know that White Ash talisman gives you extraordinary vision and keen hearing.  

This talisman is a guide to worlds distinct from your own and helps you live right."

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The people's larder

                                                           Seagull egg story by Laurie

"My dad had been wounded in the war and er, he didn't live very much longer after that so my mum brought three boys up, pretty hard times in those days and this is one of the reasons why we were out and about erm, poaching for something to eat, which was the seagulls eggs, the rabbits and erm, sometimes they used to be shot, but we used to snare them normally and there was a place in Brixham where we used to be able to sell the rabbit skins, you'd probably know that.

 On the day that I did fall over the cliffs I was with two other young lads, they were a bit older than me and we were supposed to take it in turns to go down and get the eggs. But as I was the smallest and the youngest I had to do more of it, of course that's when it all happened. Just on this last occasion when it was my turn to go, it was a bit further than we'd normally risk ourselves, but erm, and that's what happened I slipped and er, tumbled down over the cliffs there.

One of the lads got frightened and ran home, ran off, but one of the stayed with me, came down and we managed to climb back over the top and we went into what was then a little holiday camp, in the reception of the holiday camp and we got erm, the ambulance and took me to Brixham hospital. Er, in a bit of a mess obviously 'cause of all the broken eggs all over me, it's lucky that I wasn't seriously hurt."

Story by Laurie Dart,
Audio + edit by Anna Keleher,
Transcription by Alexandra Brown

This story features in "Ballad of Berry Head" a film short showing daily during the summer months  from 21st July in The Visitor Centre, Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Brixham.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Ladies' Fingers


kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria)
a characteristic component of the shallow, dry soils of limestone grassland
also occurs in dry, coastal grassland, rock ledges, cliff tops and maritime heath
'The Wildflowers of the British Isles', Streeter & Garrard

an ancient remedy for slow healing wounds


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Where do stories live when they are not being told?

Stories are part of the biodiversity of place, but where do they live when they are not being told?
Might stories pool in particular places, collect on flat surfaces or do they hang out in cracks and crevices?