Ronald Blythe A Ronald Blythe ‘Reading Post’ at St Andrew’s Church, Wormingford will feature his poem ‘Down to the Dwelling House’ plus other works from his extensive catalogue.
Ronald Blythe is a literary icon, famous for his groundbreaking novel Akenfield, inspiring the 1974 film ‘Akenfield’ by peter Hall both of which achieved cult status.
James Canton has extracted a piece from his book Out of Essex- Reimagining a Literary Landscape (2013 Signal Books Ltd) which tracks the path of literary figures venturing into the wilder areas of Essex -- here focusing on the vicinity of the Round Church at Little Maplestead where his work will be presented. James Canton is an acclaimed writer and lectures at the University of Essex on the MA Wild writing course. His latest book Ancient Wonderings: Journeys into Prehistoric Britain, published by Collins 2017, is a series of wanders into the British landscape searching for remnants of its distant past and peoples.
Ian Cooper will be displaying his photographs from Survey East Project, focusing on a particular stretch of the Blackwater estuary alongside Philip Terry’s work at St Peter’s Chapel. The images were used in the audio print production Blackwaterside (RS012) by Random Spectacular and evoke the eeriness of the saltmarsh landscape.
Heidi Jukes will exhibit small ‘OutPost works’ painted on board using visual references from rural sites on exploratory visits to Roman Hill, Essex, to be displayed close to source at Fingringhoe Wildlife Centre. Heidi Jukes will also be exhibiting a visual timeline depicting artists holding a connection to Ronald Blythe at St Andrew’s Church, Wormingford. A further OutPost at St John the Baptist Church at Layer de la Haye focuses on a single piece of work by Heidi Jukes depicting Abberton Reservoir, the site of which was used for practice raids for the bouncing bomb in WW2.
Simon Keenleyside is a respected artist painting the hinterland in a psychogeographical manner, his new work, focusing on Benfleet creeks and marshland, will be on show for the first time at St Margaret's Church at Benfleet.
Gary Lawrence won the John Moores Visitors Choice prize last year and has made history by winning the Jerwood drawing prize twice (2011 and 2017) for his intense detailed landscape drawings. His otherworldly paintings using a minimal colour palette mesmerize by transforming a mundane scene into into a supernatural landscape. His sketchbook field studies of rural Essex, entitled Thumbnails will be exhibited at Braintree Station, last stop on the line.
Adrian May is researching the history of ancient Essex orchards. His new work revolves around the apple variety Discovery, a seedling from the ancient Worcester Pearmain variety, the Mother Tree for which was discovered in 1940 at Langham, Essex . Adrian May was a songwriter for English Folk Clubs before becoming a teacher at University of Essex. He is the author of An Essex attitude (Wivenbooks 2009) and his writing meshes folklore, with fairytale, using mythological and symbolic connections in prose, poetry and song. His OutPost will be situated amongst the ancient trees of the abandoned apple orchard at Bromley Cross.
Richard Mabey has extracted a piece of writing from his foreword to Aftermath (published by Black Dog Books) which will be available to read alongside Ronald Blythe’s work at Wormingford ‘Reading Post’. Richard Mabey is a longstanding friend of Ronald Blythe and this thoughtful and insightful piece will be extended in his new book due out this October ‘Turning the Boat for home, a life writing about nature’( Chatto and Windus). Richard Mabey is an acclaimed author, chiefly known for his works on relations between nature and culture.
Robert Macfarlane will be presenting an extract from The Wild Places (Granta 2007), in particular his description of ‘The Wilderness’ from the chapter Saltmarsh. Macfarlane has discovered a mapped site in Essex named ‘The Wilderness’ and it is here that his OutPost will be situated. Robert Macfarlane, a respected pioneer of the freestyle landscape writing genre, hunts remote landscape in search of a deep rooted spirit of wildness. Following on from WG Sebald, (Rings of Saturn: Eichborn 1995) whose descriptive ramblings and reflections on characters and ideas were groundbreaking, Macfarlane is currently promoting his new book Underland: A Deep Time Journey (Hamish Hamilton 2019).
Andrew Motion poet, novelist and biographer, Poet Laurate from 1999-2009 has strong links to Stisted, where he spent his early years. Andrew Motion is presenting an extract from his recent book Essex Clay (Faber and Faber 2018), a poem sequence featuring a description of the River Blackwater as it flows through the meadows and under China Bridge at Stisted.
Rachel Spender will be exhibiting hand made black and white aerial photographs of Essex salt marshes at Fingringhoe Wildlife Centre. Rachel Spender conducts observations of the landscape in a far-seeing and critical manner.
Philip Terry has chosen St Peter’s Chapel at Bradwell to present a ‘Reading Post’ comprising a selection of Quennets (Carcanet, 2016), a collection of poems he wrote whilst walking and visiting sites in Essex including the chapel. The poems are written in a sonnet-like form derived from the philosophy pioneered by the Oulipo group in 1960, founded by the surrealist poet Raymond Queneau, which incorporate a free-style platform based on mathematics and literary constraints, Alongside Quennets will be Blackwaterside (Random Spectacular 2017) which includes several of Philip Terry’s works from this series.
Philip Terry is the Director of the Centre of Creative Writing at Essex University. His book Dante’s Inferno (Carcanet, 2014), which relocates Dante’s poem to current day Essex, was an Independent Poetry Title of the Year and a TLS Book of the Year.
Ultramarine; Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond will present Blackwaterside (St Jude’s publishing imprint Random Spectacular), two pieces of music inspired by their time working close to the Blackwater estuary. This will be presented at Bank Building, Othona, Bradwell, in conjunction with Philip Terry’s and Ian Coopers' OutPost on the seawall.. Also on show at Bank Building will be will be the duo’s photo film of Ian Cooper’s photographs screened on loop with an accompanying soundtrack.
Becky Willis is focusing on the starting hut on the sea wall at Goldhanger. Used a start point for sailing races,the idea of the hut as a point of reference, an exact point of coordinates in an wide and empty vista is enticing. The hut, usually closed, will be open to the public, enabling engagement with an interior installation of maps and images, emphasising the feeling of a shelter and harbour in a lonely landscape.Visitors are encouraged to record their experiences on cards to add to the installation.
Ken Worpole presents an expanded version of his article The legacy of the English Deluge (New Statesman 21/01/19); an article studying the effects of the great flood of 1953 on Canvey Island. To be situated on Canvey Island seawall next to Labworth Cafe, the work demonstrates the legacy of the great catastrophe, in particular focusing on archivist Hilda Grieve and her detailed account of the flood, regarded today as a great work of social history. A minute by minute narrative of the night’s events, the suspenseful record is illuminating and prescient.
Ken Worpole is an acclaimed writer and social historian, his work includes many works on architecture, landscape and public policy. He has recently published The Isle of Dogs; Before the Big Money (with photographs by Mike Seaborne. Hoxton Mini Press Oct 2018).
Mark Wallinger is referencing the ‘Stone Bomb’ by Sylvia Pankhurst, who in 1935 commissioned sculptor Eric Benfield to create this monument as a protest against war in the air. The dedication on the bomb reads ‘To those who in 1932, upheld the right to use bombing aeroplanes, this monument is raised as a protest against war in the air.’ Benfield stated that those who had preserved bombing were politically and morally dead, and this monument stood as their gravestone. The monument is still to be seen, hidden by bushes in Sylvia Pankhurst’s front garden of ‘The Red House’,( since demolished) in Woodford, where she lived from 1924 for 30 years. Britain’s first anti-war memorial. (OutPost tbc).
Mark Wallinger has recently unveiled his latest work, ‘The World Turned upside Down’ at LSE campus,London.