— Ecogeographer

#coralcommunities > #socsea2018blue > Anchor Man

I’m starting to gather data about objects that were brought together at the business and academic conference ‘The Society and the Sea‘ via a workshop held on the banks of the Thames at Greenwich, London. Delegates were asked to bring an object from their home or from their walk to the conference that meant something to them about their coast.

Some objects were left as a keepsake, some were left with instructions “please return via post to …. “. As the lead artist, it’s been my job to check this anchor gets put into a red post box. It’s on its way.  The owner says ‘they feel naked without it’.

This work I have named ‘Object Elucidation’. It has been born out of a Global Challenges Research Funded project called Coral Communities. NGO’s have been pivotal in shaping the research and practice.  The arts team have summarised the ‘Object Elucidation’ workshop in this photographic essay. It captures the event and its urban beach staged setting.

The next job is to build another blog post that shows people talking about their objects as they hold or position them onto an aerial chart. This chart was made of sand and it framed the stage. It was a proscenium stage, the elevated backdrop was the river and the skyline of London – a landscape laden with centuries of sea-based heritage.

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I’ve moved from non-indigenous plantations to endangered sea meadows in the space of 3 years. In 2018 I will move between both with a focus on soil, saltwater swimming and communication. The territory I have to cover is rich, multi-dimensional and requires collaboration with experts in particular fields as well as working with communities who know their place.

I will have to communicate to academics through papers, NGO’s through practice-based activities such as workshopping and documenting, and to the public through drawing, exhibiting and listening. I also will slowly re-work the visual aspects of this site.

Follow the work…

#tagscape / NON-indigenous plantations, LIVED forests
#coralcommunities / SEA meadows, MANGROVE forests and CORAL

and watch out for the development of the following projects:
#soilscape #saltwaterswimming #homeofsprings and @disposablecups

octopus_object #CoralCommunities #coastscape #UKSandDune #DominicaWilliamson #JasonParsonsImages from the UK Coral Communities Visual Methods workshop led by Dominica Williamson with facilitation from NGO’s and scientists. Photographer Jason Parsons helped people to capture their objects ‘Bring an item that means something to you about the coast and that you can talk about in terms of ecosystem services. This can be an object or an image (e.g. a photograph or a picture from a newspaper/magazine), or anything else that springs to mind.’ ‘Now create a coastscape in a group, it can be an abstract idea or a simulation.’

‘The video, photographs and the making [artist led visual methods by Dominica Williamson] are about perspective taking, but also understanding each other’s perspectives and building empathy’ Louisa Evans, Senior Lecturer: Environment and Sustainability, Exeter University

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Alexis Rockman rocks.
My dad would have treasured his round painting.
Mark Dion, how you would like his curiosities,
Would your mum have?
Your cabinet spoke.

Pam Longobardi, swimmer of caves, he would have thought you exotic,
You are an archaeological goddess.
Andy Hughes, you presented his room.
You read her favourite, Robert Frost.
The room was silent. I think?

Do you now Martin Parr? is chimed,
The Snow Queen glides past.
Knowingly a dog stares us out,
It is a sort of fairy tale.
On the dog mush, I realise,
They needed a sustainable product designer.
Would Howard agree?
We land in a glacier.

I picture the cockpit for him.
I take a GPS grab to show 500ft.
How to describe the blue ice?
Skating on a turquoise lake.
We see Turnagain in elevation and aerial.

Seattle mountains replace the Anchorage view –
I let the battery go flat, too many photographs of cups.
The map is followed in 3D, on all 3 chairs, for hours.
We land.
The suitcase is replaced.
Dad has gone.
(Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, what would you say about the plasticity of such a brain?)
My legs go hard. Sheets of ice really go past.

My sister and I sit either side of his slippers,
Everything seems sacred she says, I haven’t touched it.
Our eyes lift from the slippers to the box collection,
To the Valentine’s envelope ready,
To the candle that quietly smokes.

I drift to his rooms of ships and mermaids.
My eyes spill over his table,
I straighten a collection of silver.
I collect printed photographs.
In the past, I’m posted in the vestry window.

I’m stood on a box in the bell tower.
(He started the bell ringing again, George’s daughter just reminded mum.)
My sister and I listen to his singing voice past the rude screen,
She studies his performance.
I try and gain confidence in Alto.

I’m walked from Mullion to Kynance (something my sister and I have continued to do).
Paul Foot, Peter Long – they walk – other vicar’s names feature thereafter, and priests, monks, old ladies,
they gather.
As do Easter egg hoards,
Youth clubs,
Garden Fetes on croquet lawns.
I dress as a fox, my sister as a white rabbit.
The next year I make an Indian headdress from the goose feathers.

A Dragon fly garden,
A Tortoise garden.
We loose a roost of Guinea Fowl,
We eat supers of honey.
We are not allowed a tree house.
We climb out the small window in secret protest.
The victorian greenhouse holds the weight,
The tropical fish and banana tree look up.

I watch him paint. I listen to him tap on the typewriter.
We read his poems as requested.
We insert a celtic cross from deviant art.
Different denominations are present.
And different friends, many close.
You lay like a saint. We all see you.
We think of your hymn.
You have gone.

His hats dangle around, his clocks tick again.
The radio is back on.
The carpet pile moves,
I make porridge for one.
We miss the phone.
We miss the colour.
We miss hiding the bananas.
I read his books.

I notice the roundness,
The lack of plastic. I think, trad dancing.
I search the owls, the spiders, the big birds,
The hat pins, the fob watches, the socks,
The big boom.

The Irish travelling priest, The Snake Padre,
Dad, The King.
Old Man Yellow Beard,
Grando, Uncle Donald,
You lay like a saint.
We all see you.
We think of the hymn you wrote.
You have gone.

You stood me on a rock in Goonhilly,
Whilst looking for snakes.
A stare at that space in my daydreams.
Your smell is faint now.
You have a necklace of colour around your new neck. Your creativity still spills,
We have a new garden to tend. We feel love. We must not be lost.
You celebrated every occasion. We must.
But my pages of Chroma, still lands on pages of shadow.

Feb 2014-2015,

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Yesterday I photographed Autumn. Today I am reflecting on Summer. It’s been bitter sweet. Aug 1st was held without my dad. He died hours before Valentine’s Day this year. He had a summery beard, yellow and ginger streaks – excellent grey as he grew old. His death has continued to make me think about decomposing, forests, the unseen. Things I was in part thinking about already. Perhaps my sick sense knew what was coming.

This Summer sunshine adorned our peninsula and dried the bones of everything including the frames of old cottages. Early in the summer heat, I danced with Sam Bleakly to African beats, did dance hall by a giant glitter ball and surfed in style with Andy Hughes (an injury’s held me back). I felt better. In late summer, I was lifted completely into my living body as I watched Sascha Goetzel for the first time. Full embodiment. The orchestra brought to life two Queen of Sheba treats. Oh wow, how we were processed into the avenue of a proms highlight.

Dominica williamson - Hawthorn at Perranporth
Dominica Williamson - Sorrel at Perranproth

Dominica Williamson - Willow, Perranporth
Dominica Williamson - Marram Grass at Perranporth

Dominica Willamson - Bramble, Perranporth
Dominica Williamson - Willow and Hawthorn, Perranporth

Now as I reach and pick the last blackberries (more crumble) and my boyfriend harvests seaweed for pizza, I think about the reaching, the gathering, the walking down the wild avenues with stained hands. I feel back in my body but connected to the beneath and wondering like never before. The leaves are dropping and starting to be tread into the mudden ground. Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Sloe and more line the track but I can bounce back on to Marram grass and catch the Autumn sun. The rays are fainter though and this week I realise it is time to concentrate on the Archaelogical in depth. I am re-entering a phenomenological framework, how apt given the year. I am walking in part within an archaeologist’s framework. Last time I walked with a programer. This time I have Goetzel, summer surf and Jamaican beats as well as the landscape at my side.

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A snippet of work

I’ve been designing many things for the Giant’s Quoit project such as the website, leaflets, posters and educational workshops and resources. It’s an exemplar community project and an important archaeological site – the first dig under a quoit for a long time.

This Autumn I am busy designing the App, the book, the walks brochure (brilliantly researched by Ramblers) and I am developing the Oral History side things, which is helping to broaden the outreach. Below is a snippet of the design work.

Giant's Quoit poster design by Dominica Williamson
Poster design for the Giant’s Quoit

Giant's Quoit Leaflets
Flyer designed for the Giant’s Quoit

Educational fun resources by Dominica Williamson
One of the educational resources I created for the Giant’s Quoit

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Sker Point by Dominica Williamson
‘Sker Bay'; mixed media by Dominica Williamson

In Gyre: The Plastic Ocean
Booth Clibborn Editions, London
Book and exhibition catalogue, 2014
Illustrations for text/essay titled ‘Embedded’
By Dominica Williamson

I went to Alaska this year. It was to see the launch of Gyre: The Plastic Ocean and to take my mum on a flight over glaciers for her 70th. A once in a life time event organised by my sister and boyfriend. I did some illustrations for the catalogue and so even more, mum loved flying into the snow!

Get the book NOW to learn more about the plastic in our oceans.
You can buy it from places like Waterstones.

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Mole by Dominica Williamson
A Mole found in Treslothan Woods, Troon, Cornwall, whilst on an archaeological walk.
It’s death has made me reflect on the year. It’s been a progressive, creative one, but also one full of strange sadness’. Drawing it has helped – an industrious digger but so soft and it has such fantastic claws and pads, and a beautiful mouth with shapely whiskers.
Mole at a Distance by Dominica Williamson

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Thinking back

Trees by the surf, Portugal
Sandy explorations, South of Lisbon, Portugal by Dominica Williamson
Entering the life of Lisbon, Portugal by Dominica Williamson
A find, snake skin by the beach & raw colour in Sintra, Portugal by Dominica Williamson
Lisbon, travel & tiles, Portugal
Yellow, gold & cake in Cintra, Portugal by Dominica Williamson
Burgandy, yellow, blue in Portugal
South of Lisbon, the best cake of all, Portugal, by Dominica Williamson

The trip of 2012. It was a flight. There was some surf. I photographed instead of sketching.

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This time last year I was working
on the below illustration
for a cancer theme and in memory
of my granny Whisker.

Colchicum Autumnale by Dominica Williamson
Colchicum autumnale finished
section by Dominica Williamson

This year I am in the midst of creating my first very own studio and so painting is on hold.
However, I’ve just finished a glass commission and about to take on another. I can work without a studio at present because I am working with people who cut glass connected to computers – so from your file. I’ve worked with stain glass and lead in the past and a bit of acid but this is etching with machines. Benjamin eat your heart out – it’s my botanical work becoming mechanised.

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There’s been new interest in the project theirwork recently as well as my general practice.
Here’s a couple of publications about theirwork and a blog post written by Emmet – co-developer. (I am up-dating the theirwork blog next month so I will make a new link to it later.)

Chapter in Rethinking Maps:
New Frontiers in Cartographic Theory by Routledge
editor Martin Dodge (I will put up the intro to the book sometime; the rest of the chapters you have to get from the book in print, which will be in all good libraries with a geography section.)

Article in Fourth Door Review:
This is available in print too.
Ask me if you can’t get hold of it and I will point you.

Emmet Connolly’s blog post about the publications at time of sign off!

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