This is the blog that reflects on the creation of the installation piece Camino on Leigh Beach on 18th June 2011. It has taken a few days to gather my thoughts of the day. It commenced with my bodys alarm going off at 4.02 am and diving out of bed to get down to the beach before sunrise.
The camera was turned on at 04.22, sunrise was 04.39, the tide was still high as I had moved the installation to the flat area of mud. This was good as it allowed Alan ,and Avril Hockett - and I to find our feet, have a cuppa and ease ourselves into the epic adventure in a feeling of calm.
I started to plot it out about 05.00 , Sarah Yapp, Bec Wilkinson, Julie Armour, Vicki Manning, Simon Feather all arrived over the next few hours and helped to move sand, the piece was finally blessed by Sarah and walked for the first time at about 09.00 then walked again at about 09.30 by the people of the camino who attednded in the morning.
The weather held out, just, I did get soaked about 12.30 just before the piece got breached and carried on filming as long as the camera would work in the rain.
By 13.05 the piece was covered and continued its journey into the sea!
I was surprised how easy it was to remain emotional yet balanced in creating the piece. I was sure that it would dissappear in the incoming tide, however being a fighter, it stayed. The next morning it had survived the next tide and yesterday ( tuesday 21st June ) it was still visible. There is something veyr lovely about it gradually fading away, being truly ephemeral.
Another fantastic aspect of the piece is peoples interest in photographing it. There are 100's of photos on facebook that people have up loaded in the last few days, and they keep being updated with newer different shots, so the camino has taken people on their own journeys.
I have chosen to keep this a light and documented last blog entry for this element of Camino. I have a feeling that it wont be the last time it is seen. I have a feeling the camino will appear and it journey can continue in a different way. It will over the next few weeks it will have its own minisite where we can host all of the photgraphic archive of Camino. I will post the link on the blog and the website/ facebook.
Thank you for all the people who have followed the blog. Drop me an email or a comment if you want to be kept in the loop on future developments. Joanna
Wow, its almost here. I wonder if you feel this way on the camino, knowing that within 12 hours the destination for this journey is reached . Like seeing the city in the distance after a long arduous journey, I have a spring in my step. It didnt start out that way this morning. All kinds of things were going on, but thats another story. The day like most days has run out of time and I think I am as prepared as I can be. The important thing is that the weather, although constantly changing has stabilised at the moment at cloudy but no rain till lunch time. I have looked at two or three sites and that sems to be the order of the day at the moment but it changes by the hour so its hard to truly know what I will wake up too at 3.30am.
I made up the songs of the Camino , as yet incomplete as tomorrow will add a tune. i am going to listen to it while I create.
I am lucky enough that I have friends coming down to help build it at various times across the early morning when they may have been asleep on the weekend. Special mentions for Sarah and Alan who are coming down with me. Both artist practitioners and spiritual warriors in their own ways.
I welcome everyone, although I hope it to be a quiet, contempaltive build with a relaxed and intuitive feel, all persons involved having a sense of ownership for the space and their relationship too it.
As I finish this slightly shorter piece of writing i am reminded by Elbow Mirrorball that everything has changed, That says it all really.
Good night people of the camino. See you on the road tomorrow.
Today time eluded me, I got on with the final camino preps while multi tasking with forthcoming events and the day dissappearde before I knew it. It feels right now that I am a way off from where I should be and I dont know how to bend time to make it so I have more to finish and relax tomorrow night. The weather for the weekend is looking a bit horrid and I am starting to think of how to work with the materials in torrential rain. It might be that I make the piece smaller, by about 5 metres so it is more manageable, but the jury like the weather is still out.
The timeline is done for the day , I will post on Facebook tomorrow and on the Blog for those who are interested in coming down.
I am sure part of it is the overwhelming sense of tiredness that I have been feeling over the last few days, that is making me feel this way, half way between organised and chaos. It will subside. Its pure energy which ironically is exhausting. But on that note. I am going to plod on with the tasks I can do tonigt before my eyes give up the ghost and shout at me for sleep. Good night people of the camino. Sleep well.
Today as the day of reckoning appraoches my mind has started to move beyond this piece. I have spent the day preoccupied with where to take camino next. I have many ideas, all of which are probably completely inpractical but that makes them all the more exciting.
I love that my mind never sees the end to projects but is always taking an idea and evolving it to be different, educate, challenge change. I have always done it , it doesnt scare me, in fact it is really natural for me to work in this way. My preoccupied state at the moment is constantly trying to find a balance between the focus for the present and the new paths for the future. There is always a tension of juxtaposition in my life in all I do. Its finding the balance.
I am worrying about over sleeping on Day 44, I am worrying that the weather might be so bad it will be a last struggle. I am worrying that I wont get the shape right and I will be panicky which will stop it being as I want it to be. I am worrying because worrying is what I do very well, in a sense it is my security shield. Worrying makes me think things through so I can make sure I have everything I need. Worrying has always bought the anal ness to my life and I have always embraced it. At least on this occasion I have been sleeping through the night, which I dont when I have forthcoming events, so the pressure isnt so great. Its a funny one. But without the worrying, I would not feel confident, its become my check -in register.
Saying all that, I know that if I approach the build with the following cornerstones I will be ok.
A calmness of mind
An open heart
A fed tummy
A love for the piece
An understanding that it will be what it should be
I am happy though, the final tasks are underway, tomorrow ona practical side I am going to get tools and stuff together so I can take Friday - Day 43 to really rest in my excitement as I really must go to be early, eat well and control my excitement.
Preoccupied that is the word for it. Excited is the emotion.
So its nearly here, or rather i am nearly there. Today was spent wading in the water, marking out the tide pattern for the return to the sea of the peice. Alan Hockett and I - Alan is the collaborator on the stop frame animation of the piece on Saturday, we worked out that the footage will make about 3 minutes of footage alltogether, a mammoth 5040 frames of data over 14 hours. A mammoth task and another lasting memory for the installation. A testament to the beleif that my friends and fellow creatives have in the piece in order to support my journey.
Day 40 is ominus with so many religious and biblical events. In the christian calender - lent was seen as a way to place god at the centre of the world and relfect, stemming from Jesus going into the desert to battle the devil. Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights to find contemplation and renewal. I guess thats what this has been to me a way to battle the demons and seek some form of peace and renewal, while constantly moving on and freeing myself from the past chains without major harm to self or others.
I looked today for someone who was blogging from the Camino de Santiago de Compostela but I think it is too early in the day, they are probably still walking, I thought it would be good to see what they are doing right now on their fortieth day, so close to thier destination, to walk up the cathedral steps after such a monumental journey.
I am still trying to work out my trip next year. For my fortieth birthday, do I go for the whole thing or graduate it over the next few years? The answer and opportunity will present itself I am sure. When the time is right.
Tonight I am tired but feeling both scared and excited. Scared that I am not ready to create the piece yet, but there is still time for that to become nervous energy and excited because , like everything with this wonderful indulgent piece, it feels right and the jigsaw keeps fitting in to place where it should be. I am still careful to go with it and not be too prescriptive, aside form the actual shape. This is hard as it goes against my nature as an organiser but actually it is bearable.
I have this real belief that the world conspires to make things happen that are just and fair. I have always been like this, I suppose its similar to Karma, what you put out there is ultimately what you get back in return. I have read books about it, all say similar things, and I have practised it, and I have to admit it does make me personally feel at ease with myself and less stressed. A few years ago, I went to visit my dad who was working in India, it was the first time I had been away on my own for quite a while, it was scary and exciting all at the same time. I had a ponder while I was there, I had a lot of not so positive stuff going on at home and it gave me a chance to have the breathing space to actually see what i was about and what drives me. For me it was this ; having a na open heart, love , respect, dignity and integrity. I know if I place them as the parameters of all i do, it is a good thing. Keeping it up is hard, at times I find it hard to bite my lip, and allow my anger ( which is probably unresolved hurt ) if I am honest to fire up and emerge from my lips as a weapon. This i know is not cool. It hurts people even momentarily and it really isnt a great way to deal with things as I have found that I then have to deal with the anger before I deal with the issue. So I have decided to make a commitment to trying to live by my cornerstones and when I feel challenged to go back to the old way off doing things I am going to stop and see what has really triggered it. Allow my self to process it and not be swayed by the need to act immedicately. This is a hard one for me as I am quick to change and cope with the change - in fact change is no real issue.. Maybe thats another lesson. My Dad once said i move from one thing to the next so quickly that its hard to keep up. I have done that my whole life. But now, as I start to see the end of my journey with Camino, with all the reflection I think, keeping true to myself and paceing myself and my actions is the way to do it. In going through life seeing so many things I have not really taken in what I see, and noted its preciousness, and thats no good because in not missing out on life I have missed out on the nitty gritty which makes life interesting.
This morning, my friend Syd and I went to visit an allottment plot in Leigh. She got a phone call after being on the waiting list for 3 years that one had become availiable and asked if I wanted to do it with her.
This is very exciting, a plot of land to tend to and in essence a space to get the fundamentals right. I am excited at the prospect of the hard work ahead and looking forward to drinking a glass of chablis overlooking our plants after a hard days digging. Its what I need to do but maybe its
A relaxing day, taking stock of what has been happening and the week to come. This week everyone in the house has a busy time. Exam season is here, Camino is coming, school trips are happening, events are imminent. So I spent the day not thinking about all those things and it did me good.
As I enter the final week of the camino journey the spiritual and the reflective while present, will have to battle for space in my mind with logisitics of creating the piece. Knowing who is down, sorting out the camera, getting the materials and all it entails as well as checking the daily weather update - at the moment low cloud but no rain. But this will change during the week. I was thinking what would I do if it was torrential rain? I would have to create, the weather is part of it. Life goes on regardless though doesnt it, the piece cannot be postponed or abandoned because it would lose its integrity.
Integrity is the glue between playing and performing. The essence that keeps the piece to have meaning and soul. It has featured a lot in my thinking this years piece, not because my work has ever lacked intergity but I think as a person I have been trying to be true to myself and integrity is key to that.
Off to write to do lists, I joined a forum today, this is a new experience. There seems to be a different language going on there. Its all a bit weird, they seem to be protectors of the rules and everything around it. I am sure this is how forums work, but it was a little scary, the users sharing made up names so not really trusting and not really wishing to be seen as themselves. Conversations that dont really explain anything, more of a staggered conversation that could take agesgood at it to actually get a response. All very odd.
So this is where I am in the interactive world.
Doodle - bring the cyber peeps to you in one place - like
Blogging - new to me not very but will get better but getting to grips with the content but havent got a clue about eveything at the side ------------>
Forums - managed to fill in the form and even posted something
Twitter - have an account- got no idea
So I am off to battle the cyber demons, and ease myself into rest with an open heart and a growing cyber mind!
So again I am writng the bog late, its actually sunday morning and so I am being retrospective, listening to desert island discs the peoples choice and its been interesting to think about how people resonate towards music, and how it captures different emotions, memories and states of mind. I took part in the process a while back, mine included Nina Simone - Here comes the sun - a song Sean and I walked back up the Aisle at our wedding. Bizets - Pearl Fishers Duet, a constant companion throughout my life. Ralph Vaughn Williams - A Lark ascending, Elgars Cello concerto, The Clash - London Calling. I am listeniing to it on Iplayer so I dont know what the most popular track is going to be. But it seems that there is a shared enjoyment of certain tracks - anything by the beatles in its many guises, therie seems to be a british slant in the choices that have been made. Saterday - day 37 was spent moochong about - firstly on the art trail to see and support the artists, secondly to have a stroll, it was right that our first port of call was Alan Hocketts venue - a great friend of mine whose work I adore for its ghost like and haunting qualities and depictions of our local enviroment in a a new and exciting way. What i love about the trail is that it hosts artists who are all different and create unique pieces that inspire and inform. I believe Art trail means a lot to the artists involved. I observed one such artist setting up, a usually feisty individual with lack of respect for other people , neatly setting up there table full of information in such a proud way it was humbling to see that someone felt as proud as I was to be part of this fantastic network of artists.
Friends came over for supper last night, we made the best curries and sat and mulled over life on the deck while all the time the rain made it feel more like february rather than June. whats going on.. get me too my desert island!
Today, is slightly tinged with sadness. A friend passed away a few weeks ago who I have not really seen for a long time but started in the music industry around the same time as I did. Today he has his sending off service in London. I have chosen not to attend, sometimes it is a strange decision but, we havent seen each other for years, like all death it brings such a moment of mortality that bears down on my shoulders and I reflect on the fact that I have lost a few good friends along the path that I am travelling. I felt that I didnt need to go. A loss for words for a life lived to the full but of which I have not really been a part of.
Still I hope it sends him on his way and that he is at peace now. In shedding a tear, I remember the carefree and heady days of our youth and the naivity that bought us to were we are now. Much love to you Des Fallon may your adventures be filled with fun and light and your films of new things be forever shown in the heavenly cinema. Jo
This is the third time I have written this entry to the blog. Is something or someone trying to tell me something ? On thursday night - its now saturday morning, I was one of the presenters on Pecha Kucha- a collaborative evening between Leigh Art Trail and Metal Culture. Pecha kucha is a process where the precsenter uses 20 slides for only 20 seconds each slide. The time is a strange thing as 20 seconds is too long for a statement but not long enough to of any depth what so ever.
My way of dealing with it was to link slides in batches. The presentation was very biographical, around my journey to this point in my life, the process of creating the piece that needed to be so precise, made me look at what is important to me and what bits were neccesary to explain to people, along with that of camino was really interesting, at times a little uncomfortable, as its also the slides that you choose not to use that tell a hidden story and the reasons behind that.
For me, camino has become a path that has been the self analysis that has raised many questions, most of which will be answered in the future in their own time.
Camino is just over a week from being realised, there feels like a lot to do: seeing who if anyone wants to particpate in the making , getting the first batch of cockle shells, working out he way to start the project , then more practical things like , what do I need to take for welfare, whats the weather going to be like, how will I manage it if peoiple are walking across it. Will the camera work, its the start of the jitters. Its nervy. Its exciting.
This weekend is the day for the commencement of the first weekend of The Leigh Art Trail. www.Leigharttrail.co.uk I am really pleased for all the artists and wish them luck over the next few days.