So my plan was to get round all the parks in one day, but i did not even come close.
So in the morning i went exploring round Burn Valley Forest Park. Its big and quite confusing to navigate. The walkable bit being a ring around a methane plant. If you did not know it was there then it just looks like a picturesque hill. But this made it feel even harder to get your bearings in. The park is beautiful and some really interesting waterway engineering such as lodges and streams, that i am guessing these are quite old. But the park as a whole is quite new (bits about 35 years old, but if i am wrong please let me know) and because of this had a very different feel to the parks i had visited yesterday, which were both felt very victorian/ edwardian.
In keeping with yesterdays theme i started off by getting lost, sort of! I was exploring an area of the park further north than the area i thought i was in, but it was a very good mistake. I came across a place where two streams became one and had a go at making some moving/ movie postcards. I also had a go at taking some photographs which i thought might be a nice, simple and interesting content for the Aleph App. For now, here are some stills
Later that morning i met Lindsay Duncanson to chat about the park and to walk around the lodge. Here i made some more video postcards before we walked round and she explained what information she had found out about the parks so far. She also started asking some hard questions such as how will the aleph app improve or enhance the experience of people who use the park? What is the aim? What is the level of interactivity? Startted to think about how the timeline of this project will be very short and require great organisation and co-operation. Little bit scared!!!
Also found this site which had beaufitful light and a whirlpool, a posible place for filming or making an activity????
So my plan was to get round all the parks today, but it was very far from happening. I got very lost. Not really a good thing for a digital artist doing stuff with mapping, but then i guess you can take the boy out of the special class, but you cant take the dyslexia out of the boy.
So in the end i eventually got to Corporation Park in Blackburn. It is big! It also has a very different feel to Marsden Park. The front reminds me of Coventry’s memorial park which i used to go to with friends when i was a teenager, but the walkways through the slope/ forest bit is really beautiful. It kind of reminded me of a small Montreal’s Mount Treal (hope i got that right)
Its a great park and every time you turn a corner you find something new to explore or a new fasility. As i got to the park late i figured i had missed Lucy, who is resident in this park, but did find something which i did not know weather or not it was one of her works.
Someone, i thoght maybe Lucy, had cleared away a square of the leaves, leaving a blank bit of the pathway in a long wide pathway/road covered ina carpet of yellow leaves. Intended asa n artwork or not I thought it was kind of beautiful and felt like a really subtle intervention into the landscape. Making something almost missable out of the absence of something that is ubiquitous across the park.
Dropped Orly off to her park (down some very windy, ut beautiful roads on a ver wet and wind day, but you would not know it to look at the photo) or planned too. As she was meeting Lee from park services and staff from waterlane child centre, and reps from the friends of the park group, it seemed like a great opportunity to meet people and find out information about the park so i gatecrashed the meeting. They were all great and got the pistons in my head starting to pump.
Ideas i had for possible content for the Aleph app (its a treasure hunt app for the i phone that i will be using to make art and heritage walks across the parks; more to come so stay tuned) these were activity cards for parents to use with their children, games, information/ identity cards about local forner and former, historical documents that can be downloaded at pertinent locations, and stories that navigate and relate to local myths and the actual landmarks in and around the park.
Thanks to all of them and especially to Lee form park services who took Orly and I on a really informative tour of the park. He knew loads about the park and was really passionate about the park, both as a facility for the local community and as a point of heritage preservation. He told Orly and i stories about life when the park was first made (such as a story about a stone maison who was given free range over the park after impressing the land owner, Mr Walton) He also showed us a number of the parks architectural features and explained how the park had developed more recently. ONe of m favourite bits was the massively ornate and over engineered bridge (seen below) This has a water feature running under it. I wondered weather it might be some sort of meditative water folly for inspiring feelings of the sublime , but i have no evidence to back up this thinking other that otherwise it is a very expensive way to make a paddling pool.
Orly Orbach on the bridge
This did start me thinking about the building of these parks as being indicative of industrialised victorian era and reflective of a romantic and sometimes philanthropic philosophy. If this is the case then what does how their used now say about the philosophies of out time of late or post industrial/ information society (if this sounds too naff then please pretend i did not write it; in my defence it’s late and this thought is not fully formed, but is already starting to niggle)
Also, apparently the national trust had an artist in resident near by… i will have to remember to research this.
so for yesterday…
I got to the house and it is sweet, but the journey from cov was horrid. But now iits over 30 hours later and i have not managed to get unpacked properly. We had a meeting getting to ‘officially’ know each other about 5.30 but we had been chatting for quite a while by then. decided on my pln of action for the week tonight. decided that i would spend tuesday seeing all the parks to get my head around the geography and an idea of the different natures of each of the parks.
My work explores the processes and types of play within art making. My interest in this as a subject matter stems from a belief that art making is an integral process combining intellectual and physical skills and is therefore life affirming. My philosophy is that play and playfulness is central to the artistic act as these ‘way of being’ allow for the simultaneous exploration of materials and ideas, a true and reflexive engagement with the world around you and the development of imagination that allows one to exist within new paradigms.
To explore ideas around playfulness in the creative process, I often use specific points in artistic creation or encounter as the subject matter for my work. I have made flip books and films of experiments with materials, auto destructive sculptures which explode violently at their moment of economic consumption and touchscreen drawing games to be used by the audience, but whose interactive drawings are in an immediate and constant state of degradation. By presenting aspects of the creative process in ways and formats that juxtapose expectations I aim to create meaningful aesthetic encounters/ event that simultaneously delight audiences and demystify the artistic act.
My website is www.lawrencemolloy.co.uk