So after my car park encounter i went into Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry and did an hour or so of grass raking with volunteers form the wildlife trust. I knew i would be using my had, so left my camera in the car, which i regret. Geeer!!!
These volunteers do really important work to maintain the nature reserve and encourage the development of diverse ecosystems. Alos really nice people!
After this Amy kindly took me one a tour of the nature reserve, the sculpture trail and to the park. She told me about her great idea to do dog portraits as an engagement activity to get people to talk to her about the park. As we walked about she also told me about an idea that she had had to possibly made drawings that illustrate the hidden or unknown histories. I thought that this was a great idea and told her about the histories in Marsden Park and the prevalence of the industrial history in Burn Valley Forest Park.
This got us onto a discussion as to weather or not these histories were too obvious or i/ we were looking for things that tell a story and therefore looking for connections. I thought about it then remembered what Lee, form Park services had said to me when i asked him if he was unusual because of his interest and level of passion about the history of Marsden park. To which he had replied the the parks (not a perfect quote) “are our heritage. Our living heritage. Now adays the shops are all moving out of towns to shopping centres and superstores and this is killing out towns. The parks are ours. They tell our history, but their alive. And its not just the histories of the rich. The parks are also full of stories of the everyman. The stone maison is more interesting to me than the land owner who paid for the work. This is one of the only places where people can be in touch with these histories in a living and normal context.
I thought this was really poignant at the time, but this conversation with Amy brought it back into focus with force.
In the morning I went to meet Amy in Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry Nature Reserve. The plan was to spend time with Amy and volunteers in from the wildlife trust as they work in the nature reserve, hoping that from this experience and conversations I have while I work I would get a feel for the place and what Amy might planning to do and how I could aid her or incorporate this into the Aleph App. I arrived late, (not his time because I was lost, because Lucy B had bought an A to Z for me and it works much better than the GPS on my phone) because I ha been trying to work out some techeeee stuff then night before had not not got to bed until quite early and work up late.
When I found the park I saw Amy’s camper van in the car park, but no Amy. Then a woman in her sixties and her daughter saw me and started to wave. Great I thought, I am not the only one running late. As I walked over, her daughter waved, their dogs barked and she said, “We are going to have to leave.”
‘That’s a shame; am I that late? I thought we were starting at 10” I replied
“We have been here 40 minutes”
“Oh, I’m sorry, am I that late? Are their others here”
“Well, its just us” the woman said apologetically. “And we really have to get going.”
“That’s a shame, is Amy here?”
“Who is Amy?”
“The resident artist in the nature reserve, I have come to talk to her and have a look round and try and get a feel for…”
At this point a dog wondered off, the daughter chased after it and the woman looked confounded.
“Anyway, I’m …”
“So your not…?”
“I thought you were… We were supposed to be meeting… But then your not… No, your not.. Course not. Who were you looking for.
Posted from Briercliffe, England, United Kingdom.
Today I write my blog from the back of my mini motorhome. The sun is coming down and it’s very peaceful here in an empty car park in Clitheroe. This morning I met Dorothy who is a go getter for the parks ‘friends of’ group she has secured more funding than proberly most funding officers and has a wonderful insight into the park. Some of my favourite stories so far has been the tank that was left in the park, swimming huts, stepping stones that emerge when the water is low and a beheaded otters sculpture whose head was found and returned.
I walked into the park through a different enterance and was greeted by a wave of nostalgia Hearing the Hum of the cerment works and seeing the bright green trees and big blue skies the opening to David Lynch’s series Twin peaks came to mind.
Thankfully its not as scary here in Brungerley park Though like Twin peaks the cafe does make an excellent coffee.
Today was my first visit to Brungerley Park Phil Dykes Lancashire wildlife trust officer gave me the grand tour.
My favourite idea so far = draw portraits of all the dogs that are walked in the park…..
Much more to follow tomorrow!
I am a visual artist who originally hails from the north of England, but decided to lay some roots in London. Drawing is the foundation of my art practice. I always tend to approach work with a pen in my hand. I watch as it naturally ventures into other mediums such as sculpture, installation and print. I enjoy working in and responding to interesting site specific spaces that are not necessarily the traditional white cube gallery such as sheds, offices, high rises and caravans. I make work that sensitively takes notice of human relationships and experience, the everyday, and things that intrigue me obsessively.
My website is www.amypennington.co.uk if you would like to find out more about me and my work.