Monday, 30 November 2009

Failed Structures

I woke this morning to see a strong wind blowing in from the north and the forecast was for an overnight frost followed by possible snow.

I went out to the end of the point to try out a box for making columns, I wanted to see whether I could make a column out of sand as I had previously done with earth. It failed, but at least it kept me warm and busy.

I packed everything into the van and went to explore the ruined military buildings scattered around the point. There were some interesting rooms full with sand and as I had my shovel I was thinking about doing some digging.

It would be great to excavate one or two of these rooms and then place something in the spaces. Security is an issue however. I had spoken to Andrew about this before and he had said it would not be a problem as long as we could put a metal gate on the entrance to stop people leaving rubbish inside.

More investigation is needed, perhaps?

In the afternoon I went beach combing for sea coal and drift wood. I was struck by the different coloured stone and the possibility of doing something sculptural with them.

The wind picked up and as the tide came in I had to watch my back as the occasional wave would rush right up to me with some force. As I left the point I picked up some large iron railway fixings Andrew had in storage. I will take them back to the Studio in Hackney and live with them a little before deciding what it is that I want to do with them.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Steven Allbutt AIR 2009

I had been to Spurn a number of times in the past. Ever since I lived in Hull during the mid 90s I have been returning to this unique, beautiful and always shifting landscape.

As part of the 1st year of my Fine Art degree at Leeds in 2004 I had worked on the point completing an art and community project. When Andrew asked me to return to Spurn as A.I.R I jumped at the chance of collaborating with Andrew and working along Spurns shifting coastline experimenting with ideas long held as well as those recently developed, following a residency at the Florence Trust in London.

The first thing I began work on was an idea put forward by Andrew about framing the landscape. Offering points at which walkers, bird watchers, day trippers, fisherman and local people could stop, look and take in points of interest. As Wildlife Warden, Andrews intimate knowledge of Spurns wildlife, geography and human history is an incredibly valuable resource, a resource that most people never have access too. The majority of people who visit Spurn will walk through over and around sites of great interest without ever having known of there existence.

I arrived at the point and met with Andrew who was busy with a huge fishing competition along the spit. We looked over and discussed my first prototype for he framing stands and came up with ideas for final materials, colours and sizes. I spent the rest of the morning walking Spurn photographing possible views to draw peoples attention to.

At one point a thunder storm rolled quickly over and I found cover in the abandoned Artillery position.

In the afternoon I retrieved a large piece of drift wood to take back to the studio. I used the comments being made by the fisherman as an excuse to make periodic stops.

At 3.30 I decided to make my way back to the Farm where I was staying as the sun was going down and the tide was coming in.

Artists On Spurn 2007 onwards

Spurn Point is a fast disappearing stretch of the East Yorkshire coastline. It has been the greatest influence on my artistic endeavours for the last twenty years and my life since I was seven years old, living at Paull on the Humber bank.

A fascination with painting and drawing naturally led me to this raw spit of land where I started to record my impressions. A love of collecting and beach combing conspired to bring me to the artworks I create now. Through my art therapy work I am interested in the process of creating art and I have let that process take me where it will.

My work is concerned with the elemental nature of existence and the transient form of natural and manufactured objects.

Importance is placed with the elemental effects on natural and manmade materials from exposure to the sea.

They are evidence of the power of natural forces to change this detritus into unique special objects of great beauty for their own sake.

Special objects? Why? When glancing at the pebbles on the beach, do we find an individual stone so personally exciting or uniquely appealing? Seeing the object through an artists’ eye I feel it stands for itself and should perhaps be displayed individually or as a collection, not altered or used to create a pictorial image.

A lifelong preoccupation with collecting and the nature of sequence and repetition cannot be separated from my work.

The form we occupy today as human beings is only transient and our desperate efforts to halt the process………. A reluctance to accept our own mortality?

The environmental artwork at Spurn relates to the stark environment, the groynes, the lighthouse, movement, the disintegration and destruction, the ebb and flow, the organic nature of the space, a homage to the creative force Spurn evokes in me.

The items were all gathered from one particular stretch of coastline, Spurn Head in East Yorkshire, a fast eroding and disappearing peninsular.

Martin Waters

For a more in depth look at Martins practice and his time as AIR at Spurn please click on the following links

Adrian Wynn Artist In Residence 2009

"Spurn Photographs 2005-2009"
61 photographs of Spurn Point, part of the Heritage Coast of Holderness and a National Nature Reserve. In colour and black and white, a selection of images is shown here.

Published by Contours 2009. A4 landscape format

Available from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Spurn and online, and some local bookshops. Available in Sheffield from The Old Sweetshop, 1 Nether Edge Road S7 1RU.
Order here for £14.99 including UK postage and packing by clicking on the cover image.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust & Spurn Point

Please click on the following links to find out more