Intervention: Waveworn 3 – 23 March 2018

Waveworn open from 3 – 23 March 2018

Waveworn at Martyrs Gallery, Lewes presents a selection of work that I carried out over the past 15 years under the working title of Intervention. Please check the gallery website for opening times.

Waveworn documents weathering and erosion on the Sussex coast through the medium of film and still photography, catalogued by location and date to build up a complete and beautiful archive of change over the decades. Waveworn explores pressing issues of environmental instability, but also timeless human themes of change, impermanence and desire for (the illusion of) control.

An interview with Alex Leith for `Viva Lewes’ (March 2018 edition)

 

And it is always good to get feedback … please Tweet @Clifffart if you visit the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intervention: The Project So Far

Intervention 2002 to 2017

Intervention is about the groynes on Bexhill beach that run to Groyne 121 and I have photographed them since 2002, both fascinated and amazed by their change over time.

This work forms the primary source for a solo exhibition `WAVEWORN‘ to be held at Martyrs Gallery, Lewes, from Saturday 3 March to Friday 23 March 2018.

Intervention 2018 will see me back on the beach, finding and recording what has changed and rediscovering what remains. The work on this project continues, photographs are being taken, notebooks and charts filled in, files organised and backed up.

This video summarises the work so far.

Intervention: Groyne 76

Fascinated by change, what better way to spend time than photographing groynes of the inter-tidal zone of Bexhill beach.

These images are of one post top, situated in Groyne 76.

This piece explores intervention on our shoreline, using two temporal distortions. Compressing time, I present one post top, photographed over six years, with seven images. Slowing time, I concurrently present the same post dealing with the waves of a bi-diurnal and lateral tidal flow.

 

Much of our landscape exists in its current form as a result of our intervention. Groynes are an example of this, existing in the rigours of the splash and inter-tidal zones.

This exploration has only just begun, the more I look the more I see and the more I want to know. Exploring and recording both for its own sake and for the metaphors it gives me with which to consider our relationship with this planet – our beautiful, powerful, fragile, life support system.

Click here to see a collection of prints showing the changing face of a post top.

Intervention: Animation Idea

An animation idea. I have photographed and recorded the changing faces of the post tops for many years and, I admit, I am struggling to find a suitable way of presenting these portraits to illustrate their change over time.  So, as well as presenting collected images of individual post tops (shown here) I am now working on an animated series of images.

I start with a view of the sea splashing against the groyne (and my boots). It will be interesting to see where this goes, but, at the moment, I am enjoying exploring the process.

 

 

Intervention: Notes from a discussion about the groyne post project

Initial inspirations for the work:

Intervention. When and why did this begin? My personal ease of access to the beach meant that I built an intimate relationship with this particular section of seashore over an extended period of time. At the time I was seeking a connection with the physical world to balance the academic needs of the teaching profession. I feel an enormous sense of purpose and well-being when I spend time on the beach observing and recording the condition of the post-tops.

Ideas explored in Intervention:

  • Environmental impact. Changes in our climate are discussed and predicted but are we ignoring the everyday impact of the weather systems upon the landscape around us? What is man-made is often perceived as a natural landscape. The seashore I see at Bexhill is a man-managed environment disrupted by the forces of the sea.
  • Who started this intervention? Historic intervention has defined the coastal environment we experience. We are now taking responsibility for the complexity of the outcomes of past decisions.
  • Concept of relative time spans. Time spans hint at empirical reasoning – maths and science – measurement. We often have an internal story of a place that is essentially static; a single snapshot which we edit to maintain its credibility. Yet places are systems with multiple and distinct functions providing protection and adaptation of the environment to more closely match our perceived needs. To develop a more appropriate awareness of a system requires multiple, timed, documented, snapshots of the system. Systems are not static, they flow; they are in a process of constant and often complex change.

  • Living on the boundary of the land and sea you can see clearly that our attempts to control the beach are only partially and temporarily successful. The interval between the end of the late winter storms and the mechanical intervention to regrade the beach demonstrates how much the shingle moves. It is a constant challenge to our belief that we have control.

Intervention is a long-term project which began in 2002…

Intervention

The sets of posts and planking running down the beach to the sea are an intervention in a dynamic system. They stand in the flow of sea and shingle and change the way it moves. Eddies of shingle build against them, flow over them and are battered against them by the sea.

Each post top is a uniquely identifiable element in this system which I have observed, recorded and compared over a number of years. The post tops, like portraits of a person repeated throughout their life, are not only beautiful but provide clues as to the condition of the system.

There is often a tendency to hold on to the idea of permanence and not recognise change that happens gradually over an extended period of time. Gradual change, often unobserved is a core element of this work and acknowledges how the `natural’ world is changed in a managed environment and provides a perspective of change and the requirement to maintain an intervention in a dynamic system.

This work records the necessary tenacity of life and any structure on the beach in the intertidal zone, the dynamics of changing systems and the impact of coastal management.

The reference number on each image designates the Groyne number and the year the picture was taken.

Bexhill Groynes Numbers 47 to 77 – A collection for 2015

Groyne 47Groyne 48Groyne 49Groyne 50Groyne 51Groyne 52Groyne 53Groyne 54Groyne 55Groyne 56Groyne 57Groyne 58Groyne 59Groyne 60Groyne 61Groyne 62Groyne 63Groyne 64Groyne 65Groyne 66Groyne 67Groyne 68Groyne 69Groyne 70Groyne 71Groyne 72Groyne 73Groyne 74Groyne 75Groyne 76Groyne 77

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The groynes on Bexhill beach run from Groyne 1 to Groyne 121 and I have photographed them since 2002, both fascinated and amazed by their change over time. While I am pleased to have completed this extended presentation of some of my photographic collection, this is not the end. Next year will see me back on the beach, finding and recording what has changed and rediscovering what remains.

Tap on a post number to visit the full groyne post blog for 2015.

 

Bexhill Groyne 77

The coastline of Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, consists of a shingle beach maintained by a series of T-shaped, wooden piled groynes. This is a photographic exploration of a community of groynes that co-exist on the beach, next to the promenade from West Parade to Channel View. The photographs examine the individual characteristics of the post tops.   Using photomontage, the ferrule was manipulated to create the number which links the post top to the groyne in which it exists. This series of blogs presents a small selection from work that started in 2002 and continues to this day.

G77numberSet

The photograph used to create the number for Groyne 77 was taken in 2012. Below is the same post in  2011, 2014 and 2015.

G77LMZa2011_14_15


G77MZa2011_14_15

The 3 images above of this post were taken in 2011, 2014 and 2015. I particularly like the fact that between 2014 and 2015 the same two tiny pebbles remain wedged in the crack, more worn and weed covered but still there.

G77UMZa2012_14_15

The three images of this post were taken in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

This is the 31st and final groyne in the current series of Post Top Studios. The studio presents a collection of images of post tops and other images associated with each groyne from Groyne 47 (just west of West Parade) to Groyne 77 (just east of Channel View West).

Bexhill groynes run from Groyne 1 to Groyne 121, I have been taking photographs of them since 2002 and I find myself fascinated and surprised by them. While I am pleased to have completed this particular presentation of some of what I have collected, this is not the end. Next year will see me back on the beach, finding and recording what has changed and what remains.

G77Kerrys-Drawing

Groyne 77 runs through the sailboats of Bexhill Sailing Club and can be seen from Kerry’s, on the corner of Sea Road, where I often enjoy a cup of tea and a toasted teacake.

 

 

 

Bexhill Groyne 76

The coastline of Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, consists of a shingle beach maintained by a series of T-shaped, wooden piled groynes. This is a photographic exploration of a community of groynes that co-exist on the beach, next to the promenade from West Parade to Channel View. The photographs examine the individual characteristics of the post tops.   Using photomontage, the ferrule was manipulated to create the number which links the post top to the groyne in which it exists. This series of blogs presents a small selection from work that started in 2002 and continues to this day.

The photographs used to create the number for Groyne 76 were taken in 2012.

G76NumberSet

Below is the same post in  2002, 2013 and 2015.

Groin76MZc2002_13_15


G76MZa2002_11_12_13_14_15

These six photographs taken in 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 show it’s progression from a post to a remnant of a post.


G76-Building

Groyne 76 joins the promenade at the easternmost edge of Channel View West.

Bexhill Groyne 75

The coastline of Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, consists of a shingle beach maintained by a series of T-shaped, wooden piled groynes. This is a photographic exploration of a community of groynes that co-exist on the beach, next to the promenade from West Parade to Channel View. The photographs examine the individual characteristics of the post tops.   Using photomontage, the ferrule was manipulated to create the number which links the post top to the groyne in which it exists. This series of blogs presents a small selection from work that started in 2002 and continues to this day.

G75Numberset

The photographs used to create the Groyne 75 post number were taken in 2013. Below is the same post in  2012, 2014 and 2015.

P75MZ2012_14_15


P75MZa2011set

P75MZa2013set

P75MZa2015seta

 

The 3 posts above, showing the top and the seaward side, were photographed in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

G75EndPost2012_13_15

These 3 photographs are of the end-post taken in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The end-post spends much of its time underwater and is colonized by barnacles and mussels.

G75-Building

G75Groyne