Follow the Stone Part Four: Stopping Places – the aerodrome

Follow the Stone Part Four: Stopping Places – the aerodrome

I became conscious in re-working Follow the Stone for a short film edit after Virtual Strata  [1] that the piece represented the inner and outer world of Lockdown[2] for me. I think the strands for further development are in the film, and in the continuous working of the 8K walk I began in June this year. Slowly slowly I began to see the emergence of what I am calling stopping places, rather like passing places where the road gets narrow when you drive across the moss. These stopping places become like stations to pause, like in Sandra’s exercise instruction – ‘stop, hold the position, relax and wait for the moment to move on’.  It often is helped by a turn of the head.  These stopping places have become expansive canvasses on which I can repaint my performance memory.

For example, I have discovered the remains of the site of an aerodrome forecourt on Hesketh Road.  This is well known local knowledge but to me it has now taken on the symbolic representation of several journeys  across the North Sea in the early nineties  and on into the noughties, to visit and exchange with the internationally renowned Odin Teatret in Denmark.  Southport is a sand land and so is the Jutland coast in Denmark all flat lands and sand, like the Netherlands.  The land of the floating islands. [3] The houses on Hesketh Road going out towards the coast remind me of  houses in Denmark.  Air, Sand-Land and Water merge in a performance-memory-dream.

View of the islands through a bin

From My Bookshelf

The tufts of green growth and wild flowers that emerge through the different seasons become like floating islands symbolic of those of us who practice our work often in isolation and far from the mainstream. They are reminders that though we float we are not an island unto ourselves.  The work in the landscape here has now become island work for me. No woman is an island.  I am recalling the words of John Donne and substitute woman for no man. Isolation does not mean separation from the communal.  Though the work is not commercial it is communal.  It is exploratory, unprocessed, raw and unpackaged.   When I cross  tarmac at the Hesketh Aerodrome, time stands still and I see a sea of floating islands and possibilities linking what once was, what is now and what might be.

 

Heritage Site Information Board

The islands

 

I was fortunate to discover the Southport Snapshots series hosted by The Atkinson where local history scholar, Tom Preston was giving a zoom talk on the Aerodrome 

Site of my walking

This gave scope for Luke Crookes and I to play with the material in an online improvisation. Luke is on the zoom call – you can hear his voice in this.   I am in my workroom.

A poem:

Geese and Seagulls

Circling bleating

Caw calling

Celp Celp Celp Celp

Round and round

above

my head running home.

Circling home

Round and round

sky and garden

Trapped yet fledged

Still nest bound.

Unlike the synchronised arrows of geese going somewhere

looking for outrageous fortune.

OUTRAGE

Do not tip your rubbish here!

 

[1] https://www.moveintolife.com/strataonline2.html accessed 11 August 2020

[2] Lockdown – a phrase we equate with the COVID 19 outbreak when entire countries confine citizens to their homes apart from frontline workers like health workers, transport workers, emergency services, and essential food providers.

[3] Part of my early training (1990 onwards) was with Barba’s Odin Teatret https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/992634.Beyond_the_Floating_Islands accessed 11 August 2020

[4] Follow the Stone – a preliminary idea can be accessed here Follow the Stone Showcase password: strata2020 accessed  16 December 2020

[5] https://www.forgottenairfields.com/airfield-hesketh-park-aerodrome-1249.html accessed 11 August 2020

 

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