at The Salt House, West Bay, Dorset
Saturday May 26th – 12noon – 8.00pm & Sunday May 27th – 12noon – 7.00pm
with artists Sue Palmer & Sally Watkins, and project participants.
An ‘assemblage’ of artwork that articulates and praises our hands and feet and the multiple lived stories they are part of: visual, sound and live work.
Connecting the anatomical structures of hands and feet, their lived histories and wear and tear with the weathering, layering and movement of the wider geology, the weekend event at the Salt House brought together works collected and made over the last six months with the 16 people we have met and worked with.
As part of the process, Sue and Sally invited participants to give them waste or ‘spoils’ generated by their work or activity. Worked with language and spoken word taken from our research conversations, this collection of ‘waste’ objects intimately connects people and place, hand and foot, and contributes to the layer of contemporary archaeology and the ‘Anthropocene’ era.
These works, along with other visual and aural work, produce a very particular ‘spatial mapping’ of the Lulworth to Charmouth seaboard, actively entangling the vast geological and cosmic scales with personal timelines and distinctive lived activity.
Live work – ten minute ‘creative presentations’:
‘Paired presentations’ on the hour, every hour, from 12 noon to 7pm each day, made between the artists and the participants, explored specific details of peoples’ work and experience, with each event opening out a very particular relationship to place, time and anatomy.
The 26 and 7 Bones weekend on the 26th and 27th of May, was specifically sited in West Bay – a mid point on ‘our’ coast, and connected to the public transport network. The Salt House, a building connected out to Newfoundland, America and international waters, sits in a gap either side of two cliffs each with their own geology and windows of specificity. And on a harbourside that is both a departure point and a homecoming, a horizontal that crosses space as well as time.
“The strandline, or high water mark, is the area at the top of a beach where debris is deposited. Where there are tides, this line is formed by the highest position of the tide, and moves up and down the beach on a fortnightly cycle. There is usually a strand line at the top of the beach from the highest high tide and another further down. This is where you find things that have been washed up.
Waste, spoils, things discarded, not needed any more, worn out from use. Some things aren’t thrown away, but kept because they were so good at what they did, and even though they won’t be used any more, they are still friends. They worked so hard at what they did.
So we collected these things, and we looked at them. And we used these things, these objects as a kind of strand line, of what was washed up. And we took the language, the words, the answers to the questions that we had asked, and we looked at those.
And this here, in the Salt House, a house that has been used for preservation, for storing, and is connected out, to other places, other times. From the late 17th Century, Dorset fishermen, mainly from Poole and Bridport, set sail in the Spring to Newfoundland, Canada with their boats laden with nets, ropes and salt. They would catch mainly cod and also some seals. The Salt House has been a milking parlour, a cycle hire shop, a museum and information centre, a community hall.
This is a strand line in the Salt House.”
Free entry, no advance booking necessary. Please contact us if you would like to join our mailing list.