During our research we came across the work of Lily F Chitty and her essay on the Clun Clee Ridgeway, an ancient trading route that takes it's path right across Clee Hill. We found that part of the Jack Mytton Way possibly follows the route of the Ridgeway for a while at Silvington Common, so we went to have a look. It is a path that calls you on. We had hoped to have had our sharing events and exhibition all organised and in progress by now, but of course, our original plan has been changed due to the pandemic that leaves us all so unsure of what happens next. We have been able to amend our plan to include videos of each piece that we produce, along with Jo Halden's gorgeous artwork. These will be on You Tube and there will be links on this website to them. We still hope eventually to have a proper in person sharing event or two, as a legacy to the project, but for now, we'll be going online. The CD and booklet will still be made and will be available as soon as we've done them.
We wanted to visit more of the sites we had researched, way back in the Spring, but then Lockdown happened and we were left with the notes and photos we already had. We worked on a few pieces to keep the project moving and are getting those ready to record. Our original plan was to record them at a proper recording studio with the expertise of Acoustic duo Whalebone, but that was not to be. Instead, we have cleared a space and set up our own "Studio" with the recordings to be sent to Whalebone for mastering! We have developed new skills, and had our comfort zones expanded. Eventually, in July as Lockdown eased, we ventured out to The Devil's Mouthpiece, and chatted with the farmer about the local folklore and stories (socially distanced of course!) A few evenings later, we have a new song to record!
All these fields have names, and we've been exploring them and their origins for our Arts Council National Lottery funded project #WhereDragonsLead. We've had to stay local, due to Lockdown rules, but we've been walking the lanes near our house and seeing the seasons change the way they look. Music and words and blending together, ready to be recorded for a CD for the project and the words and visual art by Jo Halden will be published in an accompanying booklet. We'll keep you up to date!
Working on "Where Dragons Lead" by looking at the fields in our local landscape during Lockdown. This one is known as "The Bowling Alley" mostly fields with that kind of name are flat like a bowling green, but this one is a very obvious slope!
Jo Halden's first piece for the project. Called "Acclimatisation" in reference to working with the research and sites we've visited.
Finally a picture of the three artists together! Well, shadows anyway, looking into the River from the bridge at Prescott.
This week we've been out on the land, accompanied by strong, cold winds and rainbows. We've walked through mud, looked across the land, listened to rivers, heard whispering place names, and taken many, many photographs.
We were honoured to be invited to an Educators day about the Place Names of Shropshire organised by the University of Nottingham, Institute for Name Studies. It was an amazing day with these three amazing people: John Baker, Jayne Carroll and Susan Kilby. We learned so much about place names and how to pronounce the Old English. Thank you for inviting us, it was brilliant!
All hands and eyes on deck! All three artists, Jake, Jo and Suzanne, had a wonderful day looking at part of the Lily F Chitty collection. Miss Chitty was an archaeologist who was "a pioneer of mapping archaeological data". Her collection of drawings, letters and notes is a real treasure. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Shropshire Archives for their help and enthusiasm for the project.
A rainy day, outside, but inside amongst the maps and books, our research began!