Shadows and Reflections: Paul Scraton

5 December 2016 // Shadows & Reflections

…In which, as the year comes to its end, our friends and collaborators look back on the past twelve months and share their moments;

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In the mountains of Slovenia we followed the Soča River downstream until we reached the town of Kobarid. Here, surrounded by mist-covered mountains, we searched out the small town museum. I had been reading Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, set during the infamous Battle of Caporetto during World War I. The museum, with just the smallest of nods to Hemingway, told the harrowing story of that battle from both sides of the lines, including the reality of life in trenches atop a snow encrusted mountain. It was a powerful exhibition, making no commentary on the rights and the wrongs of the conflict, rather telling the story not only of the power relations that led these soldiers to the snowy slopes, but also their personal tales as recounted in letters, diaries and recollections years later. (more…)

Making Nature: How we see animals

4 December 2016 // Books //Events

Making Nature: How we see animals
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK.
1 December 2016 – 21 May 2017
wellcomecollection.org/makingnature

Read the book: Animal Vegetable Mineral: Organising Nature: A Picture Album

Shadows & Reflections: Ben Myers

4 December 2016 // Shadows & Reflections

…In which, as the year comes to its end, our friends and collaborators look back on the past twelve months and share their moments;

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In times of uncertainty I find myself turning to nature more than ever.

To rock and water, soil and sky. To upland moor bogs and woodlands as silent as green cathedrals.

Place your palm on a boulder that has been knuckling its way out of the sod for four hundred thousand years and contemporary concepts such as “America”, “Britain” and Europe” suddenly appear irrelevant. (more…)

Tales from the River Mease

3 December 2016 // Tales from the River Mease

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Looking for otters on the River Mease: November 2016
by Mat Bingham

My next project is to capture images of the otters on my local river, the River Mease. As I see it, there are two challenges with this; to start with I have to find the otters and then I have to convert a camera and lighting system to infra-red (otters cannot see infra-red). The camera will be remotely triggered by an infra-red sensor taking high quality photographs without disturbing them. More on the technical bits in later posts.

Firstly, a bit about the river. The River Mease is a lowland river carving a natural course through farmland sown mainly with barley, wheat and oilseed rape. Supplied by drainage ditches and runoff from the surrounding fields, it is a flashy river which has a tendency to burst its banks. The soil structure is fairly stable, supporting vertical banks that are good nesting habitat for kingfishers. There are stretches where trees of mixed species overhang the river, providing cover for wildlife. The riverbed is approximately one meter below field level where the soil abruptly encounters underlying bedrock. Hollows and bowls in the riverbed vary the flow and depth, supporting good numbers of bullheads and sticklebacks. Historical surveys suggest there are water voles on the river, although I have not seen any to date. (more…)

Shadows & Reflections: Adelle Stripe

2 December 2016 // Shadows & Reflections

..In which, as the year comes to its end, our friends and collaborators look back on the past twelve months and share their moments:

Last year was a year I wanted to forget. After my mother died, and the dust had settled on a particularly traumatic summer, my aunt gave me a box of jewellery and make-up that belonged to my mother containing her silver charm bracelet, diamante costume clip-ons, rings, necklaces and cosmetics. She always wore the most expensive types. Her key to looking young was plenty of sleep, no smoking and investment in the best eye shadow money could buy.

It is now 2016, and each day since then I have worn my mother’s make-up. A trace of her on my face. The old powdery mascara has just run out. I cried when I threw it away. I have spent the year clinging to each lost conversation with her, wearing splashes of colour around my eyes that don’t suit me. Cobalt, peppermint and rust. Her eyes on mine. Letting me see through the grief of it all. (more…)