Shroppie

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shroppie magic

The Wanderlust wandering down, perhaps up, or maybe over, better into a magic place called Shropshire Union Canal.
Our most favourite spot on the canals is the cut, a real cut out of rocks to prevent the need of many locks, Woodseaves Cut
Created as a vein for the industry ended as haven for wilderness.

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a green wall

It is still, it is green, it is wild yet human hands made it with spades and pickaxe. It was the last project made by the engineer Thomas Telford he never saw it finished as his ambition was high it took more time to repair and repair again what failed and failed again.
Yet, here it is full of life full of beauty. He knew you could do it and so he did.

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tall

The bridges here are TALL, higher than trees no problem here for the bird on the chimney. The canal here narrows to an almost single lane canal, yet two boats can just pass if no rocks stick out.

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ssssssstttt

Trees are growing almost vertical any crack hides its own little forest of ferns, moss and my favourite liverworts. The liverworts are old very old plants living while adapting, in my opinion the strongest plant on earth.

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Liverwort with a small fern covering cliffs

While passing you feel the jungle surrounding you with different sounds, different smells giving you the feeling you just entered an other world.
You can almost see the animals swing on the strings of Ivy.

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vertical garden 

Somebody said a picture never does it justice, no matter how i pick my brain, words certainly don’t describe it.

When you are ever on the canals in the UK make sure you don’t miss this piece of magic.

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good bye

A very special way to say good bye to our life on the canals as we wander on, over land towards new water to be explored by us but not with the Wanderlust.

Watch this space for more and even more updates.

 

 

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WILLOW SPIRAL

The Wanderlust is back on the canals enjoying the tranquil feeling of being afloat. Behind us lays the Willow Spiral.

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WILLOW SPIRAL

The Willow Spiral was a part of Spiral Journey 2015, we planted it together with the boating community of Mercia Marina. It is the only Spiral of the Journey which will be permanent. When we came back this year the planted Willow had a hard time yet as how Willow do it survived and with a bit of help started to grow once again. We filled the caps, pruned the dead bits, cut the grass.

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BROKEN SLATE LOST WORDS

The slate on which the poems were written had broken, so we even picked up the pieces of the poems. On the bare slate new poems appeared, clearly poetry is a part of the Spiral.
With poetry in mind we had an other community event writing haiku or wishes. It was a lovely sunny day with many walkers joining in with us.

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NEW ENCOUNTERS

We created a small seat in the centre of the Spiral with a small Haiku box filled with little canvas flags ready for a small poem, wish, dream, remembrance or any other messages to be taken by the wind.
The seat is sheltered by a stick Tipi, to create that special place for reflection.

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HUNGRY WILLOW

The Willow will now look after themselves as some sure prove by ‘eating’ up the string which hold them. Nature will move in and take care while human write to remember the strength of nature.

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READING WILDLIFE

The Wanderlust moves on.

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WRITTEN SILENCE

 

mAgdA

 

 

Preparations

We are busy making preparations for the floating art project Artists on the Canals. Next to all the phone calls and emails to organise it all my mind bubbles with making work for the exhibitions.
The theme for the exhibition is how the canals inspire our work, we show this in a video/sound installation and other work. So i decided to create work specially for this, not making work fit for it but really think about how the canals inspire me.

geese reflection

geese reflection

My childhood was spend on rivers and along rivers, in Wales i lived next to the wild coast of Pembrokeshire, so water is my element. Yet there is something special about the canals which you don’t find on the beach. Perhaps the reflections you get like a mirror seeing double. Yeh that certainly gives you inspiration but it is more.
Wandering over the canals that feeling of freedom well ja but.
While walking along the canals i wrote a little poem trying to catch that special feeling.

seeing the leaf falling
down
touching the cloud
on unsoiled ground
a little dimple
a circle off ripples
to float like a boat
through the clouds off reflections

touch the clouds

touch the clouds

So on my knees i went to go close to the water to see it from an other perspective, getting that leaf getting the reflections. Yet most of all capture an atmosphere of stillness of two worlds touching each other in a perspective moment but never for real. Yet that leaf came from the sky turning in her last fall to float away on her last journey.

wet

wet

The consequences were wet knees and many faces passing me with big ?? and some asking me what i was doing. Well i was getting close to my subject but never said that always talked about the project. One moment of turning reflections and the camera is wet as it almost touches the water.

tussen wal en schip

tussen wal en schip

What i saw and what i now see, you only see when on your knees. You see here a small part of the many many images i took over the last months between all the phone calls,  emails, searching for exhibition spaces, negotiations, informations and so on.
One photo comes on our promotion poster which will float from place to place.
So this land artist became a float on the water.

poem

poem

Thats not all i want to show, thats not all i want to make. For me this water-life away from the land makes me turn like a leaf on the wind, looking for a new direction.
The books i made sold good but they miss something, they need to be more creative, creative writing not just telling a story, not just the words behind the image, something more.
Now i am learning how to make my own books, hand made books, what will come out of it, who knows.
The leave poem, you see here above, will be developed into a larger piece which will be filmed for the video installation.

working

working

What Berth will make will be a total surprise, we only show so much you just need to come to the exhibitions and see our boats. Its not just us the Wånderlust but also other art boats totally 4 art boats with their popUP gallery will be floating along to show the canals in a different way. Come along talk to us, see our work in the making, hear some poems.
When you are lucky you can participate in the making of a spiral with a spiral poem.

beach

beach

SLUIZEN

Poetic view of a day with many locks going to Stratford on Avon 8/8/2014

squeak and grease 970 kilos
sinking feeling 44 bridges 45 locks
yarningale dripping drops
finding ways in black lace

sinking feeling

sinking feeling

too short a stay for a good look at
liverwort forest
entering tree tunnel up/down
to the next number 37
thinks castle while flag stows past
a treat of bonsai behind the gate
spider looking for new home
not the hat

narrow bridge

narrow bridge

narrow bridge mind your head
cows shape the oak tree
a blue splash of the Kingfisher
bridge 50 turn the page

oak

oak

empty sweet water mussel
silver line on broken bricks
purple candles with still flames
standing driftwood with falling bark
uprooted duck
feel the draft drifting

loose drift

loose drift

hold on and go go slow
straight and go ok its done
slimy twist on the surface
the bike it holds the bike bike can’t steer

oooh oooh

oooh oooh

jump pull steer
7 more to go
working hard too hard
7 more to go 2 hours
7 7 7
more
bridge 61 7 more to go
head down
6 more to go

lockedin

lockedin

drifting people waiting
6 more to go
how to float 2 boats coming
head down 6 more to go
head down reverse
too small onwards
head down 5 more to go

edstone

edstone

an other one coming
head down 5 more to go
an overtake in opposite direction
head down 5 more to go
oooh shit small pond
wait in exit
how can i do this
head down 5 more to go

head down

head down

now that was close
oooh my lord an other one coming
an other small pond
head down 4 more to go

duck

duck

bigger boat i am still learning
ok i could have prevented it
if i looked
oooh my lord an other one coming
head down 3 more to go

just breath
a bit of drifting
oooh wait
one push one run
head down 2 more to go

lock forest

lock forest

no more energy for drop photos
no time
next is open
it is like a dance
a bit to the left through the knees bend steer
gas back steer bowing down
head down 1 more to go

dropping off

dropping off

just 1 more in number 50
last one last one
no more to go
no more no more no more
moor i don’t care just moor
pffffffffff

this is how i felt, we did that day; 49 lock miles, 33 locks and 16 miles from 07.30 till 18.30

our champion day but never again

week 4 land art ONLY

During the fourth week of our cruising trip, the first piece of land art was made with the first trees planted in Cassiobury Park by the Iron Bridge Lock.

wanderlust

Wanderlust by the Beech trees

We found the perfect mooring spot for our popUP gallery, right in front of some wonderful Beech trees.
The wooden sculptures Berth makes are of beech wood. Beech wood is a challenging wood, a hard wood that easy splinter however it has such a lovely texture and with patience it becomes as smooth as silk.

Beech Wood closeup

Beech Wood closeup

Cassiobury is near the Whippendell Wood and customers were telling me how lovely it is. The next morning I went out to explore and to look for more material for the roof land art. This area has lots and lovely flint stones. They almost look like bones scattered around as if in a field of dead.
The last storms have turned some lovely trees upside down revealing in their roots what once was hidden in the soil. Under a fallen Beech tree I collected some great flint and decided that all the flint I was collecting to come from trees somehow.
Some came from fallen trees and others from standing growing trees.

flinter bones

flinter bones

Yet even under the fallen trees and dying trees you find the sculptures of life turning up in corners once hidden from the light to reach the light once again.
Cassiobury is close to Watford one of the fore towns of London, one of the last big green open spaces. Many people use the woods for sports, most of them running past, cycling past only a few take the time to stop and watch.
Rushing past all that can be seen and feel very little, never having time to touch.

inspiration for ONLY

inspiration for ONLY

There sitting on a fallen tree the inspiration for ONLY came to mind.
The flint was washed and scrubbed to reveal the white as bones.
The pattern, for ONLY, came from a fern leave. When a fern leave comes into life it rolls out like a spiral.  A hairy spiral the leave rolls into the light to grow and seed her spores.

spiral heart

spiral heart

The next morning, before we set of on our next part of the trip towards London, long before anybody was awake, i start to make the spiral ONLY.
I find it hard to work with people wondering around and watching my hands.
Therefor at 6 in the morning with the broom I started to sweep a part of the soil clear and made a circles with the fallen leaves and broken sticks.
The spiral came between two standing Beech trees next to a cut down Beech tree.
The spiral followed free hand the lines follows, this way, her own shape and when you look you see an almost a heart shape in the line of the spiral.

The Tree Centre

The Tree Centre

In the centre of the spiral came a small circle with in the middle two small Willows, which were grown from cuttings from Willows along the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.
A piece of bark from a fallen Birch tree give the young trees protection from small nibbling animals. Around the tree on the soil a mixture of used tea and coffee provides some nutrition for the young trees.

one by one

one by one

The rocks were placed one standing one fallen like the fallen trees in the woods amongst the standing and growing trees.
The poem with this piece I wrote on the trunk of the sawn down Beech tree.

poem ONLY

poem ONLY

The letters form in addition an other spiral:

ONLY
when you sit
d
o
w
n
you will see
this

mAgdA

14 April 2014

 

 

BOEKJES the making of land-art poetry

two poetry books

two poetry books

The two poetry books displayed on the poetry table. They are printed on high quality card, each page shows a piece of art while it is a piece of art. You can put the pages in a frame hang them on the wall and you have 18 different possibilities to display.

Land Art Poetry blurs the boundaries between poetry and land art, between the written word and sculpture, between photography and poems. It forms part of Visual Poetry, as it gets written in the landscape and not on paper.
The land art poetry should be ‘amalgam’ of visual and digital poetry, which can be seen only for short period of time in actual reality but lasts in virtual reality.

The beach

The beach

About half of the poems are made on a beach near Trefin in Wales.
The making was a race against the tide and time. With low tide a large part of the beach became my studio but with high tide it would be all under water. The poems were all washed away by the high tide.
The inspiration came from the beach and at times the colour of the water was the inspiration.

the colour of the water

the colour of the water

The words appear in my mind while collecting the pebbles on which the poems were written.
I cleared a sandy part of the beach to draw a pattern for the words to be placed in. Each pebble one letter written in charcoal or chalk.
A photo taken to rush back before i was cut of by the incoming tide. Many days i had to take of shoes and wade through the sea back to dry land. A half hour after the photo the poem disappeared. Most poems nobody saw.

One poem took two days as i made it with white little stones. One day to collect the stones by low tide to put them safe for the next day.
While standing on the cliff i saw the spot and the words came to me, the next day i wrote them in the sand and filled them with little white stones. Some walkers on the coast path were the lucky ones to see the poem.

not good enough

not good enough

Some poems didn’t make it into the book, like all other written material some disappear in the bin. The words don’t flow, don’t say, don’t make you feel the moment, than they go down into the sea never to be mentioned again, except for this one time.

The poem Wanderlust has 514 letters so 514 pieces of ‘drift’ slate collected on the beach. The poem is made on Vagdavercustis as a part of a 2 acres piece of land art at Clegyr Boia.
I made a circle with gravel and created a labyrinth with blue recycled glass, in the labyrinth came the slate. Now Wanderlust is grown over by grass and brambles and the words feed the soil.

On the cover of the book is a stone balance called SunRock. Balancing rocks can be very meditative as you need pure stillness to keep the balance up and total concentration on the rocks only. It clears your mind to find a balance.

the start of Sunrock

the start of Sunrock

The book is a piece of art made with art. We will be selling them from the boat and if your lucky i will do some poetry performance. 10% of each book sold, goes into a land art forest fund, to plant trees as land art.
Hope to see you on our route.

One poem i give you here the rest stay in the book.

seeing time

seeing time

 

MAGDA

CRUISING ART GALLERY

How did we came on the idea of making a cruising art gallery? Well, it was a long way to get to this point from searching in every corner to deal with what so many artists need to do and that is sell their work, to sell what they create.

making land into art

land art not for sale

We live as artists in a world were living without money is just impossible unless we find a way to live on fresh air, even that is hard to find, real fresh clean air seem vanished on this planet.
Some artists work get sold by others but this market gets smaller and smaller so most artists start to sell their own art as well as making it. Galleries sell art, so our first instance was to have our own gallery, yet we don’t like galleries so we came to a walled garden to create an outdoor art space where outdoor art was made.

wrapped tree art

wrapped tree art

The garden became art, so the ‘gallery’ was the art. We created a land art poetry trail which was made with the help of several virtual groups and finally placed in the actual reality of the walled garden. It went well and it developed very good until. The planning regulations came to make it impossible for us to continue.

land art poetry circle

land art poetry circle

A new direction was taken by making land art and growing trees plus selling the sculptures on the internet. This in the end became too many different eggs in one basket. The land and land-art was sold to be the base for a shop to make into a gallery. The idea of touch gallery was born, creating art for people to touch not just to see or hear.

a virtual impression of the touch gallery

a virtual impression of the touch gallery

A search for a good location began. The problem was and is that the shops in the good spots were too expensive for us and the shops which we could afford were in the lousy spots where hardly anybody came. We came along an article about popUP galleries and popUP artist. Artist just popUPed galleries all over the place and sold their art at affordable prices so all became winners except the old galleries.

popUP gallery in the form of a camper

popUP gallery in the form of a camper

The old camper became a popUP gallery but we once again came in conflict with planning regulations, where we could popUP the gallery. Markets sure but the question of which markets soon was the same story as the shops, some prices were just beyond reality.  So we went to places of the unexpected without much result and even high profile exhibition is nothing more than a line on an artists CV but no money in the pocket yet money out of the pocket into the expo.

roll down banner for markets

roll down banner for markets

Just by sheer luck i found the possibility of a narrowboat as i was dreaming of going back on a boat to live a more simple life so less money needs to be made. A map of the inland waterways was bought and our eyes were opened by the amazing amount of canals in the UK. The next step was the possibilities about the planning. We were pleasantly surprised that with a trading license we could trade along the towpaths of the canals. We could bring art to the people at the most unexpected places. With a narrowboat we can get right into the middle of town where the prices of shops are well above out head.

drifting art

drifting art

A boat was bought and the last 5 months we have been working to make the boat herself into a piece of art a piece of drifting art.  The whole idea of a popUP gallery came back. The drawing box became the prototype for our box on top of the boat.

gallerypopupbox

We made some shelves which can hang on the side of the boat. Now the popUP gallery will drift along and we will trade where ever we will moor. We have booked several markets, drifting markets.

the boat is almost finished

the boat is almost finished

Next to the creating of the boat herself into a piece of art and cruising gallery we done lots of training in boat handling and lock dealing. Now we are almost ready for the cruising to start just the last points and we will go on the 19 March.
The boat will also be the workshop where you can see the artist at work, and if you are lucky you will get a poetry performance.

making art in the cratch

making art in the cratch

So the story of the cruising art gallery Wånderlust began as we are artist our creativity will win over the commercialisation of art. The only box we tick these days is where to go and how to get there with our narrowboat. We hope to see many of you on our way.

SHELTER

A story about a piece of land-art made along the canal.

clay pit

clay pit

While wandering along the towpath at the Middlewich Branch, you come along a nice pick nick area in a small strip of woodland. The local people call it the clay pit, i assume when they build the canals they used clay to seal the canals leaving some nice hollows.
Wandering through the shrubs my eye comes to rest on a Yellow Willow.

yellow willow

yellow willow

In the past somebody cut it down making it an interesting bundle of new growth. Willow is very good at this, whenever you cut Willow back, they will give you brilliant new branches ready for some weaving.
This particular Willow was not only giving me weaving material but also an idea to use the clay. Back down in the clay pit i test the clay, digging with my bare hands and forming it, does it hold.

willow art

willow art

Back at the tree the clay and the willow become tree art.
The silence of the wood was shattered by some howling. First what came to mind was a dog in distress which quickly became dogs followed by some fear and what the hack. It became clear by the sound of the horn it was a hunt.

hunt

hunt

I stayed hidden as i know a confrontation with these people is not appreciated and my mobile was not in my pocket just my camera. There was not much i could do by myself than making pictures and hide. It is still legal for them to hunt but not on a real fox, but how do you tell.
While i hide something was running through the woods, i stayed down, it was a single animal. It didn’t need me to scare it back into the field so i went very low to let it go.

My heart was pondering while helicopter and ultra light gliders circle above the field, apparently to protect the hunt. Now this made me mad. So the thing came to mind, a very British thing.
Stay calm and make some art.

shelter for the fox

shelter for the fox

So a new idea was born. The woods became on that moment the shelter for the fox or what ever other animal was getting away from the howling of the hounds.
The clay is perfect to make a sculpture, texture is a bit wild with many bits in it but it handles very well.

wild clay

wild clay

So a poem emerged written on slate that came from a beach in Pembrokeshire, the holes were made for a long poem that was never written. I took the box with slate to the boat for creating more smaller land art poems on our way along the canals. In a way all these poems will be connected to Pembrokeshire where my land art emerged out of gardening, therefor also the trees.

clay and slate

clay and slate

The poem was written on the pick nick table and in the cracks was some bird po with seeds in it. The clay slate didn’t really need the holes as this time i was not hanging them on some string. One of the seeds went into the hole.
The poem became something more it was going to grow. The seeds were from the dog-rose, a wild rose with big thorns but lovely rose hips, full of vitamin C. The perfect shelter for hiding from the unwanted, while feeding the birds. What also happened when the howl came closer many birds took to their wings and many cried alarm. The whole woods was in uproar including me.
The making of land art can me so relaxing and so rewarding and by the time i was looking for more seeds the birds came back, right near me. I was not a part of their fear.

shelter seeds

shelter seeds

The clay is very natural and will fall apart after some rain and frost can crack it open giving space for the seeds to grow.

not yet

not yet

It started to rain making the clay lovely and smooth and a special shine came over it like a glaze but too much rain and it would wash the clay away.
The pieces went for shelter under the pick nick table to wait for the rain to pass over.
I went looking for a good spot to create this poem, somewhere in this woodland. Some place where the poem can become a part of the trees.
At the clay pit are many self seeded Ash trees in all sizes it looks like a stick concert. Amongst them stands the white stem of a Birch. You need to look to see but than it is perfect.

ashes

ashes

I found the spot.
Ashes are easy to twist and turn just like Willow, perfect to make a living sculpture. I made one before in the walled garden with two Ash trees. So i started to make hoops with the branches and cut most of the side branches away. The brambles around the Ashes was weeded away, to give the trees a change to grow next spring and not becoming the climbing frame for the brambles.

ashbow

ashbow

To make the bows more visual they will be wrapped in natural spun wool , this will also prevent the little stems to start shooting again in spring and so the bow will keep its shape for longer. In the walled garden i used coloured wool, not so good in the wild it must be subtle so people need to look to see it.
Than it was dark

wool

wool

The next day i came back to finish the work with more wool in my bag and my mobile in my pocket just in case. On my way i saw somebody done some chain sawing at one of the pick nick benches leaving a lovely pile of saw dust.
Some time ago one of the benches was sawed into fire wood but not this time, the bench was just used as saw-bench.

The poem clay was still under the pick nick bench by the clay pit.

wrapping

wrapping

The wool is hold in place my some string made from Hemp, in the end it will all disappear down into the ground, feeding the trees.

claying

claying

The final pieces were made for the poem. The question was how to place the poem and the trees together. Sticking them on the branches did not work, the clay was too heavy. A wand of clay was too intrusive. Perhaps a bed of moss just like the fox shelter but not so good to take the moss away and kill it, it is too beautiful for that.
The sawdust could work.
My backpack became bucket and the sawdust became bed.

saw dust bed

saw dust bed

The poem altered on the last moment as the shelter became retreat, it sounds better almost rhyme with seeds.

retreat for the
wild
is build from
seeds

klaar

klaar

It is subtle hidden, most people will not see it unless they stand still and look.
The wool mirrored the white stem of the Birch.

birch sticks

birch sticks

So became the scare of a hunt a piece of art.

The other day i went back to see how it was. The clay did as i expected and was falling apart. The rain had washed away most of the poem. The wool looked good specially after some rain, the drops hanging from the wool, look like a magnifying glass.

drop

drop

Art within the art.

The yellow willow ball stands strong and is growing. The clay had all sort of little bits in it and some were little roots which started to grow.
When springs come and the willow starts to grow as well, this piece of art will be something.
In the willow will grow clover and grass, only time can tell, how the art will grow.

growing

growing

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