This week I went for a walk with Nikki Pugh, who makes really fantastic interactive art. We walked very slowly down the Chocolate Path, looking at the clouds of silt under the surface of the river, and the tide changing from coming in to sitting still at the change point, to watching what happens in the hour after the highest tide.
We both took a lot of photos with the theme of “brown”, and you can see Nikki’s flickr photoset here, and mine in this slideshow (click for more):
I also made a couple of small, quiet videos, of how the water was reacting before and after Vauxhall Bridge:
Come back soon to hear the podcast, and make sure you check out Nikki’s website, and follow her on twitter.
I’ve always loved how different the Avon mud looks, depending on the light, and especially how that changes on a day like today, when the clouds move so fast across the sky. To me, the mud by the disused lock at Cumberland Basin looks like landscapes in miniature, with rivers, ridges of hills, or sand-dunes, and I’m always fascinated at how the changing light makes different parts of it jump out at me.
After a week of intense, bright sunshine, and heatwave conditions, the breezes felt so good, and I’ve been waiting for a day like this to film on, and make something that’s a meditative piece for me. I should probably go back and film for longer, and make a long piece that I could have as part of a show/installation, but I wanted to see what it was like today.
For this Avon Story, I travelled 20 miles outside of Bristol, to find out about the railway line that runs up the Avon Gorge to Pill and the Royal Portbury Dock, and used to continue on to Portishead, on the Bristol Channel.
Dave Chillistone of the Portishead Railway Group told me about how the issues that made the Avon so difficult for shipping in Victorian times resulted in the railway being built, the impact on the town, why it was closed, and why the PRG are campaigning for it to be re-opened.
Dave took me for a walk around the key places we talked about, and you can follow that walk, with photos of where we stopped, on this map – and scroll down for more photos, and lots more information about Portishead, the railway, the PRG and the plans for the railway’s return.
You can download the podcast directly from the Avon Stories Soundcloud, and sign up to the Avon Stories RSS and subscribe on iTunes, to make sure you hear all the future stories. Make sure you’re also following on twitter and instagram, for regular photos of the river.
Continue reading “Avon Stories Podcast #2: The Portishead to Bristol railway”
Such a hot day, and of course I’m wishing I could take photos of rain on the surface of the river and the Harbour in the middle of a heatwave… But I went out to film and see how it all works in the sun.
First, the outflow, slowly letting water from the Harbour into the River. Here, two waters meet. 50mm lens on my Canon DSLR:
And here’s looking down at the outflow, using Tim’s GoPro Hero Session on a telescopic painting stick:
Here’s my set-up:
Continue reading “River and Harbour films, 18th June”
I’m a bit obsessed with murky, underwater photography. I shot a lot of photos with really crappy underwater film cameras during my degree, and I love them, but I never did much with them. But I’ve always wanted to do more, and I really wanted to do some filming, so I borrowed my friend Tim’s GoPro Session and headed to the Harbour.
Continue reading “Underwater films – Bristol Harbour, June 2017”
I’ve lived in Bristol for 17 years, and I’d never been on a Bristol Ferry trip on the Avon… until this week! It was very, very wet, so I’ve sped up the film so the raindrops on the lens don’t interfere too much, and so you can see my trip in 10 minutes
It was such a lovely thing to do. The lock from the Harbour to the River seems almost unnoticeable, very smooth. And then, although I’ve cycled up both sides of the river, and walked the Portway, I’d never been this low. I couldn’t believe the river is around 8 metres deep on the way back, as it doesn’t seem like it could be.
It was so meditative, especially once the rain drove everyone else inside, standing in this downpour, watching the water. I never knew herons lived in a colony, in trees, until it was pointed out on the commentary, and there’s something about the mud that I love. Everything was green and grey, with a bit of green, and I really want to do it again.
You can book your own Gorge trip on the Bristol Ferry Boats website. It costs £15, and it took around 2 hours and 15 minutes, but that depends on the tides (we were going against the tide going out, and much faster coming back).
Big thanks to Tim who lent me his GoPro Session, which the film is shot with.