Rain from underwater

I’ve been on a bit of a mission to take film and photographs of rain from under the surface of the Floating Harbour, and like all good photographic missions, it hasn’t gone exactly to plan.

This is always the way.  My best/worst example was when I was doing a 6 week book arts module on my photography degree, starting at the very end of March, and my plan was to make a book called April Showers, with a page for every day of the month, with photos for the days I was rained on, and blank pages for the days it was dry… and it was this hilarious heatwave with no rain for the entire month!

That’s generally what happens when I have a specific mission in mind, and ever since I’ve borrowed Tim’s GoPro, with a great set of plans for putting it in puddles, the Harbour, rivers etc etc, I’ve been scuppered because when I’ve been out it’s been dry, unless I’m nowhere near water, or the battery’s dead etc etc.

But it’s rained a little bit recently, so I have 2 mini films.  The first is from art-walking with Shawn Sobers last week, the GoPro lodged in a crack in the Nova Scotia slipway and the second from today, with the camera attached to a telescopic painting-roller pole, via Tim’s handlebar mount, while sat underneath the slope to the closed jetty opposite the SS Great Britain.

In the first, it stopped raining almost as soon as I got there – in the second I ran out of battery almost straight away, and again, the rain stopped pretty quickly.  I was experimenting with having the camera at different depths, which is why the point of view moves.

So I haven’t got the film of my dreams yet, but it was fun sitting on the edge of the Harbour and on jetties with Vik, wondering if it was going to rain or not, it’s always going to be fun trying to get some more.

 

A walk from Filton to Eastville along the Frome

Last week I was up in Filton, recording the podcast with the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, and afterwards, since I was up in that neighbourhood, I walked down through the Stoke Park Estate, and along the Frome.

Stoke Park was beautiful – completely empty on this hot, summer day, with the sounds of crickets, birdsong, ‘planes overhead, and the M32 thrumming in the distance.  It’s somewhere I’ve only been once before, and I really should find out more about it, especially the strange ruins.

Stoke Park Estate

I have a thing about being underneath roads, so in the tunnel under the motorway, I recorded the sounds – under, and then next to it:

After Stoke Park, I went down to the Frome, starting at the weir at Broom Hill.  Clambering over the sluicegate to stand on the end of the weir, I put my disposable underwater film camera into the weir, for different views of it.  I love these three especially

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Avon Stories #9: Protecting our rivers with the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust

My Avon Stories project is based around the river and the waters in Bristol, and while I’ve been looking at how the river impacted on the history of Bristol, and how people use and are inspired by the river, I’m also very interested in the water itself – and in this podcast, I set out to find out more

I talked to Claire Hutchinson, a Project Officer with the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART), a community-based charity that works to protect and improve the rivers and streams.  Claire told me about how healthy the water is, the challenges and issues facing the rivers, including the different forms of pollution, and what BART, and we, can do to protect our environment.

The BART catchment area covers the Avon and all the tributaries that feed into it:

You can find out more about BART’s work on their website, including their projects, and the ones we talked about:

Continue reading “Avon Stories #9: Protecting our rivers with the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust”

Filming (and failing to photograph) fish in the Harbour

I always love the fish in the Harbour – from spotting big fish, to the shoals of tiny fish-lets that are in the shallowest parts of the Harbour on the sunny days, flashing silver as they dart in shoals.  I took this photo, which was a fantastic failure, but when I borrowed my friend Tim’s GoPro, one of my goals was to get some films.

This was a beautiful, mellow, sunny day.  I’d met my friend Matt Gibson for coffee at the Underfall Yard, and our walk lasted about 2 minutes before we stopped by the western jetty and slipway by the Nova Scotia.

Continue reading “Filming (and failing to photograph) fish in the Harbour”

Avon Stories #8: Edson Burton’s creative life

Dr Edson Burton is a man with many strings to his bow: historian, poet, playwright, performer, storyteller and programmer/curator, just as the start.

I talked to him about his work, how he got into writing in the first place, running poetry and story-telling workshops, events he curates, and much more.  And we finished the conversation by Bristol Harbour, where he read one of his poems.

One of the projects he talked about included Afrometropolis, transforming the Arnolfini into a new Black city for the night, that he curated as part of the Come the Revolution collective.

Edson’s latest play, Deacon, will be on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 28th July 2017 at 2:15pm, and you can listen to it here on the day, and afterwards, if you missed it.

Find out more about Edson’s work at the Watershed Pervasive Media Studio, where he has a residency, and at the Trinity Centre, where he’s a project coordinator.  There’s information about his ongoing project, The Last Blues Song of a Lost Afronaut, at his Afrofuturist Theatre facebook and on the Watershed page and video:

Of course you can also follow Edson on his twitter and personal facebook.  Big thanks to him for his time, and for providing the photo, taken by Claudio Ahlers.

You can download this 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.

Avon Stories #7: Weird Bristol, Harbour murders and ghost stories

In this week’s podcast, I sat by the river with Charlie Revelle-Smith, author of Bristol-based murder mysteries, as he told me about some of the famous historical murders around the Bristol Harbour, and what they reveal about the city, as well as some of the ghost stories.

He also told me about his Weird Bristol twitter, which shares fantastic factoids about the city.  Some that we talked about included:

Charlie has also written some walking tours for Visit Bristol – Grave Encounters, his guide to cemeteries in the city, and his Dark Bristol city centre walking tour for Hallowe’en.

You can find out more about Charlie’s books on his website, and on his Amazon Author page.

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You can download this 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.