Some of my summer obsessions: fish, water lillies, jetties and rope

This summer I had some particular obsessions walking around the Floating Harbour.

Harbour fish

Photos in a slideshow, or in a flickr album and some little films

Watching the fish

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Pill to Sea Mills – with an added grass fire

One of the walks I’ve repeated is from Pill, over the Avon via the M5 road bridge and down the river to Sea Mills.  I first walked this with Tracy Homer in August last year, and then again in November, but I really wanted Vik to see it too, because there is just so much to see.  It takes in some really interesting spaces, especially the industrial ones, and it’s seeped in history – but this time it got very dramatic, as we got to see one of the impacts of the heatwave from closer than I even thought I would.

Here’s the map of our walk, from 5th August 2018:

An album of (a lot of) my photos – mouse/swipe over the first one to start the slideshow, or click through to the album

Fighting the Sea Mills grass fire

…and here are Vik’s gorgeous photos from her holga and deliberate double exposures from her Fuji PET – hopefully you can start the slideshow below, or click through for her album.

Folly

I’ve got some specific photos, some soundscapes and a mini film below, with thoughts on some of the things we saw, if you want more…

Continue reading “Pill to Sea Mills – with an added grass fire”

A walk around some functional Avon spaces

At the end of July Matt, Vik and I were looking for a walk to do away from people, which was a bit complicated, with the Chocolate Path closed, and crowds filling Bedminster and Southville for Upfest.  It can be challenging, finding walks that start in the city centre and includes places we haven’t been, but the ferry trip down the New Cut and the Avon that Matt and I had taken had inspired me, and so we went to explore some of the places I’d seen from the boat – the functional spaces.

Here’s where we walked:

And here’s my flickr album from the walk – hopefully if you mouse/swipe over the first photo, it will start a slideshow, but if not, you can also click through.

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So what did we see?

Continue reading “A walk around some functional Avon spaces”

Silt clouds in the Avon

Yesterday Vik and I were on a walk, and it wasn’t going so well – the walk leaders didn’t have a map, just instructions, and didn’t know where they were going, and that makes me so stressed. So when we got to the Cumberland Basin, we peeled off, and went to look at the river instead.

After the long, long winter, May has been pretty much perfect, and yesterday was a beautiful day.  The sun was low in the sky, and the tide was very high, very still.  We stood on the very end of the Cumberland Basin, looking at the bridge, and then down at the water directly below us.  The first Entrance Lock gates had been opened recently, and clouds of silt were flowing into the river, at first slowly, and then when the second lock gate was opened too, very fast.

It’s one of my very favourite things, watching the clouds of silt under the water – the way they move, like eruptions, or something blossoming.   It’s magical to me, and I always hope I’ll see it.  Of course I wish I’d had my DSLR and tripod with me, as filming on my mobile has limitations, but still, I took nearly 50 snippets of film on my phone.  I’m not posting all of them here, but check out how gorgeous it was.  The light was changing, the water pressures kept changing too, and I was hypnotised.  We spent about an hour and a half there, and then walked home, with everything looking beautiful.  I also took a whole load of photos on my film camera (and UPDATE!  they’re here).

The sounds to imagine are a base rumble of traffic from the Portway ahead to the right, and behind on the Plimsoll swingbridge; the piercing blackbird song coming from across the river ahead of us, other birdsong layered up; and the sound of the water flowing, with gloops as eruptions of silt hit the surface.  The smell was of river-water on a hot day, so evocative and refreshing.  Spring breeze on my skin and in my hair, the stone of the Harbour edge warm in the sun, and gently-rough on my hands and where I sat.  The water was so high, it was only a metre and a half below us, and I was having fantasies of jumping in.

At first, it was relatively slow

Looking out across the river, the surface tensions were picked up by the light, but it was just too bright for my phone

Continue reading “Silt clouds in the Avon”

Shawn Sobers’ film about Newstead Abbey and slavery

A few weeks ago I went on a podcast-walk in the snow with Dr Shawn Sobers, talking about his work as a film-maker, artist, educator, curator and more.  One of the things we discussed was his work with heritage sites, exploring their links to the transatlantic slave trade, and he told me about a film he’d just finished working on at Newstead Abbey in Nottingham.

This film, Blood Sugar, was a collaboration with the Abbey, poet Michelle Mother Hubbard and the Slave Trade Legacies group – and it’s now online if you want to watch it:

Listen to the podcast with Shawn, talking about his work, here.