follow the lade

April 30, 2018


Draft of the 80 cards that make up Follow the lade


Details of draft cards for Follow the lade

I’ve been sorting through all the photos taken and prints made from a measured walk I took whilst in Yarrow last summer. Attempting to follow the path of an old mill lade I waded through waist high nettles from the river Yarrow inland towards Deuchar Mill and then out again towards the river. I took a photo of what lay ahead every 10 paces which resulted in 58 photographs. I also collected a specimen of each of the 9 wildflower I encountered along the way. Later, in the studio, I first drew, then took a rubbing, and finally made 2 prints from each specimen. I’m now sifting through all this imagery and data.  The walk itself was a fumble of start stop, where next, kind of a walk, one which eventually was thwarted by the Mills’ neighbours having landscaped their garden, hence disappearing part of the lade path, many years before.  And so I’m bringing a sort of book together, more a box of cards really, to document this walk as it was found last summer, by wading through wildflowers, surveying the distance and peering at the details to piece the path together.

a month away…

April 27, 2013

..moving slowly through landscapes and occasionally stopping, letting the delayed motion sickness subside whilst wandering through city streets soaking up the details of architecture, people, ways of being. Communicating in a mixture of unfamiliar languages and gesture, benefiting from the kindness of strangers. Constantly challenged, stimulated and well fed.

It turns out after all that, I took few photos and most underwhelming compared to the actual. Still, here’s a few, just for the record.

moscow metro

st basils

Moscow, very cold. The metro stations elegant and grand…in the middle of a vast shuffling crowd I look up to see a mosaic stretching across an arched ceiling. Lenin and colleagues detailed  marching in the other direction above us.  St. Basil’s Cathedral… there is nothing quite like the cold held inside an unheated building, but it was a treat nonetheless to meander through the small chapels and walkways inside. It reminded me of the crypt at Canterbury and much of its original wall painting did too, there are some images that fade in and out of the patina just like those in Canterbury, that you can only see if you stand in the right light. Other parts of the wall painting are bold and wonderful,  starting a theme to continue through much of the trip- pattern pattern everywhere.


tobolsk old town river

tomsk 4

Tobolsk and Tomsk colder still. Snow up to here, ice and more snow and ice and we begin to learn to walk in new ways, after the first few falls. These towns are full of carved wooden buildings, beautifully made, painted and loved, some are sadly falling apart as they fight the extremities of Russian seasons and the poverty of their owners trying to hold them together.

tomsk 2

tomsk 1

Finally Olkhon Island, the sacred centre of Lake Baikal, an awesome and ancient island where many fish are eaten and Shamanism is practised. We only saw a tiny portion of the island, dense pine and birch woods, cliffs and sandy headlands, under the snow. During the winter months Olkhon is accessible via an ice road mainly travelled by 9 seater minibuses and camper vans. The ice itself is a whole other post.

olkhon rock

olkhon woods

to be continued…