After several weeks of intense teaching, making work and travelling I am back in Wells for a couple of weeks before putting up The Archive Project exhibition in London at the beginning of May. I went down to the beach this afternoon for a walk and it is really good to be back here.
I have just returned from Switzerland where I was teaching an ‘Exploring Place’ workshop and it was wonderful to explore and discover a new environment. The weather was as good as it could have been with sunshine and clear blue skies and the long reaching views of mountains weaving together into the far distance were beautiful …. but it’s not home. It’s not the place that calls and that feels right.
This afternoon it was a bit grey, although blue patches (enough to make a sailor’s trousers) gave the promise of clearer skies. There was a cold westerly wind and the tide was out. First impressions were that it was rather bleak and there wouldn’t be much to see. But, as always, as I walked a story emerged.
At low tide the contours of the beach are revealed. These change frequently, often from tide to tide. Water is trapped in hollows and small channels, that I call ‘sea rivers’.
Oystercatchers were stepping around and about the shallow water and as I approached they took off, flying further down the beach with their ‘peep, peep’ call.
Footprints left in the sand show their frenetic activity.
The gusting wind freckled the water on the sea rivers …..
and blew dry sand across the wet beach.
Wind and water combine to produce an ever-changing picture.
It’s lovely to go away and have new experiences but it’s even better to come back.