More details to follow soon…
Our 2020 AGM will take place on Saturday 5th December at 11:00am to 12:00pm via Zoom.
Our 2020 AGM will take place on Saturday 5th December at 11:00am to 12:00pm via Zoom.
While most have been perfecting their sourdough making skills I have been collaborating with my womb, staining fabric with my period blood and making a 1950’s Step Ford Wives dress and performing outside the Tate Modern.
Some context. At the turn of this decade my promise to myself was to be guided creatively by my monthly period for a year. My art has gone from hiding at the back of the airing cupboard to a LOCKDOWN secret online exhibition (with my underground cult following) to pricing a selfie titled; We are ALL Salvator Mundi 2020 at $916,000,000 and standing with it at The National Gallery (well outside it for now, but one day I will be inside it).
Now in month 9, the month of BIRTH, it is I who have to birth myself. Writing to you and getting the story out there is like the birth announcements in the paper!
As I walk towards the beginning of the end towards the beginning of this creative communion I will be completing the year with a virtual talk 25.11.20, philosophising about the body of art I have created and birthed and inviting people to collaborate with me for 2021. Let the flow flow as they say.
Before the Bodyform advert I had scripted, filmed, directed, edited and produced a micro documentary; Why did I price a selfie as the highest art work in the world by a mother? Watch; Made in Womb below.
‘Made my vagina tingle’
‘ I am not off to address my patriarchal prejudices’
‘witty, you made me think’
‘I found seeing your blood gross and then I asked myself why.’
My art has been funded and fuelled by women, I have not sought grants or funding, this adventure was about seeing how I can create a community of people to be part of the art journey with me.
In truth I am better at talking about this, if this tickles your arts tastebuds I would love to indulge you further.
Here is the Gallery of my artists journey. Art has been my medicine, helping me process trauma meeting a well of oppressed creativity.
Nightingale. It is all about the Nightingale. I have recorded them at Bridge Wood next to the A14, at Aldeburgh next to the main road by the golf course and in the woods near Hatcheston but people, including Alex Bass of Local Birding, kept telling me that if I wanted to hear Nightingales I should go to Westleton Heath.
Of course I have been to Westleton Heath but to walk and to look, and probably not at the right time. Then this year the Waveney Sculpture Trail moved its site to Potton Hall which is right next to Westleton Heath, so I decided to make a piece about the Heath for the Sculpture Trail.
I have been making SoundHide installations since 2015 where I made the original straw bale hut for the Waveney and Blyth Arts Sculpture Trail at Earsham. Last year I created the SoundHide Cinema at Raveningham where the audience could watch the sunrise at Suffolk Wildlife’s Carlton Marshes and hear the incredible dawn chorus there, in a converted caravan lined with sheep’s wool. My plan for the Potton Hall Sculpture Trail was to do a soundscape of Westleton Heath and play it in the caravan as a SoundHide with no visuals but COV-19 put paid to the trail. It also curtailed my recording plans during March and April.
Once lockdown was eased and I was able to travel a bit further, I decided I would go to the heath and record in the evening and nighttime because as well as nightingales in the woods, Westleton Heath is home to nightjars. These are amazing birds that you mostly hear. Their song is described as churring and they clap their wings in flight. This is all to establish territory and find a mate – sound is important in the dark.
On my first visit I discovered the woods were seemingly full of nightingales though I suspect it was two males competing for territory and a mate. I also heard blackcap, song thrush, robin, wood pigeon, a family of long tailed tits and a cuckoo. One notable night the cuckoo was joined by motorbikes which seemed to be circling the heath for hours. I didn’t use them in the final piece but you can hear a clip on my SoundCloud account.
I have made a 45 minute video of the sunset and the light sky after sunset. Initially I have split these into 15 minute chunks to highlight different species as they come out. I will release a full 45 minute version eventually but for now the Chapters are being released on Fridays.
After the Prime Minister announced last week that Theatres can reopen with social distancing in place from the beginning of August, W&BA have been wondering what this will mean for some of the local venues we’ve worked with over the years. Like us, many of these venues are very small organisations who rely heavily on ticket sales to stay afloat. They are also vital creative honeypots, responsible for keeping creatives from all areas of the Arts connected both with each other and their audiences.
In June, Conservative MP and former actor Gile Watling shared his thoughts with The Guardian. “People are beginning to understand just how valuable this is, and how much in danger it is. And how historically important it is.” He shared his fears that, without government funding and guidance, many theatres across the UK are facing the prospect of shutting down.
The theatres in the Waveney and Blyth areas have been sharing their own varied experiences and plans recently, with some beginning to explore how they’re hoping to open in the coming months.
At present, The Cut in Halesworth has a series of online events scheduled, though physical events will begin again in September. The Fisher Theatre in Bungay are looking at a soft opening from September onwards too, “with local and in-house activities and events to reconnect with our community and audiences.” In the meantime, they are “planning and implementing procedures and facilities to support our safe opening in accordance with government guidance.” They’re also working with Upshoot Theatre Company who regularly produce work at the Fisher Theatre, to promote their Garden Theatre performances. These will take place in Bungay and Halesworth in mid September, with the aim of “reconnecting our community with the joys of live performance.”
Sadly, by contrast, the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft published an announcement last week, stating that, as a result of lockdown and a ‘catastrophic’ drop in their income, “we have reached the conclusion that we have no choice but to reduce our overheads and scale back our operation. We have had to make the incredibly hard decision to begin a period of redundancy consultation with our staff.” In the announcement they thanked all their supporters, including Lowestoft Town Council and the Arts Council, and assured us that “The Marina Theatre Trust remains committed to playing a key role in the cultural life of Lowestoft. We will be a different organisation when we emerge into a very different landscape, but we want to be able to offer our audiences the very best entertainment we can. As soon as we can re-open safely and economically, we will welcome back our community.” You can read the statement in full here.
Meanwhile, The Seagull Theatre have started to take small steps toward opening with their much loved ‘Memory Cafe’ for anymore living with dementia and their carers. After the first cafe event on Wednesday 15th July they wrote, “Today felt….normal and it was good. We were so pleased to welcome back our lovely families for memory cafe.” The next session will be on 29th July from 10.30am until midday. The Seagull has also been changing and updating their website, so take a look at the improvements they’ve made.
Across the opposite side of our area, The Bank in Eye have given us an uplifting update on their plans: “We are working hard in the background to come back fitter and stronger!” They’ve been running online events on Thursday evenings and have been making the most of lockdown by working out plans to become “a carbon-neutral building and influence others in our community to follow suit.” They have also partnered with Suffolk Mind to “address unmet needs in our community for those whose situation was poor before Covid-19 but worsened during shut down.”
Our ‘friendly Bank Manager’ Peter said The Bank plans to reopen on 9th Sept for their Art group and Knit & Natter Craft group. “Before then we plan to reconfigure the Main Hall to provide more flexible space by replacing the stage with a lower demountable version. The coffee station will be moved to allow one large exhibition wall. Our meeting room and office will be upgraded to accommodate private hire and space a possible resident artist.” He added “As ever, we are always seeking more participation particularly from Artists who have organisational skills, perhaps someone reading this fancies a Residency or Art Director role?” We’re excited to see all these exciting plans come to life in the future.
Further uplifting news has reached us from The Corn Hall in Diss, which has just celebrated its 10th birthday. In their newsletter, they expressed thanks to all their supporters for making donations, renewing memberships and sending messages of support.
During lockdown The Corn Hall has installed safety elements including perspex screens in the Box Office and Cafe, and multiple hand sanitiser stations. They said “We are initially planning to run many events in cabaret-style which will allow for family and household bubble groups. We’ll give more details on this soon.” Meanwhile, on 24th July until the end of August the Corn Hall is hosting a ‘Welcome Back’ exhibition. Curator David Case said “Although the Corn Hall is not fully up and running yet, we thought we would welcome our audience back with a ‘taster’ of the rescheduled shows we have coming up.” Thankfully many of the live shows which had to be cancelled have now been rescheduled. You can view their programme of events here.
We’ll be keeping an eye on how all these venues and others fair over the coming months and will continue to keep our members and our newsletter subscribers up to date.
If you are part of a local theatre venue in our area, please consider signing up as a Member Organisation. With the support of your membership, we can share your reopening plans and direct your message to our culture-interested audience in the locality. We’ll promote your events across our social media platforms and in our fortnightly newsletter.
W&BA Halesworth Representatives
In this series of blog articles, Spotlight On… takes a closer look at the 8 towns which make up the W&BA micro-region from the perspectives of our local area coordinators within our management committee. In this article, our two Halesworth representatives introduce us to what is remarkable about their Suffolk Market Town.
Halesworth sits at the heart of the Blyth Valley. It is one of Suffolk’s quietly modest gems, close to the Heritage Coast with a wealth of historic, ecological and natural features. Over many years Halesworth has been a transport hub for the local agricultural, brewery and fishing industries, taking products – first by wherry and later by train and road – from the beautiful surrounding farmland and the harbour at Southwold down to Ipswich and London. Now it is a thriving residential town that celebrates its heritage and provides opportunities to enjoy a wealth of cultural, social and environmental activities.
Culture is well represented through various buildings in the town. At one end of the Thoroughfare, the pedestrianised town centre, is the Halesworth Gallery on the top floor of a terrace of oak beamed ancient alms houses next to the church, while at the other end of the Thoroughfare (about ninety meters beyond the roundabout) is The Cut Arts Centre – an all-purpose urban sized arts–hub created out of a large ex-maltings building. Between these, is the impressive glass-fronted 1996 Library building (Suffolk Libraries) which is a busy hub for all generations living here.
The Cut has established a regional reputation for its programme of visual art exhibitions and performing arts shows, as well as regular arts-related classes and one-off workshops and lecture presentations. It also houses a permanent interactive museum space – The Malt Experience – dedicated to the C19th malting industry which was a major reason for the town’s growth and prosperity. A short walk up the adjacent Station Road takes the visitor to the Halesworth & District Museum which houses an amazingly varied collection of artefacts, models and documents telling the much older history of the town and its environs.
An unusual feature of this small Suffolk town, is the scope and range of its independent retail and service businesses – everything from a lively local bookshop to solicitors and estate agents. In fact shoppers can get anything from antiques and bric-a-brac to sewing needles and repairs, key-cutting to specialist craft jewellery, seasonal fruit and vegetables fresh from the two independent grocers, or locally grown meat from the two independent butchers. The World Land Trust – a significant international conservation organisation – has its base and walk-in shop and gallery here as well.
Shopping along the pedestrianised Thoroughfare is on a truly human scale with opportunities to browse, relax and refresh. There are numerous small cafés, two pubs and international food outlets in the form of delis and takeaways. A favourite is ‘Focus Organics’ which has a café, deli and ethnic-oriented life-style shop. In good weather it is an additional pleasure to sit and watch the world go by from their outside tables. The Angel Inn on the corner is famous for Cleoni’s, its Italian restaurant.
It is interesting to walk around and see the town’s history revealed in its architecture and landscape. There’s a large town house, formerly the brewery house, where father and son botanists Sir William and Sir Joseph Hooker briefly lived. Sir William was the first Director of Kew Gardens. Local conservation and volunteer groups are restoring the health of the River Blyth and the New Reach canal while a recently formed group of enthusiasts are restoring the town-end of the Halesworth to Southwold heritage railway.
Halesworth also boasts an active social and artistic community. Many clubs and groups are based here including an extremely creative University of the Third Age and Halesworth In Bloom which maintains attractive plant displays throughout the town centre using planters made by the local Men’s Shed. To appreciate all these aspects of the town, you can take a short circular walk signposting all the main historic houses and sites.
Just over the town’s ring-road is the beautiful natural environment of the Millennium Green – said to be the largest such Green in England – an area of conservation and wildlife managed by the Town Council and a team of local volunteers. Here you can meander along the quiet footpath by the New Reach canal or through the adjacent wild flower meadows. For cyclists, there’s a registered cycle path that travels for a mile from Halesworth through the Millennium Green to the village of Mells. Adjacent to the Green is Town Park where the sound of children playing in the well-equipped playground and teenagers skateboarding reminds us that Halesworth is a place that offers something for everyone, residents and visitors alike.
Find out more about the best places to visit in and around Halesworth in The Suffolk Coast’s Guide.
Read our Spotlight on Great Yarmouth, and look out for features on our other towns coming soon.
Banner Image by Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
On 25th May 2020, science writer and LGBTQ activist, Christian Cooper, was bird watching in Central Park, New York City, when he asked a woman to put her dog back on its lead as she was in a part of the park that was not dog friendly. What ensued after has been spread across the news ever since, and has been just one of many examples of the hostility people of colour experience across the world on a daily basis.
Until hearing about Chris Cooper in the media, a lot of white people (myself included) will never have considered what it is like to be a person of colour out in nature. In the last month at W&BA we’ve been thinking about the Black Lives Matter movement and how we can do more as an organisation to provide a welcoming space for people of colour in our area to share their love of nature and creativity.
Being a predominantly white community in Norfolk and Suffolk, we believe the best thing we can all do right now is educate ourselves and listen to what people of colour have to say. This is why we’ve listed some links below. We know it’s not much, but it’s a start, and something we want to work on in the future.
If you are a creative or nature-inspired person of colour living in the Waveney and Blyth area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know what more you’d like to see from organisations like ours.
Mya-Rose is a British Bangladeshi ornithologist and campaigner for equal rights from Bristol. In February 2020, she received an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Bristol, and is said to be the youngest British person to receive such an award. She founded the project Black2Nature at the age of 14, with the aim of encouraging young Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) people to engage more with nature. Reading about her work is really inspiring.
The Black History Month website is a great resource thats well worth exploring. This is one of their wonderfully curated lists. Incidentally, though she is not on this list, award winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge is also an incredible black British female writer, best known for her Sunday Times Bestseller ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’. Click the book title to read a preview of the first chapter, which discusses black British history that we should all know, yet sadly aren’t taught in schools. Despite her book being published in 2017, it has only been this month, June 2020, that she has become the first black British author to take the overall No 1 spot in the UK’s official book charts.
When reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book, it shocked me how little I knew of black British history as a white woman. Surely it should be taught in schools? We have facts WW1 and WW2 drummed into us as children, but our black history has played just as much of an important roll in shaping today’s society. The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise, set up in 2019 to address the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum. “We believe that by delivering arts focused Black history programmes, providing teacher training and campaigning through mobilising young people, we can facilitate social change.” You can read more here about how they’re working to change the curriculum in the UK and we can all help them take action through donations, writing to MPs and learning more about Black British history for ourselves.
On Sunday 7th June, roughly 1000 peaceful protesters gathered outside The Forum and 350 in Eaton Park in Norwich to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, while over 2000 people joined in from home. Speakers at Eaton Park shared their own experiences of racism and what it is like being a person of colour in Norfolk. Watch the speeches online here and show your support by following the facebook page. After the protest, the Norwich Supports Black Lives Matter group called out for creatives, events organisers and others with relevant experience to get in touch in order to help in future events.
In June 2019, Somerset House held an exhibition celebrating Black experience, creativity and influence. Get Up Stand Up Now is a 10 minute film curated by artist Zak Ové for the exhibition, reflecting upon the concept of motherland, masquerade and activism. You can watch it online today.
Recently, photo colouriser Tom Marshall released a series of colourised historical photographs to “try and highlight moments of Black British history in a way that might open a few eyes to the contributions of Black people in this country over the past century.” He writes, “I have chosen photos taken in Britain since 1889 of British and Commonwealth heroes, fighters, workers and ordinary men and women, along with examples of the hardship endured, much of which is still felt today. My aim in colourising these photos was to highlight and celebrate the rich diversity of the country I love. Anti racism is a process which includes self-education and educating others. I hope the colourised photos in this blog bring these stories and people to life.”
Research shows that creative activities help the brain to cope with emotions. Since we’re all still in a state of flux right now, our Vice Chair Melinda Appleby and our Chair Genevieve Rudd decided now is a good time to share some creative prompts to keep us all inspired and making throughout this hard time.
As a result, we’ll be sharing a creative prompt in our newsletter every fortnight that we’d love for our readers (members and non-members alike) to engage with. We’ll keep the details of them all on this page for you to go back to anytime, and if you’d like to share what you’ve made after following the prompt, send us photos to add to our newsletter and our Finding Silver Linings page.
By Genevieve Rudd, Great Yarmouth
During lockdown, I’ve been thinking more and more about resource-light art approaches which utilise things found in the immediate environment. For me, that environment has been my garden with its small “No Mow May” lawn that has taken my interest over the last few weeks. As well as cultivating a long grass drift and making dried grass nests, I’ve been ink painting with grass too, and then turning them into cyanotype photographic prints.
World Environment Day has been raising awareness and driving change for almost five decades. On 5th June last week, this year’s theme was ‘Biodiversity’ – a theme we explore in our ‘Bugs & Blossoms’ programme (more news on that coming soon!). There are 8 million plant and animal species within the interdependent network of our planet, however, the rapid depletion of this biodiversity has us teetering on the brink of mass extinction. As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says: “Nature is sending us a clear message” and it’s our job to listen and take action.
There are things we can do to address biodiversity on a local level. If you need some inspiration take a look at the RHS article on encouraging wildlife in your garden. I’m sure most of you reading this are already a dab hand at gardening, so why not spread your pro-biodiversity habits into your local neighbourhood? Extinction Rebellion launched their #PaintTheStreets campaign this month and are encouraging guerilla gardening with sunflowers. Do you have any spare seeds which could be (safely) shared? In my garden, last year’s sunflowers have self-seeded and have produced lots of mini plants which I’m currently cultivating to transplant in my local area. Could you do the same?
I tuned in to the first Creative Climate Chats with Julie’s Bicycle last Wednesday afternoon. Just like the “build back better” message on World Environment Day, the speaker Lucy Davies (Executive Producer, Royal Court Theatre) made the case that we have an opportunity to rethink our futures whilst we’re in lockdown. She said that our language post-COVID-19 shouldn’t be about getting back to ‘business as usual’, but that we need to focus on regrowth, regeneration and renewal.
Whilst this talk was focused on the arts & culture sector, it’s a mindset which must reach to all parts of society.‘Business as usual’ isn’t working and we have an opportunity to rethink. As an organisation, we’ve started the process of reflection and renewal through the development of our Next Generation committee, voted in at the November AGM. Whilst ‘usual’ activities have been on hold during the pandemic, the process of listening and growing hasn’t stopped. For us, this means reflecting on the interconnected layers which inform our programming, including addressing issues around accessibility, diversity and sustainability.
Last year, Natural England published a report on environmental justice, a theory which explores the direct relationship between environmental and social inequalities. The report found that “ethnic minorities and those of lower socio-economic status visit [green spaces] less often due [to…] accessibility” and that Black & Minority Ethnic people experience concentrations of pollution levels 12-29% higher than White British people in the UK.Those overlapping layers of enquiry are something which is explored creatively using the visual ethnographic approach: using photography to research social cultures. GroundWork Gallery, based in King’s Lynn in North Norfolk, brought our attention to Dave Lewis’ ‘Field Work’ photographic project from 2010 which explored the idea of being a ‘stranger’ in rural UK towns. Lewis found connections and commonalities beyond the initial differences around race and identity linked to place. You can also see more of his work in W&BA member Gen Doy’s book ‘Black Visual Culture’.
In the report, Natural England described the challenge of overcoming environmental justice issues as “messy”, as the problem is so multi-faceted and progress has been slow due to changing political priorities. The movement in the UK has been led with a top-down approach without civil grassroots level action, and has gained less traction here than it has in the US. I think the current international traumas could benefit from re-framing issues through an environment justice approach – recognising that “the very same processes that are degrading the Earth and its systems are also exploiting low-income, indigenous, and/or communities of colour.” [Quote from WeAct.org]
The levels of devastation to our planet and people are shocking and can feel immobilising. With this in mind, it’s important that we listen to the experiences of wider sections of our communities. We know that what is needed to work towards climate stability is an intergenerational approach which recognises that environmental impacts are not experienced equally across factors such as age, gender and race, and is therefore more akin to a civil rights movement. [See United Nations Sustainable Development Climate Justice article.] We know that people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds do not experience nature in the same way as White people – being able to freely access public natural spaces without threat is a privilege. [See ‘Being Black while in Nature‘ Guardian article.]
This year the COP26 – the 26th annual UN Climate Conference – has been postponed until November due to COVID-19. It’s important that the climate emergency is addressed in the broadest way so that all walks of life can answer the call to action. One such action suggested by the Climate Coalition which they are putting forward to COP26 is that “Britain should grow its forests and tree cover significantly by 50,000–70,000 hectares a year” [Quote from The CCoalition]. In November, W&BA committee members Melinda Appleby and Brian Guthrie were part of a team of local residents and families planting 2,500 trees and hedgerow plants near Walnut Tree Farm, which was the home of writer Roger Deakin [Read about it here].
I live in a small terrace house with a narrow garden, but over the past year I’ve made a home for three trees in my garden: last year’s Christmas tree, an apple and an acer. You don’t need to have a large space, but again, don’t just think about your own garden, what can you do in your neighbourhood? Are you linked with a school or community group with land? The Woodland Trust are open for applications to be given saplings to plant in November. You can read more about this initiative here. As schools and groups start to reconnect over the coming weeks and months, this could be a celebratory action which looks towards a positive future, helps support biodiversity and can bring communities together.
What can you do in your community to inspire change? How can we bring everyone along with us? If you have examples of positive actions happening in your area around community, creativity and climate, I’d love to hear about it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
I thought you might be interested in the completion (in lockdown) of this long term project. Following my obsession for creative-making the project has involved recycling bricks (from a past building project) and, more notably, moulded bricks rescued from the demolition of Mattishall First School in 2010/11.
The Victorian school used bricks made at Costessey brick works by Gunton Bros. Gunton Bros supplied most of the decorated/moulded/modelled bricks in the Norwich area, including the highly decorated facade of Jarrolds in Norwich (ColonelUnthanksNorwich.com).
What do you do with several tons of more-or-less intact bricks? Make a garden folly, of course. The folly is a three-leaf zigzag that starts nowhere particular and ends nowhere particular, and serves no real purpose, except to act as a homage to Mattishall First School. The head/face is not from the school but adds to the interest. The aim now is to let nature take hold and see what happens.
It’s May, and the countryside is splashed green and white as spring moves into summer and the changing palette of flowers evolves. The cowslips have gone to seed and are replaced by bugle, ground ivy, red campion and ox-eye daisies. The year is hiccoughing between hot and cold spells and summer migrants are still slow arriving. The house martins came to their home nest two weeks late. A party of thirty swifts whirled over on 5th May. Cuckoos are calling along the river valleys and the hedgerows are full of whitethroats.
The sunshine has brought out the butterflies and we have seen holly blue, orange tip, brimstone, tortoiseshell and green veined white.
This week would have been our village Flower Festival and we were to host the first of Waveney & Blyth Arts BioBlitz events focusing on the bugs and blossoms found in country churchyards. These workshops were planned to explore biodiversity and encourage inspired art work. Alongside the arts activity, a naturalist would have worked with us to identify as many species as we can.
Old burial grounds often have fantastic, flowery grassland as they have been so little disturbed over the centuries. A churchyard or burial site may be the most ancient enclosed piece of land in a parish, perhaps even older than the church building, having its roots in pre-Christian times. Apart from grave digging, the grassland will have been relatively undisturbed, re-seeding naturally for hundreds of years. A benefit of this is a diversity of grasses and flowers and associated animals and insects, some of which may now be rare in Britain.
In the absence of the workshop I decided anyway to spend some time in the churchyard exploring the wildlife. It is quiet here. Set amongst meadows, on a slight rise in the land, the church peeps through tall hedges of cherry plum and apple. Looking north I can see the Dove valley with its string of water meadows, and the breeze brings the sound of cattle. The sky is an intense blue, the air as clear as mountain mornings. They say the lack of pollution is giving us these pin sharp days. Were the trees ever that green?
My BioBlitz list is a small start at recognising all the wildlife that occupies this country churchyard…
Birds: song thrush, nuthatch, wren, robin, wood pigeon, chiffchaff, blackcap, blue tit.
Mammals: none seen but evidence of muntjac, rabbit, mole.
Plants: red campion, cowslip, ox-eye daisy, bugle, forget-me-not, buttercup, germander speedwell.
Insects: red-tailed bumble bee, damselfly, soldier beetle, crane fly.
More time and more systematic hunting needed.
The churchyard is host to old friends and I pause to remember them. On the west of the church the graves are older, lichen coloured, capturing families and stories of the village long past. At this time when death seems to be a daily newscast, I ponder life and loss. What will I leave behind? What should I do while I am here?
The BioBlitz planned to encourage art work, poetry and short nature notes; thoughts on the churchyard or the wildlife or both. I tried my hand at a poem about our link to the land.
Laid to Earth
I want to be of this land, to be sinewed
by rock and root; to be fed by it in seed
and fruit; to borrow wool from the sheep,
weave cloth for my comfort. Hear music
of the wind’s play in poplars, laugh
with chuckle of water under the bridge.
I want to be nurtured by sun; cup apples
warm from the tree, heft them in my palm
or bite the pear, the lazy juice sweetly running.
When I can no longer sing of the land
or hear its calling; see only blue mist coiling
round the farm, forget the blackbird
rousing the dawn, then I want to lie in the roots
of oak, in the fold of meadows, cradled
and crooked by river and wood; turn
to the earth for sleep, returning bone
to bone, unwinding sinews and sinking
back to this land from where I came sweetly running.
Waveney & Blyth Arts launched Bugs & Blossoms in 2019 to promote events that encourage people to notice insects and flowers and to facilitate positive action. The initiative aims to work across all the creative arts – to celebrate the wild flowers and insects that are part of our lives. But also for the arts to draw attention to the plight of many of these species and to encourage people to be inspired by them and to take action, however small and however local, to conserve them.
You can read more about Bugs & Blossoms, along with details on our BioBlitz Art project over on our Bug & Blossoms page. If you would like to share with us some photos, notes on the biodiversity, or artistic responses to the wild patches or churchyards in your area, please email us at email@example.com
Waveney & Blyth Arts
W&BA Secretary postal address: 26 Marsh Lane, Earsham, Bungay, Norfolk, NR35 2TP
Get in contact via email
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Diss – Brian Guthrie
Harleston – Nicky Stainton
Bungay – Ann Woolston
Beccles – Netta Swallow
Gt Yarmouth – Genevieve Rudd firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowestoft – Michaela Barber
Southwold – Ian Lomas
Halesworth – Simon Raven
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