Black Joy (skeletal remains)

remains associated with the soundwork ‘Black Joy’ at NWT Visitor Centre (NR25 7SA) from 1st July to 1st August 2021 …

“During the invasion scare of 1587, Edmund Yorke drew up a complex plan of an earthwork rampart backing Salthouse Marshes, with tow forts at either end, one adjoining the rampart at Weybourne, the other separated from the rampart at CleyHaven. This latter fort, lack Joy Fort was planned to be a six-pointed star fort with ravelins between each face, the first example of such an advanced design in England. it ws probably Yorke’s solution to the rapid rebuilding of an existing unbastioned sconce. Some part of the defences existed then as orders were given to enlarge `the sconce at Weybourne Hoop’. It is unlikely that the plan was was cried out beyond strengthening the extant sconce as the Armad commenced soon after the plan was drawn up.”

[source: https://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1394969&resourceID=19191 last accessed 30th June 2021]

Cley, Clye, Cly, Claye, Clye, Cly, Claye, Cley, Cly Clye, Claye, Cley, Cley, Clye, Cly, Claye, Clye, Cly, Claye, Cley, Cly Clye, Claye, Cley, Cley, Clye, Cly, Claye, Clye, Cly, Claye, Cley, Cly Clye, Claye, Cley, Cley, Clye, Cly, Claye, Clye, Cly, Claye, Cley, Cly Clye, Claye, Cley, Cley, Clye, Cly, Claye, Clye, Cly, Claye, Cley, Cly Clye, Claye, Cley, Cley, Clye, Cly, Claye, Clye, Cly, Claye, Cley, Cly Clye, Claye, Cley,

indistinctly, amongst Holes and Eyes,

cut, raised, ditch, bank

between New Cut and banked shingle

Half Moon sets to the east

beacons, buoys, and mud

repeatedly crowd Cow’s brackish waters

buried, eroded and destroyed by doubt

history realigning Clay Old Walls

reading a copy’s digital detail

with theoretical sophistication, originality and pragmatism

Yorke’s hasty map maps indistinctions,

marred by smudges and corrections

lines overlay to cover dead ground

an eight-pointed star, of

elaborate geometry, of

ravelins and bastions

inked re-iteratively onto

landform washes …

and retreat this defence

through page border

surrounded by water

facing South the threat

is from below, behind,

from an Ocean of gently brushed waves

an intent of management for the sure line

against the Spannyard’s projected invasion

and conquest of England

to garde ye entry at Claye Haven:

Mr. Catling’s paced lines.

A sinuous zig-zag of scanty remains,

faltering through Marsh grasses;

not clues for a defensive failure

destroyed by floods

Black Sey? The writing is unclear

a toponymic re-membering, misreading, mishearing

re-pronounced as Black Joy

an error creeping through time and language,

a fluidity of words for a fluid coastline.

Hold this unsure line of words

ye sheare deip Seas

beateth upon the Shores with a mighty noise

a possibility of increasing tidal prisms

adapting to the translation of line and language

an instability entrusted to transactional monitoring

and active management

maintaining a standard of protection

through the uncertainty of timing

along undefended line

implying a more complex process

of long, sure, drifting words

detail from Edmund Yorke’s 1588 map showing the proposed design of Black Joy fort. The map is held in the collection of Hatfield House.

Camden, William. Britain, or, a Chorographicall Description of the most flourishing Kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Translated by Philemon Holland. London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1610.

Cozens-Hardy, Basil. “Norfolk Coastal Defences in 1588.” Norfolk Archaeological Journal, Vol XXVI (1940): 311.

Hooton, Jonathan. The Glaven Ports: a Maritime History of Blakeney, Cley and Wiveton in North Norfolk. Blakeney: Blakeney History Group, 1996.

Kent, Peter. Fortifications of East Anglia. Lavenham: Terence Dalton, 1988.

North Norfolk Shoreline Management Plan. Environment Agency et al, 2010.

O’Neill, B.H. St. J. “The Fortifications of Weybourne Hope in 1588.” Norfolk Archaeological Journal, Vol XXVII, 2 (1940): 250-262.

Ordnance Survey. Explorer Sheet 251, Norfolk Coast Central: Wells-next-the-Sea & Fakenham. Southampton: Ordnance Survey, 2015.

_____________. Norfolk Sheet IV 16. Southampton: Ordnance Survey Office, 1906. Robertson, David et al. Norfolk Rapid Coastal Zone Archaeological Survey (part 1). Norwich: Norfolk Archaeological Unit, 2005.

Wash Lanes

But today (as with so many other days) Wash Lane remains unvisited by the I of these words. A morning run led close by but little thought was paid to the Lane. Until now (a now that will stretch elastically across days to find pockets of writing opportunity). A form of attending arises and the ‘desktop’ becomes the locus of activity; something of Wash Lane becomes apparent a kilometre northwards of its gravelly course. The unremarkable Wash Lane has (unwittingly) left traces other than (or rather, in addition to) the slowly altering stuttering series of gently rising curves.

Of course, the cartographers have been (t)here. Certain aspects of the Lane are given a form of permanence through theodolite, measure, pen and paper—an endeavour not without sweat and physical exertion for the ‘plotters’—and more latterly, the assistance of satellites, seemingly so remote from the gravel and oaks, projects the Lane’s course into digital space.

fullsizeoutput_4

Initially the cartographic renderings are easy to keep count of: two 25-inch and three 6-inch maps courtesy of the Ordnance Survey through the late-1800s and into the mid-twentieth century. Two 1-inch maps from 1899—on one version, the cartographer’s hachures exaggerate the prominence of the fold of land that Wash Lane sits within. The outline edition quietly accepts the Lane’s line. The 1940s bring colour, although none to Wash Lane. The dotted line of the parish boundary running along Dove Lane is familiar to most of these chart-views. Over time the renderings multiply and updates and alterations begin to occur at ever shorter intervals augmented by the aerial photography of the last sixty years (a process which itself has increased in frequency).

Prior to the modern mapping came the Tithe map of the 1840s. Wash Lane runs unlabelled here but is clearly found as the lines of lanes and roads has changed little in the intervening years. What has changed are the enclosures that accompany the Lane. Today’s one field to the west of the Lane was five enclosures (Nos. 66 to 70) two of which had their eastern limit set by Wash Lane at the time of the Tithe. On the east side five enclosures had their western boundaries defined by the Lane (Nos. 59 and 62 to 65). Wash Lane itself is numbered ‘204’ and its then ownership will one day reveal itself to a writing I. This ownership is a trivial point perhaps but all part of the Lane’s story; a story that is impossible to give any value to especially on the part of the Lane itself. If the Lane can be described as a self.

The manner of writing (above) has given the Lane an agency that it does not possess in a traditional way; its identity is born from a usage reinforced by a subsequent naming. The Lane must be seen elsewise, perhaps as a multiplicity that has the (mis)fortune to have risen to enough prominence to be awarded a nominal presence. And yet, in its usage it collaborates with users and inhabitants as the geology, morphology and ecology impact how the Lane is encountered and followed; whilst, reciprocally, the Lane is altered through use. It could also be suggested that it grows recursively as the fractal narratives multiply, interweave and die back.

It can easily be imagined that Wash Lane, its course, was born from necessity—a need to move from what is today the metalled road down to Dove Lane (or vice versa). Maybe the strip enclosures to the north of Dove Lane needed better access from the direction of the hamlet or the farm. The Tithe map sets a latest possible date for the Lane but there maybe exists an estate map or manuscript that more clearly sets out the line, purpose and ownership of this brief course.

This further introductory writing arguably does not go anywhere, much like the Lane ‘itself’ but, like the cartographer and the surveyor, the writing I is laying out marks to triangulate from to get to know the meaningless meaning of the Lane. And to remember a care with/of/for words that may have been recently lost.

 

In Other Tongues

Muddy running shoes, algal stains on clothing and a stiff back from sitting by a river overnight are the unusual reminders of a conference. The ethos and spirit of art.earth, Dartington Hall and Schumacher College pervaded proceedings of In Other Tongues. Billing itself as “a creative summit” was the signal that it would not just be a talking shop but would see participants embodying the activities of the two and a half days in Devon.

Amidst an atmosphere of support and respect a range of activities were available from traditional conference papers to workshops considering the possibility of “exploding human language” by communicating with (in multiple senses) trees, and from an immersive (literally) River-based workshop to collective writing workshops, along with a broad and varied programme of performances and film screenings. All carried out in the buildings, gardens and wider estate of Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon.

On day two I led a session called “running a #DartingtonLangscape,” in which I invited delegates to join me on a 6km run around the Dartington estate and afterwards for a participatory performance presentation. Five people took up my offer of a run although I was left with only three for the second part of the session! No participants were harmed in the making of this work it must be pointed out.

During the run I asked participants to be aware of their surroundings and how their bodies were responding to the exertion. I collected words of response from participants and combined them with my own observations from running the same route the previous day. For the second part of the presentation I presented fragments from a paper whilst I ran up and down a small hill before the participants (inserting myself in the picturesque frame provided by the view). This presentation culminated in a participatory performance in which participants were invited to use one of their group words or phrases from the run and to repeat it how they liked whilst I continued to run up and down the hill reciting my own walk observations. The combination of running, repetition and environmental factors began to break the language apart…undermining meaning to give a language sound analogous to the experience of running…heightened awareness rough-cut with blurrings and mis-hearings.

Having only led group walks previously it was interesting to note how the exertion of running exaggerated the dynamic of a led-group. Although only six of us in total our little group flexed, stretched and extended through the landscape yet somehow remained a whole of sorts, signals were transmitted along the group and points were selected for re-grouping and conversation. Individually and collectively the attention required from running knitted us to the landscape through extended moments. The assemblage of the group retained a cohesion despite varying levels of running ability/experience and will also persist in some small way beyond the parting of the individuals after the conference as will the echo of the hills and hedges in the muscles and on the skin of participants. [Thank you to those who agreed to be part of this session].

Through the night following the run I and a few others joined Tony Whitehead on an “Overnight Sit” on the banks of the River Dart. This extended period of sitting (in silence) opened up for me a new reading of exertion and provided a valuable opportunity to explore the differences between this apparently stationary form of exertion and the mobile form experienced in running and walking. The hoped for sonic drama of the dawn chorus was somewhat muted by the slightly damp weather from 4am but the light show provided by the moon and clouds on the woodland trees which rose up from the opposite bank of the River more than made up for this, especially experienced as it was in that condition somewhere between being awake and asleep. Others spent an equally sleepless night but in much different environments as they avidly watched the events of the General Election unfold via their TVs, phones and computers. The riverbank of the Dart may have appeared detached but…

Hopefully some work will unfold from recordings I made during the run and the sit.

Thank you to the art.earth team for another stimulating yet refreshing few days in Devon.

leaves