February 2nd, 2021: 14:00 GMT
Walking the Land: an international group of artists walking in synchronicity. Group prompt: Sense of Place.
Today, I am walking to a woodland area on the lower slopes of the Black Mountains range on the Welsh Borders
The mountain above rises to 600 metres. The wooded area of 45 acres contains numerous water courses and waterfalls that descend and converge to form a mill stream which flows past my studio.
Since 2020, I have been making drawings in response to natural and musical sounds. On this walk I am making notes, drawings, and photographs to begin my exploration of the place - focussing on water.
Leaving my studio, and road-walking uphill, parallel to the stream for 1.6km. I descend into the woodland and come to the first water course:
spitting mizzle......walk up, up, up......enclosed lane.....high banks.....up, up.....red mud.....into field, tractor marks.....
barbed wire snagged with sheep wool.....the marker oak.....down now.....sounds of water, twigs underfoot.....moss, green fern in enclosed lane.....sounds of water enclosing all.....
In 2000, I wrote the following:
All our senses are engaged when walking the land, whether we are conscious of the experience or not. I am interested in sense of place as an abstract concept that stimulates personal responses, and also in highlighting individual senses to heighten the the experience of a particular place. Sight is just one sense that allows us to become immersed in the land. The sound of the crack of a twig underfoot, the smell of damp soil, the touch of the wind on the face, and the feel of a feather, surely all contribute to an ultimate understanding of being in the landscape.
The High Country by Mark Harrell, published by Upper House 2020, a collaboration with Glenn Storhaug and Susan Milne
with drawings by Susan Milne.