sacred land

Sounds of a summer visual theology

On holiday in France this year, I am staying with my family in an old 3-storied house in the Loire.  It is full of beams, right next door to a church. The village is quiet, the houses silent, the shop fronts closed.  The summer air hangs over the place, people aren’t around. But the bells.  The bells ring out …

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A sacred canopy in college

Image: Canopy Compass Rose installed in Trinity College, Bristol. Photograph by Sheona Beaumont. NOTEBOOK SPOTLIGHT: Canopy Compass Rose A church or chapel speaks of orientation.  Through the language of architecture, aspect, and direction, you are invited to reorient yourself with the divine.  Here in Trinity College’s Chapel, the late 18th century Grade II listed building only became a …

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I do like to be beside the seaside

In contrast to last week, this week’s focus on my practice involved the opposite of deadline/brief close working at a computer screen: yesterday was the highest tide of the year (the spring perigean) at the Severn Estuary which sees the second-highest tidal difference in the world. I had to spend a day in Clevedon, thanks …

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The lenticular, the RA and me

My second excursion from maternity leave finds me celebrating inclusion in this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. I submitted my two lenticulars from Elemental in 2012. Genesis didn’t make the final cut, though May saw me carrying both pieces up to London on the train. The New Passage was created from 12 photographs …

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Perspectives on the Severn

Highest tide of the year today. And possibly the highest workmen in the South West. Out at Aust, the pylon in the Severn Estuary is having a make-over, thanks to Ivan and his dare-devil team of four. Something mesmerizing about the air, space-clean, superhigh and white, with tiny figures and water at 14m. The bracket …

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Garry Fabian Miller in Edinburgh

Garry Fabian Miller first showed Series 1 of the Sea Horizon series in 1977, and 2 years later, at the Arnolfini in Bristol. These 40 photographs were then published in 1997, and exhibited again at the Arnolfini (also in London), which is where I first saw them, aged 16. My visual diary entry that day: …

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Panorama revisited and revised

Nearly ten years on from when I first made this panorama, it pops up on display at Widecombe Church on Dartmoor. An interested viewer took the trouble to find out who the artist was, and got in touch (thank you DB!). It perhaps says a lot about how photographic displays are perceived in a church/tourist …

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Mary Colwell’s inspiration

Being in the natural world is hugely important to me, it’s vital – because I don’t get that sense of wonder and awe anywhere else, I really don’t get it inside a building or even inside a church. I get it outside. I think when you go around the world filming, you come across endless …

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Tidal timing and razor reflections

  The Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world. Last Wednesday and Thursday were the perigean tides for the autumn – meaning that point in the year (another in the spring) when the greatest difference can be observed due to the moon’s closeness to the earth. In this case, nearly 14 …

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