The first Limestone Journey audio visual installation took place on Saturday 18 July at Creswell Crags Visitor Centre, Derbyshire, UK. The event celebrated the conclusion of the five year Limestone Journey project and was attended by over 500 people. LEVEL had been commissioned by Junction Arts to create a new work exploring the nature, habitiat and history of the North East Derbyshire Magnesian Limestone area.
Our response was a screen based audio visual work runing for 25 minutes on a continuous loop. It is a multi media production blending audio recordings, photography, video and visual art with short sections of performance and dance. A small group from LEVEL were able to attend the installation and further explore Creswell Crags, its caves and cave art (the only place in GB to have neolithic cave art). LEVEL is planning to further develop this work in the near future – bulding upon the structure and ideas contained within the film to create a series of events exploring our relationship with the environment. We now see these as a series of RITUALS – blending performance, body image and the environment into a series of short events each focussed upon one element of this complex relationship.
More information about LIMESTONE JOURNEY PROJECT below
The screen is a part of a multi media installation created by LEVEL and commissioned by Junction Arts to celebrate the conclusion of the five-year Limestone Journeys programme. It presents a slow moving visual landscape using the unique heritage and biodiversity of three locations, Pleasley, Poulter and Creswell, as a catalyst and source of inspiration. The work comprises several elements: Photography, Visual Art, Sound Recording, Film and Performance, combining them together to create a 25-minute audio visual journey.
Material for the installation has been generated through a series of projects involving over one hundred people with a learning disability at the LEVEL Centre and its Outreach programme. These included visits to the three locations taking digital images, collecting soil & mud samples and recording audio. It was envisaged that an analysis of the soil/mud/stone samples would reveal interesting information relating to each location, leaving traces of its industrial past and levels of human interaction. Unfortunately this was not the case as it was difficult to distinguish between them. The only real point of interest was the presence of Dolomite – CaMg(CO3)2. – a mineral commonly found in Magnesium Limestone. The soil/mud samples were transported back to LEVEL and used to create paintings and costume for performances.
The film is not structured to tell a story but instead constructed as a visual art work presenting an unfolding series of images starting at Pleasley Mills (which is the site of large scale industrial structures famous for manufacturing Viyella clothing), visiting Poulter County Park (the site of an ex-coal mine) and finishing here at Creswell Crags. Each section uses images and sound recorded at the locations together with a short performance inspired by our interaction with the environment and captured on film at the LEVEL Centre. We thought of each of these as a Ritual, marking a personal connection with the environment and human interactions. There are four such Rituals within the film .
The visual art groups at LEVEL produced images based upon Limestone Journeys using the mud/stone samples and experimenting with the use of symbols inspired by the cave drawings at Creswell. These symbols use image rather than language to convey meaning and feature as part of the film together with some common visual icons found on location, eg wheelchair access signs and no parking grids. The audio comprises location recording together with recordings of looms used for weaving material and sound created by learning disabled people working with sound artist Andrew Williams.
The film forms a part of a larger installation taking place at the LEVEL Centre in September 2015. This will feature multi screen projections, interactive visual art, photography, sound and live performances
Performers: Karla Jones, James Urquhart, Simon Spencer, Frances Hunt, Francesca Coates, David Salisbury
Visual Art: People attending the LEVEL Programme
Digital Images: Clare Sampson, Caroline Bagnall, Andrew Williams, Jack Wright.
Installation, Audio & Film directed & created by Andrew Williams.