19 June 2012

wrapped up

Having undone the bundle I had left on one of the groyne bolts on my last visit I prepared to leave some more to mature for next time.  I'm trying to take marks from Spurn itself, using things that are part of the place.  Because Spurn is a Nature Reserve my work has to have no impact at all on the place.  This means that I can't pick leaves from the sea buckthorn to dye with or anything else along those lines.

The rusty metal that I am finding both on the groynes and lying around on the beach is part of the make-up of the place.  Man-made structures are very much part of Spurn's history and the things that are washed up on the beach are as much part of what Spurn is today as the sand, pebbles, seaweed and plants (whether we like it or not!).  If it wasn't for these additions then the spit probably wouldn't be in the form it is now. 

If I can use these things to make meaningful marks on paper and cloth, with little use of other materials then I feel I am really taking something from the place, making something of the place without any negative impact.  

I'm using the sea water as an agent to help me too.  I do find that the addition of tea really helps transfer marks from the rusty metal onto paper and cloth (see here for an explanation) so I am using that to help, even though that isn't something that occurs here - I have found a few old tea bags in amongst the other flotsam and jetsam, so maybe that justifies that one!  A mixture of sea water and tea from my flask to wet the fabric before wrapping it will hopefully help get things off to a good start and then they will be submerged twice a day by the North sea.



  1. wow, that's a fantastic result Alice. it looks like a massive bolt of cloth? how big is it? imagine having the sail of a boat wrapped and bundled, to leave out in the elements of Spurn, and what that might look like! jan

  2. Hi Jan. The cloth you see is a pile of three pieces, so it looks bigger than it is! I like your sail idea... I'm working on pieces that are easily manageable but that have the potential to come together to make something large. To invest everything in one big piece and leave it there would be quite nerve-wracking... imagine if it wasn't there when you got back.