This article is about the reaction from First Nation communities to the news that intermediate level waste from the UK might be sent to Southern Australia as a final storage solution. As the article states:
Australia agreed to dispose of the waste in exchange for Britain reprocessing spent fuel rods from the first reactor at Lucas Heights in the 1990s.
As part of my ongoing investigations into the Wylfa site I have been working on the archaeology that is taking place in preparation for a possible new power station adjacent to the old Wylfa site. No doubt this is adding something to the cost of nuclear power as there are upwards of 80 trained archaeologists working to uncover the neolithic henge, 1st century village, 5th century graveyard and much else besides. We are still trying to get permission from Horizon to go onto the site itself but they have agreed to work with us to try and create something for the local community.
Archaeologists from all over Europe working on the post Roman village
The remains of the 1960’s viewing platform, my own bit of contemporary archaeology.
In the meantime a study day at Plas Gyn-y-Weddw with Simon Callery and Stefan Gant proved inspirational as they have been working in Denbighshire alongside the excavation of a hill fort there. I have been interested in Simon Callery’s work since he made the Segusbury Project, casting a whole section of excavation of chalk downs. Here he has worked in heavily pigmented cloths on the ground to explore the three dimensional experience of the landscape as revealed by excavations. The result is a four layered stitched cloth painting, the size of the gallery wall and inviting the viewer to walk around and experience the temporality of the land.
Simon Callery, Country Register, 2018
Stefan Gant, Phygital Palimsest, 2018
Stefan Gant is fascinated by the process of digging and has made many drawings of this action as well as many sound recordings. Here have has found new ways of combining these two into new and abstract digital forms.
I was recently invited to participate in Landscape / Evidence / Roundtable at Kingston University @Kingstonschoolofart put together by Matthew Flintham, artist and phd researcher http://www.matthewflintham.net and included speakers Artist Kate Fahey http://www.katefahey.co.uk Architect Christoph Lueder https://www.kingston.ac.uk/staff/profile/mr-christoph-lueder-330 and Artist and Curator Nick Fergusson http://nickferguson.co.uk
It was an interesting set of presentations and discussions – I presented about Power In The Land, http://powerintheland.co.uk/ speaking about my approach to making work on the Horizon Nuclear Power site at Wylfa and negotiating access etc. I showed a section of my film Orange Buckets https://vimeo.com/148746112 .
Conversation covered nuclear power, security zones, military land, spectatorship of internet, materiality of operational footage from freely accessible military / state controlled cctv / footage and drones. Non regular systems of urban typographies, social housing and off grid communities. As well as the physicality of airspace and thinking about the wheel well space inside long haul aircrafts and the transfer of fauna, people and whatever else as in these non places. After the presentations we realised that ‘as artists / researchers it was the act of finding the weak link or way in or playing the system to get to our subject matter’ that we all had in common, as well as the desire to get in places when they are fenced off – so the act of the fence as both a physical barrier and an enticing challenge.
Interesting program on radio four the other week.
Reminded me of one the first pieces of art work that got me interested in the idea of Nuclear Landscapes: Violent Legacies: Three Cantos by Richard Misrach. The image below is called Shrapnel and was taken at Wendover airbase in the Utah desert.
LA Times article about recent accidental release of Plutonium particles from Hanford.
Just back from a really stimulating weekend up in the far North of Scotland at Timespan, a great little gallery in Helmsdale – punching above its weight I would say. Bridget and I got a great deal out of it and will no doubt post more when we have a bit more time. The theme was about communicating deep time and it brought together practitioners but also a few from the heritage and archaeology worlds – focussed on thinking about the past as it might illuminate the future in ecological terms.
A great key-note address by Anna-Sophie Springer about re-contextualising futures of ‘natural history’, a video exhibition by Gair Dunlop on the nuclear industry, discussion of a walk through an archaeological landscape, a visit to Dounreay, lots of discussion and sharing of practice. The over-riding thing I came away with was the interdisciplinary of contemporary practice and the many creative ways in which artists are by-passing galleries and engaging in conversations in other places and other contexts. Very much where I see my own work going as I continue to work locally on the Wylfa site.
We have encountered Wallace several times at various nuclear related events, her sound piece about the Solway Firth The Sea Cannot be Depleted is well worth a listen.