PASSENGERFILMS wins national award (again!)

•September 23, 2013 • 3 Comments

bffs award 1

passengerfilms bffs award 1

Last night the British Federation of Film Societies held their annual award ceremonies for innovative film exhibition, and I’m excited to say that PASSENGERFILMS - the cultural geography themed cinema which I founded three years ago, and have worked on with a team of other volunteer PhD students since – won the national award for Best Film Education Programme for the second year running. (Above – me on stage at NFT1, accepting the award!) Congratulations to the PASSENGERFILMS committee, Miranda Ward, Mia Hunt, Liz Haines, and Harriet Hawkins. This means our programme of cultural geography themed events over the last twelve months has once again been nationally recognised, thanks in no small part to the fantastic speakers, researchers, and guest curators with whom we’ve been collaborating. Full information on all of our previous screenings is on the blog here, and some photos of recent screenings follow below.

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The BFFS awards ceremony followed on from the National Conference for Community Cinemas – programme and notes here – which this year addressed the theme of ‘film societies of the future’, and included a special essay on that topic by Professor Ian Christie titled ‘Film Societies Past and Future’. The BFI ceremony included talks by BFFS President and Vice President Derek Malcolm and Peter Cargin, and was a good reminder of the valuable work the BFFS does throughout the year in supporting cinematic organisations all over Britain with its network and resources. It was incredibly inspiring to meet some of our more far flung companions who are involved with innovative film exhibiting and curating all over Britain, including the winners in the other categories (a full BFFS newspage on the award holders will be available shortly).

For those interested in more details, our full application for the award, explaining our relevant activities, is available here: Passengerfilms BFFS pdf. The article on last year’s win can still be seen on the Royal Holloway website (‘Students win industry award for giving film goers a taste of geography’), and blog posts and short essays on some of our recent screenings are available on the Landscape Surgery blog.

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Some testimonials from this year:

“PASSENGERFILMS is a gloriously eclectic presence. In a world where pre-packaged events dominate the entertainment scene, PASSENGERFILMS brings unpredictability, eccentricity and wisdom in all the right measure. They are their own small chapter in visual history.”

Dr, Hayden Lorimer, Reader in Geography, University of Glasgow

“The questions and conversations that followed from my talk at PASSENGERFILMS prompted fresh connections and unexpected lines of enquiry. This is a format that can only grow in popularity. It is a unique forum for exhibiting films and exchanging ideas. I will certainly stay involved in the future.”

Dr. Jonathan Hicks, Junior Research Fellow in Music, Lincoln College, Oxford

“PASSENGERFILMS provided the perfect forum for Michelle Raheja, Felix Driver and I to think across regions in terms of indigenous visual representation, and in particular to consider the challenges of conveying our research to a general public.”

Dr, Charlotte Gleghorn, Researcher in Drama and Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London

“Curating a PASSENGERFILMS evening was one of the highlights of my year in London. Putting together a programme that revolves around a film (or set of films) is a challenge. Reaching out to an audience of people who are all critical thinkers but who have varying levels of involvement with academia and geography also adds an extra challenge. Responding to these challenges, as well as the challenge of using film and speakers to initiate ongoing discussions, forced me – and I hope my co-presenters and the audience as well – to rethink their position regarding cinematic and geographic (non-)representation.”

Dr. Phil Steinberg, Professor of Political Geography, Durham University

“PASSENGERFILMS is an artful path through the academic world of film theory towards cinema as live event where geography, history, and film poetry meet.”

Kieron Maguire, founder, The Cabinet of Living Cinema

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Our next screening event will be taking place a month today, on Wednesday the 23rd October at Somerset House, as part of the Inside Out Festival, a celebratory week of events in multiple venues run annually by The Culture Capital Exchange, which highlights the best work by projects working between Higher Education and the cultural and creative sectors in London. This screening will be on the theme of cine-zoos – film media and the animal spectacle – and will include the startling new feature length documentary Blackfish, on the ethics of the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry, and the first ever zoo-horror, a hand-stencilled French film by Gaston Velle, La Peine du Talione (1906) (Blurb: sumptuously winged insects seek revenge for the injustices brought about by the practice of lepidoptery: the catching of species of butterflies and moths for the purposes of observation.)

Full event details and poster will shortly go up on the PASSENGERFILMS blog as usual, but I can confirm that the speakers will be drawn from across the fields of geography, theory, film and media studies, and animal studies/ zoology: with Anat Pick, Chris Bear, Henry Buller, Jamie Lorimer, and Michael Lawrence confirmed,

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A particularly exciting development tying in with this is that a little later this academic year we will be doing some explicit teaching at Royal Holloway, involving graduate students in curating practice, as well as working with film licensing and exhibiting. Meanwhile, anyone who’s interested in proposing a collaboration in the future, or has any ideas or proposals, do feel free to get in touch with Miranda at miranda.ward(at) (I’m not handling email regularly again until I submit my PhD!).

bffs awards

Above: BFFS award 2012 (right) and 2013 (left), and a soon-to-be-drunk bottle of champagne from the Moving Picture Licensing Company…

Sept / Oct events

•September 4, 2013 • 2 Comments

sorrow to its shelter

These are some images, below, from my visit to the Duke’s Wood Project with Alec Finlay and Hanna Tuulikki for our event ‘Bow Down’ at the weekend. Alec has written in detail about ‘Bow Down’ – including the text and images of our contributions – in this blog post, and information on the full programme curated by Ordinary Culture with the support of the Wildlife Trust is online here, including talks with the Nottingham historical and cultural geographers next weekend. The images below include the bower built between two twisted hawthorns by Alec and Kevin Langan as part of his 100 Huts project (which I slept in overnight!), Hanna performing her non-lexical compositions based on song birds in Dan Robinson’s hunting tower, Stephen Turner’s incense made from flowers and plants from Duke’s Wood, and Alec reading from the roof of the new woodland and oil museum. My own text, which responds to the history of bowers in poetry through English ballads and the literary history of gardens, is available on Alec’s blog post (see example image above).



The exhibition I’m taking part in at GV Art Gallery, NATURE RESERVES, is drawing to an end this month. It has several open events coming up, including a curator tour and questions, two handling workshops with the yeast-bacteria and specimens belonging to Victorian volcanologist Dr. Johnston Lavis, and a panel on taxonomy, with artists, archivists, entomologists and botanists. For those who aren’t able to make it, there have also been several features and reviews on it recently, a few of which include writing on my own installation, PINE – in the FAD Website review, Beverly Knowles’ review, the Velour review, the Trebuchet Magazine review, and ArtLyst.

Amy Cutler’s PINE (2013) asks a two part question projected onto a slice of pine trunk infested with wood worm: ‘Dites-moi suis-je revenue de l’autre monde?’ This piece evokes questions concerning life, death, resurrection and the role of the wound. The pine trunk slice appears to curl its arms around its wood worm wound, at once protecting the wound and attempting to overcome it, or seal it, drawing attention to that which returns and to that which is already here: what is retained or (p)reserved, in the present, of the past? Are the traumas of the past revisited on the present through wounds such as these? What does it mean for wood to remember? (FAD review)

It is  Amy Cutler’s installation, PINE, however, a projection onto a section of tree that has experienced “forest trauma” of lines from a poem by holocaust survivor, Charlotte Delbo, that offers the most radical image of interrelatedness.  The  juxtaposition shocks partly because we resist such analogies, but also stirs an ambivalence about all our efforts to make nature speak. (Trebuchet Magazine review)

Amy Cutler’s PINE, a verbal play on a dendrochronology sample projected with modern French poetry, might lead us to feel that such palimpsests of another life signal regret – they are in fact equivalent to and at one with the life that remains, stored in genetic reserve (…) and available to us. Temporally circling nature, here the predator never fully possesses the prey; nature inevitably recolonizes what man has attempted to fit to his tune. (Velour review)

There are a couple of events also coming up in autumn, including the launch of an anthology I’ll be included in by Nine Arches Press. Anthology of the Apple (ed. Ttoouli and Reddick, Sept 2013) brings together new work by poets, horticulturists, photographers, translators, artists and plant biologists, exploring the cultivation and culture of apples and orchards from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Poet and environmental scientist David Morley is writing the foreword and will be reading at the launch on 17th October.

On the 30th October I’ll be speaking at the Sheringham Little Theatre on the coast of Norfolk as part of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts’ Art and the Sea programme. The event is called ‘The Coast is Our Masterpiece’, and will bring together twilight talks by artists and researchers – more details still to come. Also in October I have a couple of events to work on and prepare: one is a collaboration with Tom Chivers for the Camarade Festival at Rich Mix on the 26th (hosted by The Enemies Project), and one is the event Grass Routes with Tom Jeffreys, Edmund Hardy, Camilla Nelson, James Wilkes, and Mendoza, as part of the Art Licks weekend festival.  I’ll also be giving an evening seminar (yet to be planned) at the Centre for Creative Collaboration on the 16th Oct for the Poetics Research Centre, discussing interventions between practice, research, and curating.

I’m also really excited to say that my cultural geography cinema PASSENGERFILMS has been nominated again for the national award for Best Film Education Programme, which we won last year. The entire shortlist of nominees has just been released by the British Federation of Film Societies online here, and we’re looking forward to seeing the other film societies at the awards ceremony later this month at the BFI!

Open access article and update on coming events

•August 5, 2013 • 1 Comment

My Journal of Historical Geography article, ”A local habitation and a name’: Writing Britain’ is now open access online on ScienceDirect here, thanks to Elsevier. The abstract:

The history, natural resources, and constitution of the land of Britain have preoccupied writers from the ancient Greeks onwards. The Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands exhibition currently at the British Library presents these histories in a tour around a series of place-writing genres (Rural Dreams, Dark Satanic Mills, Wild Places, Beyond the City, Cockney Visions, and Waterlands), using the work of individual authors to build an eclectic composition of the magical and factual realm of Britain. In both the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue, a neo-romantic version of the idea of genius loci works to celebrate literary Britain as a ‘cornucopia’ of local and localised texts, invoking chorographical traditions. This article examines the problematic geographical vision of Writing Britain, particularly its supra-historical approach, its reductive truth binaries, and its conservative reliance on belonging. Its ‘exhibition as landscape’ approach is also compared to that of the 1951 Festival of Britain and to another 2012 exhibition at Tate Britain, The Robinson Institute.

The forthcoming article in this ‘Historical Geography at Large’ section is also open access and is of interest: Felix Driver’s overview of a decade of collaborative, engagement-based, and cross-disciplinary work in historical geography.



Above are a few of the photographs from Amy Todman’s curated evening LODGED, in which my prototype for ‘GLOSS’ featured alongside small-press texts and rock samples from a number of artists and contributors, including Morven Gregor, Gerry Loose, and Lila Matsumoto. There is also a short video below of the opening night of NATURE RESERVES, the exhibition on archives and the natural environment, curated by Tom Jeffreys, in which my work ‘PINE’ featured. (One of the talking heads actually mentions my work!)


Nature Reserves; Group exhibition from 26 July – 14 September 2013 from GV Art on Vimeo.


Also recently announced – spaces are available here for Grass Routes, a free event to which I’m contributing as part of the Art Licks weekend in early October. Blurb:

Grass Routes is a series of artist/poet-led walking tours around Peckham taking in hidden elements of the area’s history and architecture, exploring places where nature peeps through uninvited and facilitating a critical engagement with the fabric of the area. Each walk lasts approximately 2 hours and features poetry readings, participatory activities, discussion, collection, creation, performance and some practical “naturing” which may well take the form of low-energy manual labour.

Different portions of the walk come under the “leadership” of a different artist, poet, botanist or forager, exploring the area through a range of different critical lenses, but are threaded together through a shared interest in community, place and the changing relationship between humans and the environment.

Artists: Amy Cutler, Edmund Hardy, Mendoza, Camilla Nelson, James Wilkes
Curator: Tom Jeffreys



Finally, the Duke’s Wood Project (above) has released its full brochure online here, along with essays. I will be contributing on Saturday August the 31st as part of an event on the history of woodland bowers in literature, and the event series also includes night-time walks, hunt cabins, drawings,  a talk by forest geographer Charles Watkins, and tours and symposiums on the industrial, oil-based and military past of the woodland site, as well as its future, with Nottingham’s Cultural and Historical Geography department and the curatorial group leading the project, Ordinary Culture. They state,

Duke’s Wood can be seen as a place where engaging with a very specific local historical context enables a framework from which to interrogate prominent issues in the wider global/political economy, opening up a space to ask questions (…) The artists working at Duke’s Wood confirm such a claim. Through diverse exploratory practices the wood has been reawakened and a new form of prospecting commenced, where the elision of ecology and industrial history sets the scene for new meanings to be made, new and jarring structures to be built, and new actions to occur that at once problematise and revitalise our understanding of a place.


More information can be found on the project blog here, and the list of events, including the one I’m collaborating on with Alec Finlay and Hanna Tuulikki, is online here. Some images of work available on the blog so far by the participating researchers and artists are above; these will coalesce into the events at the end of August. Dr. Charles Watkins has written short pieces here and here on the imaginative historical forests of Nottinghamshire and the historical role of ash, elm, and coppicing at Duke’s Wood.



I have just come back from the New Forest, where I was looking at the expressions of history in the forest’s management – particularly in the New Forest Museum, above (where forest ‘war memories’ and forest ‘work memories’ were available on the oral history telephones). Next to this an area of the museum floorboards can be seen, which clearly marks out the social histories (important battles, royal lifespans, etc.) within a dendrochronological scheme.




For the time being I will be updating this blog rarely as I am tied up to work while finishing the PhD. Above, this week’s reading, which is bang on topic: a review copy of Placing Poetry (ed. Ian Davidson and Zoë Skoulding), and my contributor copy of Poetry & Geography: Space & Place in Post-War Poetry (ed. Neal Alexander and David Cooper). It’s still quite exciting to see my name in print!

Lodged, Land Shift, Silent Spring, Duke’s Wood and others

•July 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment



Tomorrow, Amy Todman is hosting the above evening, including new works and contributions by the people listed on the left hand side. I’m unfortunately not able to make it to Glasgow for it (no trips until I finish my PhD!), but I’ll be sending a new chapbook which I’ve just finished work on, GLOSS, below – which is pencilled in for publication later this year by the brilliant Corbel Stone Press, which I have written about here previously. The work, about lithology, ice, and language, involves text and diagrams on recto and verso, related to the standardised glossaries made from the 1950s onwards by explorers such as Charles Swithinbank with the Scott Polar Research Institute, originally for use on international radio maps – particularly the Illustrated Glossary of Snow and Ice. I’ll update on any information if it gets ahead.



Some other new works which will be coming out soon: my visual poem Fructus is to be published in the forthcoming Anthology of the Apple (Nine Arches Press), edited by Yvonne Reddick and George Ttoouli, and my poem ‘Claviceps’ is to be published in the forthcoming fungi-themed issue of PAN (Philosophy, Activism, Nature). Finally, my first chapbook, Suckers, originally featured here as part of the Lex-ICON project, is to be published as a sequence in the forthcoming ‘literary ecology’ issue of Dandelion. This is following up for a talk I gave at Birkbeck to members of the Dandelion postgraduate research network, for the June symposium, Silent Spring: Chemical, Biological and Technological Visions of the Post-1945 Environment.

In terms of recent talks, I spoke at Toynbee Theatre on global forestry and the history of standardised forestry glossaries at the Poetry and the Dictionary symposium in Oxford last month, followed by a talk on forest memory at Tom Chivers’ Land Shift, part of the Two Degrees festival. It was a beautiful venue, and myself and  Justin Hopper each gave talks, as well as (below) Tom reading from his ADRIFT, Michael Symmons Roberts discussing standing water and edgelands, and Leafcutter John playing electromagnetic recordings of Hackney Marshes.



Finally, I gave a talk at the Report on the Archive symposium at the Pelz Gallery, convened by Holly Pester to tie in with her exhibition, Intellectual Tactility: An Exhibition of the Text Art Archive. A brief review of the day’s events is here at the Archive of the Now; the presentations were on archiving, archiving theory, and curatorial practice, by archivers, practitioners, curators, and researchers, Below, some of the images from Holly’s installation, which exhibited, amongst other things, constellations of curatorial emails, playfully making visible the behind the scenes discussion threads as themselves exhibits.



Last month I also published the most recent Land Diagram, Land Diagram 4. This paired dendrochronologist Mike Baillie, author of A Slice Through Time: Dendrochronology and Precision Dating, on ‘thinking catastrophically’, and environmental historian Paul Warde on a single trunk’s ‘wooden question mark’. As is the format for Land Diagrams, both scholars were responding to one image, without any context or consulting each other, applying their different disciplinary takes in their separate readings of the image (which is below).


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The next Land Diagram, Land Diagram 5 (already visible on the site), will pair two scholars on the topic of marine archaeology, underwater drawing, and shipwrecks, also bringing in the angle of the cultural aesthetics of underwater space. It should be published within the next few months. In an unintended way, it follows up on the previous PASSENGERFILMS screening we convened, which paired Allan Sekula and Noel Burch’s The Forgotten Space with Rona Lee’s That Oceanic Feeling.


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Below, an image from the screening of Rona Lee’s film, which used black and white underwater footage from the National Oceanography Centre, alongside voice-over extracts from Luce Irigaray’s Amant Marine: De Friedrich Nietzsche (‘get away from the sea – she is far too disturbing – she blurs faces and memories…’). The conversation which followed between Rona Lee, Alex Colas, and Phil Steinberg (author of The Social Construction of the Ocean) investigated ideas of mechanical vision in underwater space, and the hierarchies (and ‘hydrarchies’) of ocean transportation space.



We’re currently in the process of planning the year’s programme of PASSENGERFILMS screenings next year, beginning with an event on the spectacle of captive animals, cinema, and what Anat Pick calles ‘Cine-zoos’. The full programme will be available before the next academic year begins, but screenings will be starting in October.

Final event coming up: I am going to be taking part in the Duke’s Wood Project, a new artistic programme taking place primarily at the Dukes Wood nature reserve and former oil field located in rural Nottinghamshire, and exploring subjects of ecology, place, cultural and historical geography, and their relationship to contemporary art practice. Dukes Wood, close to the Nottinghamshire village of Eakring, is a site of distinct historical and environmental significance, located on the U.K’s first onshore oilfield (and once a secret military installation), now a nature reserve supporting a rich eco-system. As part of the various projects and performances outlined on the blog, I will be participating in the opening, on August 31st and September the 1st, staying overnight in a bower built by the artist Alec Finlay along with architect Keven Langan, and then giving a reading in the woodland clearing during the walks on the following day. I’m currently planning on working with an adaptation of the various historical translations of Buile Shuibhne concerning the episode in which Sweeney takes refuge in the trees, often referred to as ‘Sweeney in the Trees’ (I have been comparing various versions, by Heaney, Barry MacSweeney, and many others).




Finlay has written at length about this bower project, seen in his plans and sketches above, here, including the different histories of arbors and forest shelters in literature and culture. Some of the models he has consulted are below, which he has collected with Amy Todman; he has also worked with Hanna Tuulikki on assembling examples from text, such as the following lines from Frances James Child’s The English and Scottish Popular Ballads:


a little to yonder green bower
 there sit down to rest you

and has he broke your bigly bowers? 
or has he stole your fee

and he came to the ladie’s bower-door,
 before the day did dawn

and then my love built me a bower, 
bedeckt with many a fragrant flower

and when he came to Fair Margaret’s bower,
 he knocked at the ring

and ye may swear, and save your oath, 
your bower I never tread

who is this at my bower-door, 
sae well that kens my name?


I will probably be quite quiet on this blog for the next two or three months, as my PhD is due soon (in fact very soon!). But if anyone is able to make it to the Duke’s Wood event, then I’ll see you there!

Nature Reserves

•July 26, 2013 • 1 Comment

I’m one of the artists contributing to the exhibition Nature Reserves, which opened to the public today at GV Art Gallery, London, and is running until the 13th September.  This is a group exhibition on arts and science disciplines, archiving, knowledge storage and the natural environment, curated by Tom Jeffreys, editor of the Journal of Wild Culture, and last night there was a great private view and drinks. The entire catalogue, with the curator essay, photographs, and information on each of the works and specimen collections, can be read or downloaded here: GV-Art-Nature-Reserves-Catalogue. Below are some of the works, which include specimens and collections from the Grant Museum of Zoology, the South London Botanical Institute, and the UCL Geology Collections.

From the press release:

“GV Art is pleased to announce Nature Reserves, a new group exhibition curated by Tom Jeffreys. The exhibition seeks to examine human understandings of the natural environment, and features work across a rich range of media – photography, printing, sculpture, sound and projection – by 12 contemporary artists. In addition there are archival materials from a range of museums, universities and other institutions; field recordings of deceased species of birds; and an installation of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast known as kombucha, from which visitors can take away samples to start their own culture at home.

Nature Reserves explores the way that our understanding of nature is influenced by different methods of constructing meaning – across literature, science and the arts – with specific reference to thinking around systems of archiving. Of particular interest is the two-way relationship between knowledge storage (classification, organisation etc) and knowledge creation, and the tangled effect this has on our changing conceptions of the natural world. Nature Reserves is also shot through with ideas around writing, printing and technology, as well as gender, legacy, death, domesticity and the problematic politics of collecting. In short, to borrow from the title of a work by Theresa Moerman Ib: what it means to leave an impression.

The thought processes behind the exhibition grew out of Splitters and Lumpers, a series of photographs by Liz Orton of as-yet unclassified plant specimens taken in the Herbarium at Kew Gardens. Around this central point extinct species are brought back to life in the sound work of Sally Ann McIntyre; Hestia Peppe explores the idea of memory in microorganisms; Amy Cutler splices twentieth century French poetry with dendrochronology samples; and Helen Pynor documents the decay of a 19th century insect collection.

Archival materials include European ferns collected in the early nineteenth century and held at the South London Botanical Institute; hand-specimens of volcanic rock from the Johnston-Lavis Collection, part of the Geology Collections at University College London; and labels dating back to the origins of the Grant Museum in 1828 that have since become separated from the specimens they once described. Nature Reserves does not simply name the places where nature is reserved – fenced off from poachers, preserved in aspic, locked away in cabinets – but also operates as a statement. Nature, too, reserves: enacts a storage of information – in cells and seeds and sedimentary layers – that operates with reference to an uncertain future to come.”

Above are some of the installation shots of my work, PINE. The blurb for my contribution to the exhibition follows.

“Amy Cutler is a poet, curator, writer and academic who is in the process of completing a PhD at Royal Holloway on coasts and forests in modern British poetry. Cutler has also written for various academic publications, and her debut collection of poetry, Nostalgia Forest, was published by Oystercatcher Press in 2013. Cutler has been the recipient of a number of awards, including National Winner, Best Film Education Programme in the British Federation of Film Societies Awards 2012 for her cultural geography cinema PASSENGERFILMS. She also edits the online series Land Diagrams and works on public engagement with research as an appointed ambassador for the National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

In June 2013, Cutler curated a critically acclaimed exhibition, Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig at St John on Bethnal Green. The exhibition explored the properties of forest memory through text, archive, and ‘xylarium’, or wood collection. Art works examining the cultural expression of time and history in the forest were placed alongside archival photographs, small press texts, specimens, and museum objects, in an old, low-lit belfry designed by Sir John Soane.

Cutler has produced a new work for Nature Reserves entitled PINE which follows up some of the ideas in Nostalgia Forest and Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig. The work aims to explore the perceived and real environmental storage of the past – in particular, the concept of “forest trauma” (a French horticultural term), and the recording of events in history into the flesh of timber as it grows, as
well as the public perception of this idea and its uptake as a metaphor for time and memory. It has been created in collaboration with the arborists at Connick Tree Care woodyard in Surrey, where dysfunctional timber is kept temporarily before chipping. These specimens are all too diseased, rotten, or strange in shape to be used as lumber. The work takes text from a famous French poem in memory studies, ‘Une connaissance inutile’, by Charlotte Delbo – part of a number of writings made about her time at Auschwitz, and used as an example of PTSD and the eternal return (a constant re-circling of experience of the original trauma). It is famous for her neologism, ‘je remeurs’; not an existing word in French, but often translated as ‘I re-die’. For Nature Reserves, two lines of the poem are projected onto a trunk slice of a pine tree, felled for disease and the significant structural damage of woodworms. Delbo’s words translate as ‘Tell me have I come back / from that other world?’ The incorporation of historical trauma in the growth of tree rings – revealed only by felling a tree and inspecting its internal calendar – resounds with Delbo’s writings on the reliving of past trauma: ‘As for me / I’m still there / and I’m dying / back there / every day a bit more / I re-die’. The work also plays with the double meaning of the word ‘pine’.”

Below are some of the images taken on my trip to Connick Tree Care’s wood yard in the process of planning the installed piece.

Exhibition : 26 July until 13 September 2013
GV Art gallery, London, 49 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 6LY

Nature Reserves is supplemented by a programme of events, including dinners, workshops, interactive engagement and a panel discussion about taxonomies. Full details to be announced on

For press enquiries and images contact:
GV Art on T: 020 8408 9800 | E:

GV Art is the UK’s leading contemporary art gallery which aims to explore and acknowledge the interrelationship between art and science, and how the areas cross over and inform one another. The gallery curates exhibitions and events that stimulate a dialogue focused on how modern society interprets and understands the advances in both areas and how an overlap in the technological and the creative, the medical and the historical are paving the way for new aesthetic sensibilities to develop.

Tuesday to Friday 11am – 6pm
Saturdays 11am – 4pm
or by appointment.
Admission Free
nearest tube Baker Street

Finally, below are a few photographs I took at the opening night last night, followed by the original press release for the exhibition. There are also plans afoot to feature a review of this exhibition in the next issue of Cultural Geographies, as the Cultural Geographies in Practice article.


Poetry & Geography published

•July 26, 2013 • 2 Comments



I have a chapter out in this book, published very recently (still looking forward to picking up my contributor copy from the RHUL campus and reading it!). It’s edited by Neal Alexander and David Cooper, and published by Liverpool University Press as part of their ‘Poetry &’ series.

“Drawing on the recent focus on spatial imagination in the humanities and social sciences, Poetry and Geography looks at the significance of space, place, and landscape in the works of British and Irish poets, offering interpretations of poems by Roy Fisher, R. S. Thomas, John Burnside, Thomas Kinsella, Jo Shapcott, and many others. Its fourteen essays collectively sketch a series of intersections between language and location, form and environment, and sound and space, exploring poetry’s unique capacity to invigorate and expand our spatial vocabularies and the many relationships we have with the world around us.”


Part I: Placing Selves: Identity, Location, Community

1. City of Change and Challenge: Liverpool in Paul Farley’s Poetry
Charles I. Armstrong
2. Mapping the Geographies of Hurt in Barry MacSweeney and S. J. Litherland
Peter Barry
3. Place under Pressure: Reading John Tripp’s Wales
Matthew Jarvis
4. ‘Still linked to those others’: Landscape and Language in Post-war Welsh Poetry
Katie Gramich
5. Roaring Amen: Charles Causley Speaks of Home
Andrew Tate

Part II: Spatial Practices: Walking, Witnessing, Mapping

6. The Road Divides: Thomas Kinsella’s Urban Poetics
Lucy Collins
7. ‘I know this labyrinth so well’: Narrative Mappings in the Poetry of Ciaran Carson
Daniel Weston
8. ‘Whitby is a statement’: Littoral Geographies in British Poetry
Amy Cutler
9. ‘Where lives converge’: Peter Riley and the Poetics of Place
Neal Alexander
10. Envisioning ‘the cubist fells’: Ways of Seeing in the Poetry of Norman Nicholson
David Cooper

Part III: Geopoetics: Landscape, Language, Form

11. ‘Wanderer, incomer, borderer/liar, mother of everything I see’: Jo Shapcott’s Engagement with Landscape, Art and Poetry
Deryn Rees-Jones
12. John Burnside: Poetry as the Space of Withdrawal
Scott Brewster
13. ‘Water’s Soliloquy’: Soundscape and Environment in Alice Oswald’s Dart
Peter Howarth
14. Roy Fisher’s Spatial Prepositions and Other Little Words
Peter Robinson

CATALOGUE: Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig

•June 22, 2013 • 2 Comments

I have just launched the full online catalogue for the exhibition ‘Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig’:

It includes photographs of every item, and also sound pieces, slideshows, expanded exhibition texts, and visitor responses. A brief selection of the images follow below.

As per some of the comments on my previous post – I’m hoping to get enough interest and feedback to attract funding and a venue to tour it again, after I hand in my PhD – so please do share it if you possibly can, and/or write a response!



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