Please, if you’re interested in doing so, add your writing from Friday’s exercise in the comments below. As you’ll recall, the exercise was to write a description of your neighbourhood ‘in ruins’ (however you wish to view that concept).
We’re talking today about the idea of Ruins and a few concepts that fit into it, specifically two concepts related to Ruins: Forest trauma, and guilty landscapes. Continue reading Demolition Landscape notes
Important notice to class participants:
I’ve now opened up the commenting feature on this site so that you can add Comments to each post without signing in for anything – though it should still ask for your email address.
Please feel free to add to posts such as the ‘class writing’ and ‘Links’ posts by putting your work or suggestions in the Comments section – which should help us keep things moving and engaging. And let me know if there are any problems – I’ve not done it this way before with a class.
A few things your colleagues thought might interest the group:
- Benjamin has pointed out that MR James’ books, particularly Ghost Stories of Antiquary (which includes ‘O Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad’), are available as free ebooks, as they’re out of copyright. Look wherever you get ebooks for your particular reader and you’ll find it, or go here for the complete text in a generic format.
- John recommends this book on the uncanny nature of ‘place’. I’ve not read it, but plan on acquiring it asap!
- Here’s some info on that exhibition of 20th-century British concrete poetry, which will be of interest to some of you.
A few pieces of work – writing and images – from your colleagues, made during or after the exercises we did in classes 1, 2 and 3.
A letter in response to Nash’s ‘steps’.
Dear One ,
You remember the three steps we left in a field near the beach at Swanage . Well an artist has bought them and is gong to put them into something by Dante illustrating The Hypocrites. Not got much for them I’m afraid , but they seem quite pleased to be moving on . They are to appear in a plate where the colours are leached out onto the paper using some form of solvent . It’s an illustration for Canto 23 , Bolgio 6 if you should care to look it up . Make sure he pays , cash would be best I think . His name is Rauschenberg and he is some kind of American .
I am sending you some attachments of two photographs that I took a while ago, influenced by Nash, and exploring the theme of the uncanny. The two photographs could be presented as a diptych. There is a playful air to them, I think: the tree should be in the field and the boat should be in the sea. Who has performed this sleight of hand on us?
Sunset at Worth Maltravers, 1937
A giant tadpole with a broken tail:
tentacles curl from its head.
A black bird, heraldic,
turns to look behind.
a green ridged field,
a curve of coastline
and the sun,
deep red and white,
casting two zigzag tracks of blood
Across the still sea.
Nocturnal Landscape, 1938
Three giant pebbles
bloated into boulders –
a heart-shaped peach,
a great stem with a broken bud
and an indented, solid rock
with a phallic arm
that ends in a snake’s head,
To their left
an upright wooden grid,
a square full of squares
All cast thick shadows.
a dark brown shore
where two grey posts
with a ring-shaped stone between
their shadows aslant
and beyond that,
a jagged half moon
and a patch of silver
on a distant slice of sea,
the moon so low
it almost touches the water.
Clouds that are bedsheets
float above the moon –
“Oh whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad”.
cropped to a discrete space.
No boundaries but the frame
It stands. Frail
-straining forward in the grass
-the strength of a skeleton.
Head butting into a future
beyond our sight.
Wind blows the grasses
It has the wind behind It.
It’s future in a space, in a time
-not our own.
tense with repressed motion
Its on the starting blocks.
It does not see us
Truly for It we do not exist
Indifferent to us
We future watchers
Class 2 – Found Landscapes, 17 Feb.
Links, images and my notes from the class are below. Continue reading Class 2 – Found Landscapes
Welcome to the home of our Paul Nash: A Landscape in Letters course at Tate Britain. Consider this website our informal place to store class notes and share related links and information. And I do mean ‘our’ place – please feel free to get in touch if you’ve got something the class might find interesting and I’ll post it.
Below this are my notes from the Class 1 talk, ‘Unseen Landscapes’, which served to introduce some of the topics we’ll cover in coming weeks. If you were unable to attend, please note that a large part of the class was taken up with writing, exercises and discussions, but hopefully we can bring you up to speed on that this coming Friday. Continue reading A Landscape in Letters – Intro and Class 1