August 8th – Jane

Looking through the many images taken by Tim Frost of our last shared walk for Cley14 more than a week ago. I wonder how much does it change how we experience the walk when we have images to look at afterwards, that has certainly become part of the conversation.



We listened to the sounds of people and place. Liz reminded us to be conscious of our feet, aware of the ground we walked the tidelines, both inland and at the current shore.

feet3 feet4 feet2 feet1


At the shore edge the waves drew a tideline and we added collected items

wave drawing

wave drawing

Conversation included an exploration of relationship to people, place and quantum space, using pebbles. Some of us understood the whole, some accepted that there are things we do not yet fully comprehend but may become aware of.


quantum space

July 29th – Liz

Today I made the last moon of the series – a waxing one.  People on the beach, friends and strangers, gave me feathers, seaweed and little pieces of plastic to add to it.



Lots of people were finding Sue Maufe’s clay heads – one woman sat down by my moon and found one right there.  Other people brought their finds to show me



The little journal on the beach had this lovely image of Caroline Wendling’s choreographed walk



And here’s an entry from the journal at the boat shelter


July 25th

Yesterday we shared a very special day walking Between The Tidelines. Conversations, relationships and experiences that we did not, or could not, plan became essential to the whole day. What we have made or learned from taking part may not become evident for quite a while.


Unexpected beach find

This is the only image of Tim Frost who came as photographer for the day and found one of Sue Maufe’s heads on the beach. He was sitting on it while eating lunch!


Cley14 beach find

Although the day was about being there, sharing time, having conversations, walking and physical experience of the place and it became very evident that physical actions can dramatically change our understanding of places; there will be some images of the day here very soon. Those who took part will be sharing a taster of the conversation here as well.

July 22nd – Liz

Today the tideline was green – so, a waning green moon it was:


July 21st

Yesterday after a walking conversation and time spent with others I took the opportunity to do a solo walk and some reflection at the tidelines. Of course you are never alone in Cley, and it is now holiday time so lots of adults, children and dogs were enjoying the beach.

There were the strangest finds, the tide had left a line of fish heads and back bones. They are what I take to be remains of factory fishing processing somewhere in the North Sea, I wonder where.

Tideline finds

Tideline finds

2014-07-21 11.53.43

Cley skyline

In the journal on Cley Green there is a really great drawing of Cley skyline, someone must have  spent quite a while doing this and I enjoyed reading journal contributions from people who had been at the church fete.

July 20th

On a walking conversation we shared the tideline conversation with others, hearing and seeing new aspects.

Imagining and making the medieaval tideline

Imagining and making the medieaval tideline


Flotsam and Jetsum on the green


Listening to the place, hearing where we walk


green tide line

July 14th – Liz

The latest moon – oyster newspaper waning moon and a couple of lovely extracts from the Tideline journals in the NWT cafe.  Many thanks for your contributions!


DSCN3302 DSCN3301

July 14th – Jane

After a day invigilating, meeting visitors and taking in the whole exhibition it was interesting to spend time on the green, visiting the reserve and on the beach on the following day.

We walked and talked, wondering about the management of land and water, who decides what is best for people and place? Discovering how the pathways and access changes affect the walking route to the beach was interesting. Even a long traffic jam in the village of Cley, where two lorries completely stopped traffic made me wonder about how  travelling through the village has changed, maybe the access on water was as tricky sometimes. Manoeuvring boats in flowing water in narrow waterways on low or high tides is always a challenge, a bit like large lorries on small roads.

A bit like the changing activity in ports, we have changed the installation on the green. I took the flags away, but they might return. The focus is back on the Beacon Shelter and tideline position.

Beacon Shelter2

Beacon Shelter

Liz started another tideline, materials  are molehill earth and grass cuttings, some threads and leaves provided by debris of the place.

green tideline

Green tideline



11th July – Liz

Another moon and some activity at on the Green

Waxing Seaweed Moon

Waxing Seaweed Moon

10th July – Liz

Two more moons made on the beach in the last week – one for the opening, another stick moon, and one on Tuesday July 8th, a waxing seaweed moon.  People are bringing me flotsam from the tideline, or putting it into the bucket that I leave by my flag.  I also discovered that two tideline journals had disappeared, one from the NWT cafe and one from the boat shelter on the Green.  Both have now been replaced. A lovely response from one of the other artists taking part in Cley 14, John Cox: Apropos your tideline piece concerning Cley beach, I make the observation, the so-called ‘establishment of the port’ for Blakeney/Cley area is about 6 hours. The upshot, it is high tide in Cley when the moon is on the horizon, which is to say, at moonrise and moonset. The concommitant observation is that it is low tide at Cley/Blakeney when the moon is passing through the meridian, i.e., through south, overhead and again, as it were, underfoot. I would like to find a way of visualising this.  In the meantime here are the photos of last week’s moon, plus a photo of a former moon rearranged by the tide.  Many thanks to Rod Bugg for the photos.

Image 3

Waxing Crab Moon

Moon rearranged by the tide

Moon rearranged by the tide

3rd July – Jane

On Opening night the first visitor to really spend time responding didn’t say much but stayed for a while exploring all the elements. He looked a bit like a ships cat. cat1

Others seemed to need more explanation, so we now have a signpost almost like a village noticeboard. This is very common on quaysides where travellers and sailors find local information. signpost We brought the tideline drawing inland and found a subtle image.

tideline drawing

tideline drawing

Liz swept another subtle image of the village green tideline

green tideline

green tideline

Other visitors added their journeys, real or imaginary, to the flags pv1 flag1

2nd July – Jane

Taking the work to Cley I wondered what it would have been like to really travel across the fens in a boat to get there,  once it may have been the best way to arrive at this village green. Installations always have a time of frantic activity, uncertainty and decisions about positioning and sight lines but now The Beacon Shelter begins to feel like a place to sit and watch. The bus route goes past, cyclists, walkers and car drivers. A place to meet and  have conversations about the movement of tides and people. Curator Polly Binns and I shared the first conversation on site. The journal will be in place for others to share later today, I look forward to hearing what some of those conversations and stories might be. sheltered conversation The journal will be in place for others to share later today, I look forward to hearing what some of those conversations, stories and dreams might be.

sky view

Sky view

At the end of the day Liz and I invited the tide to draw on a pice of cloth.

tideline conversations

tideline conversations

1st July – Liz

Busy day today getting ready for the opening tomorrow.  I helped Jane to put up her boat seat on the Green, plus some more masts, then we went down to the beach and recorded a tideline on a piece of cloth.  I also made the second moon, a waxing stick moon with some pieces of pink crab contributed by a passer-by.  Tomorrow, for the opening afternoon, I will be making another moon on the beach and sweeping the Green with my broom to make a tideline for the Green.

Recording the Wave

Recording the Wave

Recording the Wave

Recording the Wave

Recording the Wave

Recording the Wave


Waxing Stick Moon

24th June – Liz

The tideline on the Green is beginning to look ship-shape.  Today three tideline journals  have been delivered to the NWT Visitors’ Centre for visitors and artists to write in.  They will be in the cafe, so look out for them.  I have begun to record in them the daily tide times and moon phases as a reminder of the shifting gravitational relationship between moon and tide heights.  It’s hard to imagine the moon having the power to draw the oceans along and thus create the tides. Later on the beach I walk the tidelines.  The north winds have caused the tides to scour the beach, so there is very little to mark today’s tideline, but the older tideline above reveals a harvest of plastic, seaweed and fish eggs.  I make today’s moon – a slim, waning fish egg moon. DSCN3230 20th June – Jane

Cley14 opens very soon and the practicalities of all those wonderful ideas have to be realised. From conversations in cold, dark, winter weather things are beginning to appear in the sunshine. The exhibition blog has news of other artists, conversations and work.

Yesterday Liz helped me to start the first phase of installing on the green, it felt a bit like bringing a boat into harbour after a long journey. Deciding on what position to take, lots of handling ropes and making sure lines are secure. For now it is settled, but like any harbour things may need to move and change.

The mix of telephone and power lines alongside the mast fixings seem very appropriate. ImageImage


5th June

Revisited Newgate Green today, where Cambridge school children were on an educational visit to this tiny Norfolk village where not much seems to happen. I placed samples of work on the green and somehow it changed what might appear there and what stories might be told. Traces of boats in the harbour, masts and rigging, smells of fishing and tar paint, tales of journeys sailed and storms experienced, who knows. Image 4th June – Liz

Met with Jane at Cley yesterday.  We sat on the Green outside the church and looked across at the place where the boat shelter will be and played with ideas about what might go with it – masts with pennants flying, rigging using old rope from the tideline, sample bottles, tide heights, a weaving tideline of reed………We talked about how this might be the place for recording and documentation, for history, whereas the beach would be the place for more ephemeral work, more in the now. DSCN3142 Then a walk on the beach.  I have been playing with beach plastic in the studio, making strange boats – graffiti boats? –  from assemblages of plastic collected from the tideline.…..  At first glance the tidelines were thin and ephemeral:  wisps of seaweed and fine bleached twigs and roots.  As we walked, the odd bottle appeared and was picked up.  Soon my hands were full and a handy piece of ripped valance sheet held by the four corners made a capacious bag which was well filled: DSCN3139   DSCN3147 3rd May – Liz I’ve been busy with other things, but in the back of my mind I have been mulling over – what is a graffiti boat, and how might I make one?  Another couple of weeks and then I will have time to give this question some serious attention. Our studio visit from Polly, where part of the conversation and essential reference was the tide tables studio visit   May 3rd – Jane

Starting to prepare willow to make a Beacon Shelter means cutting and stripping bark from three and four year old trees that have been selected and maintained with this form in mind. The inside of the bark has a really surprising colour and the feel of wet leather. I have developed a basket design using this bark, a truly seasonal and slow making process. preparing willow White basket 1st April – Jane Yesterday on our visit to Cley church I was again struck by the size of this building. It was built to be seen clearly from land and sea, the view across marshy fields to Wiveton church would have been a busy estuary with boats going in and out of Cley port and up to Glandford until the 1800’s. Apparently it was in the grip of pirates in 1317. Difficult to imagine Norwich being threatened by the amount of trade happening in Cley now, but there is still a maintained channel for small craft behind the windmill. My ‘Beacon Shelter’ is going to be placed on Newgate Green. Sitting here people might share conversations, exchange experiences, thoughts and finds from the beach. Image Image   On our walk we saw signs of the tidal surge left on fences, a reminder of changing levelsImage 1st April – Liz

Today I met up with Jane at Cley Church.  We met the Church Warden, Joe, who showed us the ship graffiti carved onto the columns of the church, and also told us that the columns would once have been painted a deep maroon red – suddenly I had this vision of these ship carvings standing out vividly against the deep red paint.  Here is the best of the ships – cross rigged, the sail furled on the lower spar and the boat below that: DSCN2886 Then we went across the green below the church to the site of Jane’s boat shelter, near a clump of small trees, and with views of Cley church and Wiveton church which, in medieval times, would have been on the far side of the estuary (and is now across the fields).  We talked about water levels, core samples and ships’ pennants. Then a lovely walk to the beach in the hot hazy sun.  Near the coast road we saw that the river has been recently dredged and we looked to see what was in the mud. Water Lines-1 At the car park, the attendant’s hut has been washed away by the December surge, and the shingle bank has pretty much disappeared.  You can see where it was from some old iron uprights sticking out of the shingle, probably old railway track, which formed part of the foundation of the bank.  The tideline today is sparse. From here you can look across the wet meadows, almost a mile, to the village (the oldest part of the village, near the church is further inland again).  All of this would have been sea in Medieval times, and in December it was sea once again, with water pouring into the houses next to the coast road. Some Flags: Medieval_ship_and_compass_(Mandeville) The painting above is medieval and contains one of the earliest representations of someone using a compass. jansen_fig08b 25th March – Liz A phone conversation with artist Linda Gordon who lives in North Devon.  We talked about the changes on our respective coastlines and about how our work relates to and reflects those changes.  Like Jane and myself, Linda also organises walks which are about finding a deeper connection with landscape.  In the wake of this conversation, Linda sent me a photo of a series of little paper houses photographed on the edge of salt marshes so that the edge of the mud looked like a cliff, with the houses perched on the edge – very reminiscent of Happisburgh.  I have asked her for a template for the houses, so that I can find a place for them up here in Norfolk and send her a photo in return. Here is a link to her blog site with a record of our conversation: 10001146_10202827515902661_500062344_o This has also set me thinking about boats – if houses are our way of feeling at home on land, then boats are our way of being at home at sea.  The churches of Cley and Salthouse have beautiful medieval graffiti of boats – probably of a type called cogs – and I am wondering about making a series of little cogs as part of my exploration of the medieval and modern tidelines. shipfour Cley-Church-Hansa-Cog-300x238

2 Responses to Conversations

  1. there’s a really nice example of ship graffiti on a slate memorial in Morston too…..I have a good picture if you’re interested

    • splinter says:

      Yes Please! I have in my studio some work-in-progress ‘graffiti’ ships cobbled together out of plastic from the tideline – but they aren’t ready to come out yet….

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