We were blessed with great walking conditions, war, dry, sunny and not too hot for our last walk as part of the Walking group. This also coincided with the last weekend of the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition. We started by listening to music in the Nayland Rock shelter that had inspired Eliot.
We then walked to the beach where Billie had devised various games all based around the poem with Virginia and Sonia taking lead roles.
After stopping at various points along the beach for activities, we then headed to the steps for a final reading of an Eliot poem.
Once back inside Turner Contemporary we sat on deck chairs for the final part until a friend of Billie’s arrived from London. He also organises walks around the city of London, and provided some interesting historical information about the channel and what is still lying buried on the sea bed!
Whilst our activities will change now that the Waste Land project has come to an end and we all move on in new directions, it has been a time to reflect. The main thing for me has been the photographic opportunities that it has offered but also mainly the friends I have made along the way. Billie has been inspirational and on my wavelength, so I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to work with her.
This was a rescheduled event originally due to take place earlier in the year. However, as it related to TS Eliot’s wives and their treatment in his hands, it also coincided with the last weekend of the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition and the end of the Research Group’s collaboration.
It looked at four sites that had played a prominent role when Eliot was there in 1920s.
The Albemarle Hotel – now demolished.
Margate Winter Gardens
Nayland Rock Shelter
Although there was not a large group attending it was a very interesting and informative session.
It is hard to accept that the three years I have been involved with the Research Group has now come to an end. It has been a wonderful photographic opportunity and I have met some interesting people who have become close friends. Like everything we have to now move on and take this experience with us. However it has been is something special and will certainly not be forgotten! Thank you to everyone who has worked with me on this!
We always seem to be blessed with the weather when it comes to the walks. The forecast was abysmal but we only ended up with a few drops. The plan was to run through the proposed walk with Andreas and members of the team putting Margate Bookie together.
It is always a chance to capture something of interest whilst I am documenting the events. This was taken inside part of Dreamland which is yet to be renovated.
We met our visitors from Coventry for lunch at GB Pizza and then back to Turner Contemporary where they read a passage from the poem.
The TSE Research Group then discussed which works of art and artefacts have been agreed to be loaned to the gallery, and which are still to be agreed. Everyone then split into groups to decide which of the items best fitted to the thematic groups.
After an overnight stay in Margate the visitors met with Elspeth and the Walking Group, for a walk around the key sites in Margate that relate to the poem. It was another cold and blustery day but the intrepid walkers were not put off.
Various stops were made en route including The Pie Factory Gallery and Margate Museum. The museum provided valuable insights for the visitors into the Margate of the past and the interesting exhibit is which are held in the museum.
The group met for an introduction at Turner Contemporary, and aim of the session was of walking together and stopping for readings at stages along the route.
It was not a day conducive for walking but we carried on regardless and the weather did improve as the time went on.
Alongside reading from the poem, Elspeth had also arranged for some of the visitors to set up ‘Walking Books’ sessions and various people signed up for a session beforehand.
The group walked from the gallery along the seafront and ended up at the Garden Gate Project.
Keith, a member of the group read one of his poems at the end of the walk.
It is now nearly a year (17 November) since the group formed and we went on the first walk. It has gone from strength to strength with Elspeth ensuring that each walk has a main focus. Alongside the main aims, friendships have emerged and the parameters have been extended as to how the group has developed offering a positive prospect for the future.
The Garden Gate is an inspiring project that has been set up at Northwood House, Margate and provides various activities aimed at helping people with learning difficulties; ranging from gardening to craft activities.
On 7 October was a fund-raising day when the site was open to the public. There was everything from a photography darkroom which had been set up in a shed, a Canterbury Cathedral stall where visitors were able to make paper stained glass windows to freshly made pizzas (donations only!)
Elspeth from the TS Eliot Walking Group invited me to go along and I took the following images together with helping to paint some of the gardening boxes frames.
Elspeth who set up the original Turner Contemporary group held another walk as part of a TSE symposium day for the University of Kent. I was commissioned to take images of the walk for her. This in turn led her to ask me to do a joint Artist in Residency with her at Sun Pier House Gallery, Chatham.
The following are some of the images from the day:
An invitation was sent by Dover Arts Council advising that the site would be open to local artists for one day. It provided an opportunity to take images of a site of historical interest which is rarely open to the public. The site has been used since Napoleonic times with evidence of gun placements, and during WWII it was used as a weapons storage facility.
Although a bright sunny day, the light inside the buildings was challenging in places and the resulting images did not truly show the textures and decay that were evident in places.
This lady was taking advantage of the sunshine and I loved her hat!