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.
The last few weeks have been challenging so I have to keep reminding myself of things that my main supervisor Karen has told me such as, that as I am part-time it need not take over my life! It had begun to feel like that so it was time to stand back a bit. I also reminded myself of three things:
That there will be an end in sight one day not that far off.
Not to get bogged down with too much information, articles etc. to wade through, as at the end of the day they are to supplement my ideas and provide evidence of my conclusions etc. and I do not need to include everything only the best bits.
If I did not carry on I would be wasting all the money I had invested in this so far and would very much regret it later.
So I am back on track but not making as fast progress as I had hoped by now in view of having to submit some more writing by end of June.
However every now and then a little gem appears. I was asked by Sarah from the University of Hertfordshire who I met at the Kathe Buchler Conference recently, to write a piece on my research for their ‘Everyday Lives in War’ website. Whilst for those who have had lots already published this is not a major deal but for me it is a first. It has also helped in that long battle to regenerate my self-confidence!
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!
A really interesting day at the University of Hertfordshire, in Hatfield. It was a good networking opportunity and chance to see the WW1 photographs of Kathe Buchler which have not been seen much outside of Germany and received little attention. The speakers ranged from Jenny Matthews author of ‘Women and War’ to PhD candidates like Jo Young, talking about their research in connected areas of interest through to Jason Crowley from Manchester Metropolitans University . During the day there was a meeting to discuss the exhibition being held until 5 May of Buchler’s work.
I have also managed to locate a copy of her book but unfortunately only produced in German which will be a challenge. Still I have a German dictionary!
I guess I’m not going to get any brownie points for keeping my blog up to date! However I do feel that unless there is something useful to pass on then it is not necessary to just write for the sake of it. Since my last update and meeting with my supervisor in January I have just buried myself away to research and write. In a moment of madness I said I’d send her a big chunk of writing and it was only when I started that I realised how much I’d taken on, especially as some aspects had not been looked at before 🙁 However I felt that if I sent her my Introduction, Methodology and skeleton Literature Review then this would form a good basis for building on especially during the summer months. For me, I need to be well organised or the amount of sources feel as if they are taking over at times. So it is very much a day at a time and staying on track, not getting side-lined and digging deep.
I eventually submitted 14,000 words so although it was a bit rough round the edges in places and felt a bit rushed towards the end it can now be fine tuned. It showed also the importance of having a critical friend who can point out even minor errors that you may not have spotted. Still I am only in Year 2 so have time hopefully to make big improvements.
Some of the sources I have consulted have been more than challenging. This rare book is worth a mention as the captions with the images are problematic in many cases but as a source of images can provide interesting information.
Following my supervisor’s meeting last week I now need to submit a rough plan of action and beginnings of Chapter 2 ready for July. If anyone says this is a big undertaking was making an understatement as I’m sure I’m not alone in continually questioning my ability to do this. Still I’ve survived so far so that’s a positive!
The group has now settled into meeting once a month and although I could not attend the June walk I did attend the one held on 17 May which included some members of the Garden Gate Project in Margate. This is a community garden working with people with mental health and or learning difficulties based at Northdown Park, Cliftonville.
We were blessed with a sunny day and a good day to remember!
The following images show what the inspiring work that is being carried out in a very calm and relaxing environment.
Since the last post I entered for 25 March I have not been able to attend and document all the sessions as my PhD is taking top priority! I also felt that some sessions were going over previously discussed topics so did not need to be documented.
However I did attend the meeting on 25 April which included a presentation from a Margate project artist working in connection with ‘The Waste Land’ and interested in making a contribution to the exhibition. I have some of the images taken:
The most recent meeting held on 18 July also incorporated an invited ‘sample’ audience to see what their impressions were on the proposed format of the exhibition so far. It was a very lively meeting and the following images were taken:
One thing worth mentioning is the journey and friendships that have emerged since the group started and the fun we have had:
This meeting was held to update the group as to the current position as regards exhibits for the 2018 exhibition , those that have now been agreed and those that are under discussion etc. The image by Man Ray ‘Dust Breeding’ has been agreed by the Pompidou Centre in Paris, so it will be exciting to see it ‘in the flesh’.
I had suggested a link via David Bowie and also to use Zineb Sedira’s film ‘Guiding Light’ which I felt to link with ‘The Wasteland’, but these were not taken up by the group.
My other suggestion for a Henry Moore is still under discussion.
Nick talked to the group about the design of the exhibition and some interesting thoughts, suggestions and views were expressed. Two members of the curatorial staff of the gallery also came in to talk about the practicalities of the actual hang, bearing in mind that some of the exhibits such as the one by Cy Twombly which is very large.
The emphasis of this walk led by Elspeth, was to look at the important contribution made by Vivienne Eliot to the work of T.S. Eliot and her influence on ‘The Wasteland’
Elspeth gave the group ropes which she had made, so that they could ‘knot’ things that had made an impact on them during the walk.
Contributions were made on different aspects of her life by Richard and members of the group during the day.
A very welcome break for a cream tea was taken at The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum.
The final stop was at The Old Market where Judy read a piece she had written from the top of the converted bus inside the venue. The event had been advertised to the public and Sally Waterman’s video ‘In the Cage’ (2007) was projected onto the ceiling.
All these events have also been an opportunity for me to take images of interesting things I have also witnessed. In this case I took a picture of the baker inside the market who was busy in his work area. Although it was possible to see inside, there was a red film on the inside of the glass hence to colour of the image.