8 Apr 2016

Canyon Correspondences Revisited



Due to a technical (hosting) meltdown elsewhere, I'm attempting to retrieve and piece together some remnants of a 'creative diary' - a rescue mission. These writings were originally assembled during, and soon after, a period as artist-in-residence at the Grand Canyon (Arizona) in 2011.
(Below is a combination of all the entries into a single blog-post; parts of the entries are currently missing. Perhaps the time has come to pick up some of these old threads?)

20 Mar 2016

Conversations Around Water



There was much talk of 'conversations' at a recent gathering of a group of - usually - geographically dispersed watery investigators - all of us immersed in the Towards Hydrocitizenship research project, a 3 year AHRC initiative. With NOVA, I'm involved as lead artist/creative adviser - alongside Iain Biggs - on the Bristol-specific case-study - 'WaterCityBristol'...

26 Jan 2015

Water Citizenship, Creative Conversations, and Water Consciousness in action


Some thoughts on an emerging co-created project for Bristol EU Green Capital 2015

NOVA (the eco-creative fantasy-lab) and WaterCityBristol have joined-up with the education charity My Future-My Choice and performance artists Desperate Men in creating a new collaborative project called Bristol Loves Tides - celebrating tidal culture, processes and ecologies in Bristol, in the context of participatory research and fostering broader water-consciousness.

Bristol 2015 have chosen to fund our project as one of its flag-ship initiatives, and the roll-out of the year-long programme has now begun. The core elements are:

3 Jan 2015

Autumn Leaves


A long overdue addition to the blogosphere - so this one will be a time-spanning assemblage. Working back from the recent past:

I'm on a train travelling through the birch forests of Sweden. My thoughts are drawn to some filmic memories and resonances. Strongest is the echo of Elem Klimov's powerful and troubling Come and See, which does not have a Scandinavian setting - but the atmosphere of the landscape feel somehow similar. Another of Klimov's films is Farewell, set amongst a Soviet community whose island-homes and lands are soon to be submerged by a huge reservoir project. There is a powerful theme of (loss of) deep place-attachment running through the film - a work that is inhabited by the spectral trace a different loss - the death of Larisa Shepitko (Klimov's wife) who was part-way through making this film when she and her film-crew were killed in a car-crash.

23 Aug 2014

Return of The Aliveness Machines

Posters produced for exhibition at RGS conference in London next week. A platform for a new development phase of The Aliveness Machines - first seen in Devon in 2012. A NOVA research project.



Invitation to The Black Wood



This is a re-post of something recently published on EcoArt Dialogues, which is a record of my ongoing conversations with Glasgow-based environmental artist duo, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto, supported by an a-n Re:View bursary.

Waking up to Glasgow sunshine, I was transported by my generous hosts to the world of The Black Wood of Rannoch - 

7 Jul 2014

Evidence plus Inspiration (in the field)

Professor Poole - wild man of the marshes
"Concern over climate change and rising sea level, coupled with recent extensive flooding across Europe, reminds us that wetlands, ranging from extensive coastal marshes to inland river floodplains, still dominate the landscape of many regions. In an era of intensive settlement and agriculture we often see water in such landscapes as a problem and complex drainage and flood defence systems have been constructed to control their watertables. In the past, however, water was perceived more as a resource..." 

24 Jun 2014

A Long View


With Glastonbury Festival now kicking off, it seems appropriate to give an brief update on the creative research project - Submerged (Drowned Lands). Recently, I presented some early findings at a workshop on an island in the Wadden Sea (Netherlands). These relate to a collaborative exploration of the dynamic and contested landscape of the Somerset Levels, its waters and 'lost islands'. Glastonbury Tor (pictured above) is an ever-present landmark throughout this area...

10 May 2014

Eco-Art Dialogues

 Revegetated clay waste-lands, Cornwall, 2013
Some preparatory musings, questions and themes - prepared in advance of my a-n Re:View conversations with Glasgow-based environmental artists, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto. Our time together will include a visit to their current main field-based project at the Black Wood of Rannoch. Our continuing dialogues will be documented via an a-n Artists Talking blog.

9 May 2014

A Myriorama of Oblique Strategies

View from the freshly shored up rail-line at Dawlish, en-route to Falmouth
The photo here was taken on a trip to a seminar/ 'melting pot' at the Environment and Sustainability Institute in Cornwall, where I recently presented some glimpses (or a myriorama) of a drifting creative journey through the realms of science and eco-art, towards some substantial research-based collaborations.

26 Feb 2014

Water and the Geo-Imaginarium


Undeniably - in the case of England - the predominant theme, to date, in 2014 has been water/flooding/storms. There are strong indications that climate instability is ushering in periods of global extreme weather, with potentially very significant social and landscape implications.

21 Jan 2014

Water Everywhere?

Working with water; Working with tides (Bristol, Jan. 2014)
The year begins with a return to the topic of the endless dialogue between water and land; between the sea and the shore. Flooding is much in the news - along with mounting evidence of increasingly energetic couplings of weather events and rising sea-levels (including tides). There has been some very interesting coverage of the 'island village' of Muchelney in Somerset. Accompanying the typical deluge of media coverage of these latest floods (river and coastal), there is also to be found some more considered public discussion of strategic solutions - aside from the stock political/techno-fix response of "we must invest in more defences".

15 Dec 2013

Dissolving Into Water(s)



A blog post emerging from the 'More Than Human Research' project (the water element…)

It is productive - even necessary perhaps? - to have a pressing deadline, pushing me to gather my thoughts on this process of water interactions and conversations. A reflection, looking-back - to compliment a looking-ahead penned earlier this year:

Recently, I was invited to a viewing of a documentary film about the artist Anselm Kiefer, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, which contains some of his musings on water and life, including a kind of yearning for our origins in the salt-laden seas (Kiefer comments on the similarity between the composition of our blood and that of sea-water).

7 Aug 2013

Submerged (Drowned Lands) - Sources


Moving from the 'Dylan pilgrimage' location at the Aust Ferry jetty to some poetic words of his:

"Come gather ’round people

Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’  
(1964)

21 Jul 2013

via the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry

via the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry's 'NEW ART/SCIENCE AFFINITIES':

Statement: 
Experiments in Art and Technology, Billy Kl├╝ver and Robert Rauschenberg, 1966




11 Jul 2013

Occupy the Intertide? part2



Tide + Time, NOVA (Lyons), 2006
My presentation (of a project proposal) at the recent interdisciplinary Emotional Geographies conference in the Netherlands was titled:

Dreaming of Sabrina
Geopoetic Possibilities In The Estuary  - A deep-mapping almanac

The 'estuary' in this case is the Severn (aka Sabrina, or Hafren). The inclusion of 'almanac' - a word derived from Arabic/Greek sources meaning 'of the moon, or month' helps express the dominant lunar-tidal process in this water-body, with the second-largest tidal-range in the world. The map below shows the main settlements adjoining the estuary...

23 Jun 2013

Occupy The Intertide?



[An Almanac of the Submerged]
June 18: I am reminded by the always insightful Open Democracy that today is Magna Carta Day, recognising the event that - to some extent - brought the monarchy to account in England. (Interestingly, the document was signed on a 'water meadow' - a liminal space between land and water, and a landscape very pertinent to some of my current research). At the signing, a companion document was The Charter of the Forest (Carta de Foresta). In contrast to the Magna Carta, which dealt with the rights of barons, this apparently provided some real protections for the common people against the abuses of the aristocracy. 

11 Jun 2013

Submerged - Transgression (The Rising Waters)

Submerged - Transgression (The Rising Waters)



[The Almanac of the Submerged]
Following one strand of the Submerged (Drowned Lands) project, I have embarked on a film-making adventure with Iain Biggs. Our title and theme for this exploratory component of the larger work is Transgression (The Rising Waters), and it is being produced - initially - for a conference in Bristol in November this year - the international conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA).
"How can the term transgression stimulate invention and generate new insight into modes of design practice and concepts of power, politics and space?... How can the notion of transgression offer new readings of buildings and space?"

4 Jun 2013

Water, Water-Bodies, Water-Ways

...and the poetics of vital matter


photo: a lyons

"You can't keep water down"

This comment bubbled up in discussion with Dr. Owain Jones at his PLaCE seminar talk last month (the final instalment of the long-running PLaCE Research speaker sessions).  Over the coming weeks and months, I'm aiming to write a detailed blog-post on what could be termed the 'geopoetics' of each of the materials woven in to my intermedia installation for the recent Tramontana Festival 2013. Water is the topic of the first of these.

17 May 2013

In Print




A short post - and a re-blog.
My recent foray into the world of artist-book publishing has been highlighted online by one of the contributors; critic, curator Annick Bureaud.
Here is the link to her original posting.

"Lyons’s work deals with art and science but also with craftmanship, landscape and climate change, deep mapping and field recordings, poetry and environmental and land art, slowness and time, and much more."