Mapping Nan Whins Wood

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A tumbling of pleasure and relief, joy and satisfaction, a collaboration of artists

The image is a set of 16 collaborative drawings created for the Inside the Map show.  As we made marks on the page sequentially, our individual edges disappeared as the drawings emerged, collaboratively.  The ideas and decisions were made in the field we created between us.  These were the action points:

  • To map the geographic meeting point between our homes and meet there to draw collaboratively
  • To face north, south, east and west and draw what we saw, for timed periods. Then move round clockwise (the direction of the earth’s spin on its axis) and continue to draw on each other’s work, for four iterations. Drawing on drawing on drawing.
  • To carry out four ‘rounds’, two of 2 minutes each and two of 5 minutes each, producing 16 drawings.
  • To write 200 words each about the experience, as soon as possible that day

A nodal point between our homes was identified by Lynette as follows

“Using a large scale map I drew a triangle with our houses at the corners and then found the centre of gravity/mass (the centroid) of that triangle by drawing a line from each corner to the midpoint of the opposite side.  Where these lines crossed is the centre of gravity/mass.”

The location was on the Leeds Country Way, postcode LS28 9LE, grid ref SE 238 310, described on the OS map as Nan Whins Wood at the south-western edge of Leeds- in the wooded valley carved out by Tong Beck.  It was early on Feb 15th 2029, a cold and frosty morning.  We sat at a meeting point of footpaths, beside a burbling beck, signs of spring (catkins, wild garlic shoots, birdsong, snowdrops) all around, low sun rising and warming, inquisitive dogs and their owners, newly-released cattle dancing in the fields, a heron.

Here are selected quotes from our write-ups that day:

“What on earth??  Well yes we will be on earth, Earth and Yorkshire muck, interested in the place and what we make of it collectively.”

“The sun shines in our eyes and slowly warms the ground and melts the frost from the tree shadow in the field opposite the stream.”

 “The light moves, the trees change and the shadows shorten marking the swift passing of time.” 

“The centre of gravity of laughter and joy and satisfaction.” 

Mappish are Lynette Willoughby, Carla Moss, Lesley Wood and Susan Wright, as in this mesostic printed on Fabriano paper by Peter Cartwright in The Works

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The same mesostic fashioned from hand-cut and printed letter-cubes and attached to a beech twig by Ann Pillar.

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