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Water engagements elsewhere

In addition to my research in Malawi, I have been spending a lot of time engaging with water in different settings, and experimenting in ways in which to record my experiences. From at home and in my local area, to locations I visit in other countries, many of these encounters are linked to my other main passion and interest- cycling. And while my research focus has primarily been on water in Malawi it, in many ways, has been underpinned by a self-exploration of my relationship to this thing that is both so intensely familiar, yet so extraordinary and captivating.


The following are a selection of various audio-visual records I have had with water in different places.

Viðey near Reykjavik, Iceland

Some time during winter on the island of Viðey in Kollafjörður Bay, looking back to Reykjavik. The sound of the water lapping on the pebbled beach mingles with the bells of Hallgrímskirkja, the city's landmark church, from across the bay.

Glasgow, Scotland

Collecting some aural, visual and material (in the small bowl on the windowsill) representations of heavy rain during a summer thunderstorm. Some excited screeches of children caught out playing at the downpour commences.

Falcarragh, Donegal, Ireland

Crossing this stream is 'The Bridge of Tears', a few kilometres into the mountains from my grandfather's ancestral home. From here emigrants would leave their families and friends to travel to Derry, and onward ships to other parts of the world.

Basel, Switzerland

This memorable sunset took place over the beautifully clear waters of the River Rhine in the city of Basel, straddling the three countries of Switzerland, Germany and France. Ringing church bells seem to me as an aural hallmark of European cities.

Isle of Arran, west coast of Scotland

On the east coast of the Isle of Arran, looking to Holy Isle, the sunlight’s dramatic reflections seems to give the seawater a zoomorphic quality, like the scales of a snake or other reptile.  

Biarritz, France

A dramatic sunset in late winter/ early spring where a tumultuous swirling Atlantic Ocean touches land at the south western French town of Biarritz.

Flanders, Belgium

Cycling from the city of Gent along a canal towards the Belgian coast in early March 2020 to take a ferry back home- hearing more stories about coronavirus’ spread. And the last long day’s cycle I'd have for months…

Isle of Arran, west coast of Scotland

Summer on the Isle of Arran, near the village of Lamlash. I would cycle to here to read at times, a perfect spot where the gentle flow of a forest burn intertwines with some birdsong.

Falcarragh, Donegal, Ireland

For a month over winter I lived in the house my grandfather was brought up in in rural north west Ireland, a place at the edge of Europe, and very much defined by its relationship to the Atlantic. On the beach I engaged with this pool of seawater.

Seltjarnarnes, Reykjavik, Iceland

Kivka footbath, along the bay from Reykjavik on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula. I pedalled here one icy, grey November day and dipped my feet for half an hour. I then went to the nearby public pool, and later cycled for a coffee. A good afternoon.

Lyon, France

The city of Lyon has made its river, the Rhone, accessible to its citizens, and a focal point for outdoor city life. Walkways, cyclepaths and childrens' playparks line the river's banks, and they are full of life on a sunny early spring day.

Glasgow, Scotland

During the coronavirus lockdown in spring 2020 my water engagements had to become much more local. At the end of April the cherry blossom outside my flat started to shed its petals, some of which were carried away by streams of rainwater.

Marseille, France

Spring sunset at the southern French port city of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea. 

Lanarkshire, Scotland

On summer solstice in 2019 I sought to cycle to the 'source' of the River Clyde that runs though, and spatially defines my home city of Glasgow. I write of my experiences afterwards, and my reflections form a Creative Carbon Scotland blog post

Spa, Belgium

The town of Spa in the Ardennes region of Belgium is the source of mineral waters with a long history of health and wellbeing benefits, with its name to become associated with spa towns more generally.

Glasgow, Scotland

The huge puppet Storm, representing a mythical sea godess, made her way through Glasgow's city centre to open the Celtic Connections music festival in early 2020. Scotland's year of coasts and waters. 

Falcarragh, Donegal, Ireland

This is the view from the back door of my grandfather’s childhood home. The drips from some melting hail catch the light of the remerged winter sun. The interplay of water and sunlight is often mesmerising. 

Isle of Arran, west coast of Scotland

Cycling along the north coast of the Isle of Arran I heard the sound of dripping water from the road side. I stopped and found a series of small waterfalls. The relentless echo of falling water in a cave is a memorable sound.  

Glasgow, Scotland

After some days of relentless Scottish rain one of the gates on this weir had given way. A huge quantity of the Clyde's water forced itself under the bridge, and created this spectacular tidal wave in the river.

Sandhead, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

The sunlight, water and wind all entangle on the beach to produce a moment of beauty and where the elements seems to to come together in a collective dance. There is a glimpse of my mum and her dog/friend Cara in the background.

Port Logan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Some gentle waves ebb and flow to the beach at Port Logan, where the Irish Sea meets the Rhins of Galloway- the distinctive double headed peninsula at the very south-east of the Scottish mainland. 

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