Dr James Bonner
Post doctoral researcher and freelance writer
Water walks and cycles
8 days and 8 pedestrian crossing points of the River Clyde, Glasgow
From a Sunday to a Sunday in September 2021 I found myself at a different pedestrian crossing over the River Clyde in Glasgow. 6 bridges and 2 passenger ferries. Here I do a bit of somewhat inaccurate ‘deep mapping’ noting where they are in relation to a blue line of the river running west to east. Emerging from another practice I’d been undertaken around the same time, each image is denoted with the Korean script symbol for that day, plus the time that the photo was taken.
Days of the week in Korean script, and their association to nature
This emerges from another place-based practice I’d been undertaking around the same time, whereby each image is denoted along with the Korean script symbol for that day, plus the time that the photo was taken. The Korean characters for each day of the week refer to aspects of nature- moon, fire, water, tree, gold, earth, sun- and this collage associates each day with an image from my past or present, from where I live now or places I have visited, to these ecological references.
Walking on water in the city centre- empty streets claimed by lockdown and snow
This collage and few videos reflects on a day in winter, the13th of February 2021,when the city centre of Glasgow was covered by snow. This coincided with the midst of a Covid lockdown, where few places we open in the city. Consequently the roads were almost completely empty, and it was possible to walk for minutes at a time down the middle of the street. I just wandered for several hours, and traversing spaces I'd probably only ever hurriedly scarpered over in between traffic before (and since). These videos help convey some of those movements in those spaces.
Encounters with, and collecting, some snow
Preceding the freezing water walks of the 13th of February, as described above, I tried a few things to engage with and collect the fresh snow that had fallen that week. This collage shows 2 days of that process- filling 5 cooking pots with the fresh snow late one night, which had melted to half a pot next morning, then later bottling it, and adding it to my assemblage of 'water samples' of rivers and streams I'd been collecting when out on my cycles in Glasgow. I also add a couple more photos and a video as I, and other beings (such as the tree and the swans) existed in the Glasgow Green over these couple of days. I identified with the swans in those moments- as we both still sought to be out in the world, and being part of it.
Framing and freezing water
I always liked this wee cartoon from Cartoon Ralph. In the days after Christmas last year (as Scotland went into a quite strict lockdown limiting movement) I thought to try and try something- I pretended I had got a new 'Ultra high definition tv for Christmas... so good it was like it was real', and went out and about the park and city on my bike carrying a small cardboard frame I made. I took pictures of water in its different forms and related infrastructure through the 'lens' of the frame, my tiny but ultra high definition tv. Here's a wee collage of some of the shows on the tv over a couple of weeks.