The Cave and the Chapel

closer to ground to hear is a new installation in the basement of Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, comprising audio works and poem-texts by Mark Goodwin and images by Nikki Clayton, with sound design by Brian Lewis. This collaborative work will be reconfigured during the residency, with Goodwin reconstituting a number of the poems and Lewis adding new mixes to the multi-channel soundscape each week. closer to ground to hear opens on Thur 1 November and runs to Sat 24 November (10am–5pm, Tue-Sat). For more information about closer to ground to hear, please click here.

The installation comes at the end of an intensive period of activity for Longbarrow Press, following the recent Scale programme at Bloc Projects and the relaunch of Rob Hindle‘s The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman. Sheffield’s Hill Top Chapel (built in 1629) was the perfect setting for an evening rich in drama and debate, Hindle and Ray Hearne‘s performance of the sequence (given introductory support by Matt Black, James Caruth, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite) drawing strength from the gloom and chill of the Gothic building. Click here to read Hindle’s reflections on the event; for more information about the Spence Broughton sequence, please click here.

Longbarrow Press: Scale was no less memorable; a series of newly commissioned films and performances taking place over four days, expertly hosted and supported by Sheffield’s Bloc Projects. The focus of the gallery installation was a 40-minute film loop comprising Cells (Paul Evans, Chris Jones), Skin (Karl Hurst, Chris Jones), The 7 Wonders (Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Paul Evans, Fay Musselwhite), Cortege (Hondartza Fraga, Rob Hindle) and Cave Time and Sea Changes (Matthew Clegg, Karl Hurst). The closing event offered a mix of live readings, film and a new performance devised by Becky Bowley and Mark Goodwin; an artist’s talk by Paul Evans illuminated the ideas of ‘scale’ at work in the exhibition. The Scale website will remain an active resource for the audio and film works, essays and project reflections; new material will be posted to the site in the coming weeks. Here’s one of the short films:

Matthew Clegg‘s new sequence, Cave Time and Sea Changes, was presented at Bloc Projects as a 20-minute film (with images by Karl Hurst); Brian Lewis has also produced a 30-minute audio podcast of the work based on recordings made by Clegg and Lewis during a visit to a sea cave on the North Landing of Flamborough Head in September 2012. Clegg’s readings of the poems are punctuated by reflections on the writing of the sequence, memories of earlier visits to the coast, observations on the effects of light within the cave, and the constant presence of the tide ‘as it gulps back / Or sighs forward, swell by swell’. Listen to the podcast here.

Also among the new works previewed in the Scale programme was ‘Peak Cavern’, a new poem by Angelina Ayers accompanied by a new painting by Paul Evans (part of The Seven Wonders, an ongoing series of collaborative works). Click here to view the painting and the poem. We’ve also uploaded a new recording of Ayers reading her poem ‘Aseptic Technique’ in the lift area on the third floor of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield; you can listen to the recording here.

Poet and photographer Karl Hurst (aka Andrew Hirst) has set up a new blog for his writings on visual culture. The first post, ‘Out on the end of an event’, discusses the relationship(s) between photography and banality (and more besides): click here to read the essay (illustrated with images from Hurst’s ‘Up Against a Brick Wall’ series and photographs by Roger Fenton, Paul Graham and Richard Prince). And finally… Order any Longbarrow Press title during November 2012 and you will receive a free postcard (curated by the artist Paul Evans: a photograph by Karl Hurst and a new, exclusive poem by Chris Jones).

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