Pauline Lerry at Steart Marshes

Pauline Lerry – Change

For the past year Pauline Lerry has been making work in response to the magical environment of Steart Marshes near Bridgwater in Somerset. Alongside her visual work trying to capture the various moods of the environment, she has also kept a diary of her visits.

Diary Extracts

Saturday 6th August 2016 7a.m.

Blue sky, billowing white cloud almost on the horizon. A light breeze. A crystal morning.
Metallic light from the rising sun. Silver, indigo, blue grey glistening Heron, Egret, Cormorant. Gull cry.
Low morning light illuminating pockets of good colour, Blue pool, pale ochre grass.
Good reflections. Layers of imagery. Shadows of people.
Defined pathways, sharp vistas far stretching.

Where is the submerged forest?

Monday 6th March 2017 11.30 am

Another grey day but much calmer after a weekend of high winds and rain.
Really very windy and cold here today.
Walked to the far side of the marshes.
Water is broken by dark rushes and green of grass making sparse islands.
It is muddy and damp, squelching underfoot.
Small murmurations, a sparrowhawk hunting, a field of swans.
It is grey, but the reeds and rushes are pale ochre, the hedges purple black and umber.
The water is ice blue/grey.
Burnt umber, with alizarin. A pale brown pink.

And then it rained….

I have loved this project. I cannot pretend it has been easy. My work over recent years has taken a more abstract direction so I have found making work about a specific place, a special landscape, a little difficult. However, the project has inspired a variety of responses, and as yet there does not seem to be a consistency manifesting itself. Does this matter?

I have looked at the rhythms of the landscape and sound, the movement/murmurings of birds, movement of water, changes in atmosphere and light. A sense of space and distance, a quiet broken by the sound of wind and bird chatter – and sometimes the presence of people. History shows that there was a submerged forest here, thing happening beneath the water. Reeds look like herons. Wind through the reeds like bird flutterings. Lines of landscape beneath deep skies. Maybe it is not unreasonable that there is a change in approach and use of media depending on my response. Change is the theme of our project.

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Change Matters