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Glimpses of Marleycombe

Glimpses of Marleycombe

This project, funded by a bursary from Ginkgo Projects and Bloor Homes, explores how glass affects our experience of place, and particularly the ancient earthworks of Marleycombe Hill, which towers over the village of Bowerchalke where I live and work. How does glass, which is full of contradictions, itself ancient but at the same time incredibly modern, an imitator and mediator, intervene in the perception of landscape? So how do we view the countryside differently through a phone camera? Through binoculars? through the lens of social media? Do we really experience it or are we just looking for a good shot? How does glass alter our full sensual engagement with the world?

Many people will experience heritage landscapes initially through social media sharing, images carried in light whizzing through glass fibre optics to digital screens or through a car window at speed. A blur, a glimpse detached from full sensory engagement.

Juhani Pallasmaa, in his book ‘The Eyes of the Skin’ describes the essence of lived experience as being “moulded by hapticity and peripheral unfocused vision. Focused vision confronts us with the world whereas peripheral vision envelops us in the flesh of the world”. Using atomised lenses, I hope to encourage people to move away from experiencing primarily through vision and to listen, to smell, to taste and to touch. To envelop themselves in the flesh of an ancient hill with thousands of years of stories to tell through glass glimpses.