Condensations is an inquiry into the landscape of the Lake District in relation to the language of Cumbrian dialect and local historical figures and practices. Following a three-week residency at the Armitt Museum and Library, Ambleside, Cumbria, the work used documents from the Armitt library and archive and experiences of walking in the mountains local to the museum, to construct a series of complex visual poems and photographic works.
The Armitt Museum houses the largest permanent display of works by modernist German artist Kurt Schwitters. Schwitters was exiled to Ambleside during the Second World War and spent the last three years of his life there. His work contributed significantly to the European avant-garde producing painting, collage, sculptural environments and sound poetry. Schwitters’ work influenced the methods of making used in Condensations. Specifically concentrating on language as a sculptural and collage material and the sound of language in relation to local dialect.
Funded by Arts Council England, through Grants for the Arts, Condensations was produced into a book by publisher Uniformbooks, Devon.
The book uses extant material from the archives of dialect writing and maps of rock climbing routes to make visual texts that create dense constellations of writing on the page. Each page then explores writing as a path to follow and navigate both in vision and in sound if one were to read the page aloud.
This research project was featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’ and including a commissioned new piece of writing and reading performance by the author.
The book Condensations was reviewed in The Wolf Magazine by Adam Hapton (Issue 35 2017) and A-N Magazine Online by Sarah Bodman (Artists’ Books #16 2017). Condensations was voted one of The White Review’s Books of the Year (2017) by Caleb Klaces.