Here is a first proper look at Glasgow based Iain Sharpe’s fantastic pen and ink drawing ‘Towpath Silence‘ that will soon adorn the covers of our forthcoming title, ‘From Tarmac to Towpath: Excursions into Lockdown‘. A scene no doubt familiar to many locals who regularly walk the towpath of the Lancaster Canal at Hest Bank, passing by all sorts of bizarre and witty wonders from the dummies found on display there. During lockdown they always initiated typically strange and eccentric allusions, colouring walks with a strong flavour of theatre. An astonishing stage setting that provides the perfect platform for the opening scene of our second publication…
Upcoming Premiere! Watch and chat live with other viewers as this upload is shown for the very first time here and on YouTube. ‘From Tarmac to Towpath’ a short film by David Banning will premiere on Wednesday 28th April at 7.00pm.
The film features a series of excursions filmed around Lancaster and Morecambe in Lancashire, England between January and February 2021. It is a companion piece to the forthcoming book ‘From Tarmac to Towpath: Excursions into Lockdown‘ set to be published on 27th May 2021 by Chroma Editions, which features 13 writers and artists responding to lockdown in their own territories – using fragmentary texts, short stories, photographs, drawings and collage… Stunned side streets and somnolent houses evoked by Graham Greene as, ”the unfamiliar shadows of half things, broken things, former things.”
It only seems a moment ago since we were signing off 2020 and bracing ourselves for the onset of winter as a new variant of Covid played havoc despite the ongoing restrictions. Fast forward nearly three months and here we are on the threshold of tentative new beginnings. Almost one year on from the outbreak of a global pandemic that despite the worldwide vaccination programme is undoubtedly something we will have to learn to live with. Certainly for the foreseeable and perhaps the next couple of years at least. Since March 2020, the daily news bulletins have been dominated by truly awful statistics amid accusations of incompetence and stories of dedication and heroism. As everyone keeps reminding us, these are extraordinary times we are living through with the human and financial repercussions to be felt into the next few decades, possibly even longer…It therefore seems an obvious statement to make, but it was against this unprecedented background that our new publication – From Tarmac to Towpath: Excursions into Lockdown was first muted.
To be able to try processing everything, both myself and fellow collaborator Julian Hyde felt compelled to try and mark recent events somehow. We quickly realised that perhaps the best way forward would be to invite other artists/writers to contribute their own experiences of the past year. After packing up the Boundary Songs exhibition at Cross Lane Projects gallery, Kendal in October 2020, our attentions soon turned to the new project. Slowly, a fascinating body of work started to emerge from artists across the UK. Ranging from Joanna Pocock’s – Lockdown London to Clare Archibald’s – Ghost Trains of Lockdown, David Banning’s short story The Gift of Time, musician Alasdair MacLean’s After Self-isolation and Neil Jackson’s Catalogue of Lockdown. In total, thirteen artists have generously responded and contributed towards a narrative that plays out across the streets of London, Lancashire, Cumbria, Newcastle, Glasgow and up to the Firth of Forth.
The book’s cover image is currently being created by the artist Iain Sharpe. We will publish the book as a full colour hardback limited edition in May/June 2021. Any profits from sales will go to designated food banks. Please keep checking this website and @ChromaEditions Twitter feed for updates. A film piece by David Banning will also accompany the publication.
As we hurtle towards the end of a tumultuous and complete bugger of a year for so many, we thought it would be fitting to show our gratitude to everyone who has supported us…It’s been an incredibly challenging and yet rewarding period at the same time. To have finished 2020 with our first publication, to put on an exhibition to accompany the book at Cross Lane Projects (providing such wonderful and inspiring feedback) topped off by an appearance at the online Kendal Mountain Literature Festival has definitely made all the struggles worthwhile! We are very grateful for your support and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Talking of which, if you fancy giving someone a distinctly edgy Christmas present, you can order our very first title – Boundary Songs from a number of online retailers including: Sam Read Bookseller, Waterstones, or Bookshop.org.
Don’t forget you can still watch David’s entertaining conversation (including films, photographs and a reading from Boundary Songs) with Cumbria Life’s Will Smith for the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival on catch-up until 31st December 2020 – click HERE to get access now.
And if you don’t own a copy yet – ‘Becoming the path itself…(The dreams of exiled souls…)‘ is a limited edition exchange between the artists/authors Julian Hyde and David Banning.
The 24 page full colour booklet includes a sleek, eloquent design and layout by Neil Jackson of Post-Nearly Press, alongside drawings by Iain Sharpe, interweaving text and photography throughout…Copies are £6.00 (including postage) – to place an order, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org – only a few are left now, don’t miss out!
Finally, we have news of a NEW TITLE for 2021 – an assemblage produced by around 10 writers and artists responding to lockdown in their own territories – using fragmentary texts, short stories, photographs, drawings and collage… A document of traces from Newcastle, the Lake District, Lancashire and London…formed of spectral walks, psychogeographical encounters, eerie geometries, deserted towpaths, former railway lines, discarded masks, ghostly enclaves and sudden verdures…
We are hoping to produce a limited-edition hardback in full colour – with all royalties going to a charity (to be designated). More details as soon as we have them in the new year…Well, that’s about it for now – what with all the uncertainty in the world, let’s hope for a much brighter and more hopeful 2021 – until then, keep yourselves and your families safe…
What manner of theatre is it, in which we are at once playwright, actor, stage manager, scene painter and audience?”― W.G. Sebald,The Rings of Saturn
We met during the endless post-referendum rain. Both of us increasingly hemmed in by a workplace where creative communication was virtually impossible. Stolen, fragmentary conversations revealed parallel paths, a shared, if faded, belief in some form of psychogeography as a way through the creeping inertia…
Julian Hyde on the origins of Boundary Songs: Notes from the edge of the Lake District National Park
This limited edition booklet is an intimate exchange between the artists/authors Julian Hyde and David Banning. An engaging discussion unfolds on various themes involved with the origins and methods during the creation of the Boundary Songs book. Featuring a sleek, eloquent design and layout by Neil Jackson of Post-Nearly Press, alongside drawings by Iain Sharpe, it is a perfect companion piece to the book.
‘Becoming the path itself…(The dreams of exiled souls…)‘ – priced at £6.00 (including postage) a 24 page full colour booklet interweaves text and photography throughout…
To place an order, please email: email@example.com
David Banning and Julian Hyde spoke about the exhibition with Helen Millican on the BBC Radio Cumbria Evening show on Monday 19th October – click here to listen. David also featured on another programme with Helen aired on the 15th October, speaking at length about the inspiration and process of writing the Boundary Songs book – fittingly recorded underneath the looming presence of Shap Pink Quarry! Click here to listen back. Don’t miss the track ‘The Hobb’ especially chosen from Richard Skelton’s ‘Border Ballads‘ album (that features in the Boundary Songs film) played in between the chat alongside other music from Kraftwerk and XTC.
Join us on Friday 9th October between 6pm – 8pm for a special exhibition preview with music (including a DJ set from Julian Hyde) and the odd tipple!
The event is FREE, but we’re asking all attendees to book a ticket in advance, please click here to register (Maximum 6 tickets per person).
In the meantime, don’t forget to check the Aerial Festival website from tomorrow (Saturday 26th September) for a chance to view a new unseen short film from the Boundary Songs project, ‘The Drift’ by David Banning – made available as an exclusive by Caught by the River. The film will also be featuring in the exhibition at Cross Lane Projects from 10 – 23 October (gallery open 12-5pm everyday).
After the cancellation of the physical Aerial Festival — due to have taken place in March, an online version of the event will go live from 26th September. We are pleased to announce a new unseen short film from the Boundary Songs project, ‘The Drift’ by David Banning – will be made available as an exclusive by the online arts/nature/culture clash site: Caught by the River. The film concerns the reverberations of an old bobbin mill at Caldbeck, and the limestone outcrop of Humphrey Head, near Allithwaite in Cumbria. It is set to music from Richard Skelton’s 2019 album Border Ballads.
A mix of spoken word, music, and nature sounds inspired by the Lakes, other artists and performers on the Caught by the River lineup include: BBC 6Music’s Stuart Maconie, author Roy Wilkinson, field recording artist Chris Watson, music from Jack Cooper (Modern Nature), and a reading from author Helen Mort.
All pieces go live on the Aerial website next Saturday and will be free to access…
The exhibition is the companion piece to a new book, Boundary Songs: Notes from the edge of the Lake District National Park – set to be published by Chroma Editions on 15th September 2020. The work typifies a contemporary re-telling of the journey made around the fringes of England’s largest national park. With a shared interest in the disregarded borders between urban and rural, a selection of beautifully studied pencil and pen drawings based on the author’s photographs are combined with hypnotic films of the coastal edges and a flotilla of found fragments. The softness of the images interrupt calls for much-needed transparency and reform on key issues including house prices, economic inequality and social change.
David Banning took over 100 photographs on his long walk around the national park boundary at the end of 2017. Many of them were simply documenting particular places at certain times. But there were other textures from puddles, woods, sheds and doors that usurped and de-familiarised their commonplace functions. Printed in black and white on watercolour paper, he presents a series of hallucinatory imaginings including large format depictions of the derelict Valley End garage near Silecroft and the edge of darkness itself – the gates of Sellafield.
After retiring from the art scene in 2012, Iain Sharpe moved from London to Glasgow to forget about his previous life as an artist. After a 5 year rest period, he was invited by his friend David Banning to create a series of drawings exploring the boundary extensions to the Lake District National Park.
By carefully cropping the original photographs, he produced a set of 13 drawings along with a series of large pen works that are no glorification of the past. In different ways they have become coded messages signalling an uncertain future.
Julian Hyde produces photographs and text with a scuffed and borrowed camera and permanently damp notebook. He first met David Banning during the endless post-referendum rain. Drawn from nearly twenty years exploring the dark hearts of empty Windermere afternoons, his work embedded in psychogeography, sets out to document the complex, unseen textures and disregarded emotions of a small town populated by future ghosts. The photographs presented in the exhibition range from a phone box near Black Combe, the almost black and white of a tarmac/kerb, a meadow glimpsed through a bus shelter and red paint sprayed on a tree bark by a river in Kendal.
David Banning is a writer based in Lancashire. His previous works include a guidebook An A-Z of Cumbria and the Lake District on Film (Hayloft, 2016) and the long psychogeographic poem Song of the Road (Voices in a Lane, 2018). He has completed a BA History of Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London and studied Lake District Landscape Studies to postgraduate level at Lancaster University.
Iain Sharpe is an artist working with pen and pencil on paper. His travel awards and scholarships include visits to Iceland, Italy, and Hong Kong. Sharpe taught at the Camden Arts Centre, London and lectured at Wimbledon School of Art and the University of Gloucestershire. He was visiting lecturer at Chelsea, Winchester, and Swindon School of Art. He lives and works in Glasgow…
For nearly twenty years Julian Hyde has, in the mistaken belief that there is nothing else to do, obsessively walk the side streets of Windermere. With borrowed cameras and sodden notebooks he built up an accidental archive of the textures of the unseen. It was always mid-afternoon when the beautiful eeriness enveloped the walks. The work continues…