28 March 2010
My experience of nature goes back to when I was about 8 years old, when I had many encounters with very ill or dead animals. The dead animals were buried by my friends and I, using twigs, mowed grass, mud, stones and dandelions in a secret location (the neighbours large garden) at the end of my street. The ill animals, including a rabbit, frog, two baby sparrows, a starling and a tree full of caterpillars didn’t end well either… so when I was asked what I wanted to be when I was older, I choose the artist option rather than to be a vet.
As a sound artist, creating site specific soundscapes, I find inspiration from my surroundings and have been inspired by the bird songs that I hear in the city, the park and my garden.
I have recently joined a WEA bird watching course in Nottingham and became a member the RSPB (Royal Society for the protection of birds) and LROS (Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithology Society). The bird watching course is designed to develop skills in being able to identify local birds (birdsong and behaviour) and distinguish between resident birds and winter visitors and to competently use a field guide and identify bird watching locations within the East Midlands.
To encourage birds into my garden I have added three bird feeders and plan to add a fourth which will have a built in wireless CCTV camera, so that I am able to closely observe the birds and record their movements. So far I have spotted a wood pigeon who comes to feed at least three times a week… and the black cat from next door.
Walk to work…
I find inspiration in my surroundings and have found the walk from my home to Leicester train station inspiring due to the range of wildlife living in the Grand Union Canal. I feel I have developed a relationship with the area, its birds and walkers through documenting moments in time using photography, binaural recordings and as scribbled notes, remembering brief encounters and short conversations with walkers, cyclists, commuters and nature lovers.