Sun, scattered showers
After 5 months nestling in the jungle like polytunnel in the middle of the Centre for Alternative Technology our new site-specific sculpture has begun to crumble back into it’s surrounding. Built from tiny shards of Llwyngwern slate and different moss species collected from the quarry our Welsh slate head looks as old as the hills enveloping the site. Keeping to our strict rule of adding nothing and taking nothing from the environment means the sculpture is very fragile and has already suffered an irreparable injury. However, like our melting snow heads in the Arctic, the projects celebrates the natural qualities of organic materials so we will continue with care and just hope the new sculpture will last out our week of filming.
While Tina and I have been making preparations for Switching Heads-sound mapping the Quarry West Wales has been drenched in sunshine, on our first day of filming at the Centre for Alternative Technology it looked like we were just going to get drenched.
Taking no chances with the blackening sky we carefully installed our fragile slate head named Geoffery Grey underneath a shelter that sits alongside one of the main visitor pathways and above it we raised our Switching Heads flag.
It wasn’t long before slightly soggy families joined us under the shelter, half drawn in after recognising Geoffery from the flyers in their hands and half to share in our dry spot. Our friendly captive audience were keen to chat with us and with a little encouragement began to share their stories with Geoffery as well as Tina and I.
Despite the persistent rain Tina and I engaged with a lot of different CAT visitors on our first day but four young girls stole the show. Regular visitors to the site the girl’s knowledge and enthusiasm for sustainable energy was very impressive and, as their Mum watched proudly, they told us all about solar and wind energy and advised us on the best places to see around CAT.
The more action we had going on around Geoffery the more people clustered around so in between visitor’s stories Tina and I created a slate percussion performance designed to both attract new people to the action and to emphasis the perspective quality of the binaural microphones by tapping, scrapping and scratching slate on slate.
Holly Owen & Kristina Pulejkova