red variations

‘deep listening: into the earth
burrowing, into the water courses
hidden in rockbed.’
(denise levertov –  footprints – reading in the red book cellar, new directions, 1972)

red lake (dartmoor, devon 2015)


margin, thread and vessel
three cymatic films with sound pieces that relate to three bodies of water with the inclusion of ‘red’ in their name.


we walk through altered landscapes
morphological adjustments
ancient earthworks
re-named places
ditches, pits, channels or ponds
slurry and spoil
mineral washings
extractions and separations
the chemistries of mass productions
weight and isolation
stratified in subsoils
in riverbed channels
a single colour
breaking the surface natural

red tarn


variation one: margin
a cymatic film and soundpiece

location: helvellyn, cumbria
date: in preparation
feature: small high altitude lake formed in a cirque by glacial action
os grid ref: NY3489915444
altitude: 18 metres (2,356 feet)
depth: 25 metres (82 feet)
dimensions: ?
mining: iron (1860)
colour: ferrous brown/red rock from iron mine at the north end of the lake
field assistant: tbc

red river


variation two: thread
a cymatic film and soundpiece

location: godrevy, north cornwall
date: september 2012 and april 2019
feature: river-mouth buried tailings deposit
os grid ref: SW5829942220 (river mouth)
altitude: 170 metres (560 ft) to sea level
depth: 0.50 metres (1.6 feet) (river- mouth)
dimensions: 8 miles (13 km)
mining: tin (early 1960s – 1985)
colour when mining: red – mine tailings (hematite, copper, zinc, arsenic)
colour now: yellow – limonite formed by bacterial action on dissolved iron
field assistant: beverly burden

red river fieldwork

red lake


variation three: 
a cymatic film and soundpiece

location: dartmoor, devon
date: may 2015
feature: china clay pit 1910 – 1933 now naturally filled by peat bog run-off.
os grid ref: SX6456266793
altitude: 457 metres (1,500 ft)
depth: ? metres (? feet)
dimensions: ?
mining: china clay (1910-1933)
colour: yellow/red – limonite formed by bacterial oxidation of ferrous carbonate in peat
field assistant: wesley burden

red lake fieldwork