The work was formed through a series of walks along the Taw Estuary, pausing to unpick the washed-in marine plastics from each bundle of seaweed along the strandline. This action disrupted the rhythm of my walks and placed slow walking and touch as a mode of care to tune into this watery place and human traces.
The walks happened in the months preceding the first lockdown. During the lockdowns I was unable to travel to the estuary to walk (and visit family) so I spent time with the materials foraged on those last walks. Handling the plastics, earth and river water was a way to hold a connection with the estuarine landscape I craved. I began to coat the plastics in earth and river-water to form drawings on paper. What emerged is part of a wider series called matter maps that offer counter maps of remnants of discarded human stuff from our places.
Lydia Halcrow’s artistic research focuses on collaborative and experimental embodied processes that make with a place to form matter maps that re-map a landscape in the context of the unfolding climate crisis. Her practice-based PhD titled ‘a thousand intertwinings: an exploration of embodied artistic processes made in collaboration with an estuarine landscape and its vibrant matter’ explored slow walking, the anarchive and counter-cartographies as approaches to tune into the materiality of a coastal place. Her lockdown works examined human trace through the ritual of daily walks circling the home foraging discarded debris in the liminal space between pavement and roadside.