Hoof Prints

Having experimented recently with painting from mud, soils and ash, I wanted to try making marks which involved walking, and I came up with the idea of attaching paper to the soles of my shoes, hoping that it would capture some traces and impressions of my walk.

IMG_7481

I used an old pair of sandals with thick soles, and found a pack of Khadi paper, and set about fixing it to the shoes using drawing pins.

IMG_7482

It seemed like perfect weather to try this, wet and rainy, so there would be plenty of mud I reckoned. I drove to Birnam, and headed up the Inchewan path, one of my favourite places to walk.

IMG_7488

I took a few photos of the rain on the delicate foliage on the way up…

IMG_7492

The wall on the way up the path is like a mossy carpet…in fact the whole walk is probably the mossiest I have every been on.

IMG_7526

Delicate young ferns covered in raindrops

IMG_7498Small plants growing on the mossy wall

IMG_7529

     A really wet, lush, green environment…with the sound of a fast flowing stream and lots of very fresh air…just beautiful

I walked up the path until I reached a decent patch of mud, and proceeded to swap my crocs for the paper-soled sandals, which I wore to squelch through very wet mud.

IMG_7516

IMG_7522

IMG_7521

My first attempt was a bit over zealous…I completely ruined the paper, tearing a big hole into it, and realised that I had walked too far for the paper to survive. My next attempt was a bit better, the paper had a slight rip in it, but was still useable. Some of the mud that I stepped in was so wet that the prints showed very little colour, although the patterns on the soles of my sandal created a nice embossing on the paper. I also tried walking over moss a few times, but it barely showed, instead I seemed to gather fragments of leaves and bark.

IMG_7519

A few walkers passed me on route, stopping to watch what I was doing. I felt like I was doing a performance, and realised that I should have “killed two birds with one stone”.

Further up the path, there was slate from the nearby hill which had slid down and was lying in piles in reddish looking puddles. The soil here seemed different, in colour certainly, and this might have something to do with the minerals I am guessing.  The soil here printed a very different colour, a light red/brown, and I felt excited about the contrast that this would give against the previous prints.

IMG_7548

IMG_7550

A strong result…and a much lighter, redder soil

I also walked down toward the stream, where the terrain was gravel and sand, and this also gave a similar red/brown colour.

IMG_7535

As I changed the papers on my shoes, the removed papers were left at the side of the path, to be collected on my way down. I met a few walkers on the way, and told them that the papers weren’t litter, just incase they felt it their duty to remove them.

I made my way down the hill, and luckily all of the prints were still where I left them. On my walk back to the car, I came across some fallen tree trunks, and noticed the same black, wiry fibres I had seen growing inside a piece of bark a few months ago. I stopped to peel a few from the trunk, sure that I might be able to use them for something interesting.

IMG_7540

Interesting string-like fibres attached to the fallen bark of a tree…what I now know to be rhizomorphs of Armillaria, a type of fungus.

IMG_7554

I’m already seeing mapping possibilities in this amazing natural fibre…

IMG_7552

I headed home to dry them (and myself) off, apprehensive to see the results of my walking/prints.

Once back in the studio, I used the hairdryer to dry the papers, and also removed some of the larger chunks of soil which has been stuck next to the drawing pins.

hoofprints1

Some of the marks are really quite beautiful, although they are a bit paler since they have dried. I am still considering how best to use these, although I have a feeling that they will end up as a book.

I’m also keen to try a few experiments with the Armillaria, and am especially excited by the fact that it might have bioluminescent qualities!

Water of Ruchil

shadow_innschewan2-e1426547463757
                                Solitary stravaiger

IMG_1719

Stepping back in time

IMG_1692

Helpless and uprooted

IMG_1670

Thirstily searching for Life

IMG_1694

Charred discarded memories

IMG_3402

Hide in empty vessels

IMG_2131

Bottled up Emotions

IMG_1730

Weeping with nostalgia

IMG_3422

Open eyes observing

IMG_1751Mossy melancholy

IMG_1741

Dark decaying circles

IMG_3196

Rings of life, and death

IMG_0737

Bearded branches bearing

islands

Overhanging islands

IMG_2127

Wizened witches fingers

IMG_3249

Slowly shedding skin

IMG_3297

The ancient paths where legions trod

IMG_3438

Adorned with hostile emblems

IMG_1816

Non-native invaders thriving

IMG_3159

Surviving futile floods

IMG_3186

Dryadic burrs lie twisted

IMG_3431

By shallow shifting sands

IMG_1744

Relics of rotten remains

IMG_3406

Receive a new awakening

gushing

Gushing rapids foaming

IMG_3487

to the Wild Boar’s Pool

IMG_3448

Constant flowing waters

IMG_3415

Reflecting on times past

IMG_3166Sunbeams over Nemeton

IMG_3534

Pierce the Veil of Sleep

IMG_3591

Sinister skeletal symbols

IMG_3547

Monuments to life

IMG_3626

Warped wefts of wisdom

IMG_3292

Frame palimpsestic paths

IMG_3290

Sacred standing stones

IMG_3260

Cover ritualistic remains

IMG_3653

Barbaric battlefields beckon

IMG_3617

Shackled and forbidden

IMG_3217

For those who draw the short straw

IMG_1809

Mortality confirmed

Inchewan Path

barkhanging

Broken bark revealing

barkhanging4

Parasitic maps of life

mosstrunk2

Sarked limbs avoiding the chill

mosscarpet

Behold the blanketed boughs

fallentwigs

Wooden veins descend their roots

slatepile

Shattered shards cascading

hoofprints

Hooves that tread by nightfall

IMG_2697

Resting on the beech by day

river

 Floating ephemeral hemisphere

riverflow3

Rapid reflections descending

marble3

Foaming spectres spirited away

frozenstream8

Trapped by the tip of the iceberg

mossknitting

 Man’s endeavours softened by time

speckledstone

Shrouding symbiosis

funghi3

Severed fingers pointing toward

treemask

Pachydermal protrusion

pond

Striped antennae break the ice

reeds1

Arches to unknown dimensions

snowshadow2

Impressions on the beaten path

frozenstream5

Escaping frozen sunbeams

Shadow Walker – A journey through Scott’s Wood

POND_SHADOW
Shadow walker watching…

POND_CLOUDS

Clouds float in calm blue waters

POND_GRASS

Grasses puncture serenity

REFLECTION2

Liquid mirrors still and silentREFLECTION4

Window to a parallel world

REFLECTION7

Beckons us to enter

IMG_2205

Sunlight breaks the liminal veil

IMG_2215

Twisted arms reach skyward

IMG_2261

Gazing up to the unknown

IMG_1102

Unfortunate adornment

IMG_2227

Severed trunks await their fate

IMG_2209

Ironically consumed by growth

IMG_1188

Tangled veins extrude from earth

IMG_1189

Remnants of life and hazardous paths

IMG_2266

Exit shadow walker