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Harp Cottage Diary - Part 2

7th March 2017

The first Harp Cottage Residency took place in January 2017: Meadow Arts and artist Justine Cook provided an opportunity for an artist to stay in a cottage near the Welsh border, to allow time for artistic reflection in a rural setting.  We will follow the selected artist's practice over the next twelve months to discover what impact the residency has on their work and ideas over time.

Rob Hewitt of Redhawk Logistica shares his diary from the Harp Cottage Residency in a series of entries spanning the week of the residency.

Tues 17th Jan 2017

Side view of a tin shed, partly boarded up

Spent some time last night reading about hand drills and their development over thousands of years. The ability to bore a hole into something hard - wood or stone - is something we've always wanted to do through the ages. Before electricity it was a lot harder and before mills could drive belts to supply power they were hand powered, at first by one person and then by several with grit added to the drill hole to bore into hard stone. I think being so close to the quarry prompted that research - as well as the pile of old stone roof tiles in the churchyard, each one distinguished from being 'just' a piece of stone by the hole at one end, presumably made by hand. Also I am planning to get a hand drill for a 'hand-made' project I am planning...

Woke to a cold and misty morning and found a copy of Roger Deakin's Waterlog on the bookshelf, which I read in the bath as a sort of tribute. Since I first read it I've visited the Isles of Scilly and had a brief dip in the sea there, so now the second chapter comes to life and I can picture the places he writes about. I love his sensitive and thoughtful engagement with the places he visits and his informed histories, along with his poetic turn of phrase that makes it all so magical.

Headed off to Kington to buy a map, some salt and a few other small things that I miss. Had a mooch around some forgotten corners of the High St and took snaps of some interesting sights, but alas no map so I decided to follow the road in the other direction, towards Llandrindod Wells. Of course the Tourist Info there was closed, but the lady in the Bicycle Museum directed me to a Newsagent who had one. At last I can survey my local landscape on paper.

Came across a modest but charming corrugated iron building near another local Quarry Works on my travels in the car today and spoke to a worker there about where is good to walk, as I did so I noted a path that seemed to go straight through their quarry works. He said the building was a reading room, a remnant from the old railway line that used to run through here.

Went into a second hand shop in Kington earlier and listened to some UK Subs on coloured vinyl on their in-store turntable - which was nice but I thought it was nostalgia or a collecting impulse that was attracting me - so got a book on working with paper, collage, etc instead, which he wrapped up in a brown paper parcel - now to unwrap it and see if there are any techniques in there that I can borrow.

Cutting mat and other artist's materials, laid out on a table