Sunday, August 16, 2015

Coastal unseens

Texts for my exhibition in October are moving along now, with Moor, Forest and River pretty much finished, and I'm starting to concentrate on a piece to be called Coastal Scenes. Fortuitously, I had planned to take a friend to the coast this week for her birthday treat, staying in a hotel just above the beach at the Baie des Trépassées in the far west. Our first day, after a visit to the allée couverte at Lesconil, we arrived in a thick Atlantic mist, the mass of surfers suddenly bursting into view on the shore as if from nowhere. We decided to walk the 3km to the Pointe du Raz along an undulating coast path, despite the lacks of views, the fact it was already 5 o'clock and that I was limping after quite a bad fall on rocks at the Moulin de Keriolet earlier in the afternoon. We could hardly see the water at all, and arriving at the huge, hideous statue of Our Lady on the point, had no visual sense whatever of being anywhere near the sea, whilst just below us churned one of the most dramatic and malevolent straits in Europe - an unusual perspective on the nature of coast.
Day Two began in heavy rain but we made a slow start and arrived at the Pointe du Van to clearer, drier skies and were able to have a good walk, with views towards the Iron Age éperon barré of Castelmeur. This was followed by coffee in Audierne and a (for me, yet another) visit to Menez Dregan, where the paleolithic cave was still fully uncovered and much more visible than on my last trip a couple of weeks ago. We sat for a long time on a bench further down the coast just gazing at the sea before the long drive home. Although at no point was I consciously thinking about my text, I found myself quite unable to sleep last night, despite being physically exhausted, and several times had to leap out of bed and rush to my desk to make notes, a process that felt at the time not unlike rushing to the bathroom to be sick in the night.
Coastal seen

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