Publication: December 2019
List Price: £10.00
Format: ~ Paperback - 48 pages
Size: 12.7 x 20.3 cm
Tags: walking, walking arts, Plymouth, magical mode, drift, dérive, mythogeography, falling, imbalance, psychogeography, improvisation, Helen Billinghurst, phil smith
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pdf ISBN: 978-1-911193-72-2
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She is the Sea is for walking artists and writers, ecologists, ecosensualists, residents of, and visitors to, Plymouth, anyone interested in: mythogeography & psychogeography ~ radical walking ~ walking as poetry ~ the aesthetics and practice of civilisational collapse.
Walking and movement artists often stumble when they describe the modes and registers of perception and expression they adopt in their practice. The attempt to represent their experience can end in a kind of somatic soup.
Crab & Bee eschew the soup and, in this little book of poems and essays − the prequel to their forthcoming book The Pattern (2020) – they give us clear hints of where and how they find and make meaning in their work. They tell us, for example, that:
By reconnecting with the movement of the waters and with these privileged points, Crab & Bee re-engage with a ‘magical mode’. This is what they invite us to share in their walks, prose and poetry.
They suggest that the challenge (not just for walking artists but for all of us in a climate emergency) is to dissolve our artistic or habitual/life practice, to “sink into the dark forest beneath our feet”, to embed ourselves in the grander patterns, systems and flows of our wet planet, to “feel our way, but also to allow what we feel to feel us, and direct us by its flows”.
In this book they give us a glimpse of how to do exactly that.
Reviews and Readers' comments and reflections
"Plymouth and its surrounding area is a central though not exclusive subject here and a particular project, relating to the idea of the labyrinth, bringing in Greek mythology as well as that of Albion via Gog/Magog serves as a starting point to a derive which involves a deep embracing of the environment, a ‘sinking into the underworld’ which relates the artworks produced along the way with the actual experience of a random (in terms of ‘going with the flow’) relationship with the outside world. Getting lost is clearly a part of the intention and this conjures up ‘parallels’ with such artists/thinkers as Richard Long, the Situationists, Andy Goldsworthy and Walter Benjamin, though in his case, of course, the city was the main location."
From a review by Steve Spence: read the full review
what a beautiful, tender, deep, delicious booklet this is - i loved the essays,
they said things i've been wanting to put into words for a long time
about walking and sensitivity and commitment - and you capture so well
the two way movement between the human and the not-human -
the influences and confluences, impressions and depressions -
i loved every word of it
and the poems took me in and out the labyrinth of language
with such delight
“I have just finished reading She Is the Sea, and just wanted to say how wonderful it was! The words were truly transformative and transported me to another more vivid liquid time and space. It was great to see in the essays how you entwine your voices and are open about slippages and the lacunae that forms when you merge your thoughts, perceptions, identities, passions, whilst simultaneously finding some way, a wonderful way, to articulate that which so readily escapes words.”
"She is the Sea arrived today. ... Crab and Bee - beyond their poetry and plays and performances and organic walking - strike me as of a piece with the great British eccentrics (only when you remove yourself from the center, can you see what they see), who one day drop in and decode the Enigma. I imagine them as a two-(or more)-headed Dune-like creature, antennae out, burrowing along and under the ground, sending and receiving a symphony of information. What fun! What wonderful work they do."