There are some journeys that I’ve been making over and over again and this is one of them. Poole to Hereford, via Bristol. It’s a journey through many unfolding landscapes – ones which I’m very familiar with and very fond of too.
Out of the suburbs and into the Dorset countryside, up to Lamar Tree and over the great hills on the edge of Salisbury Plain, with those breathtaking views from Dorset to Wiltshire, then down zig zag hill, past the scrapyard my father loves a string of villages each with thatched cottages, a pub and a Norman church, past the entrance to Longleat and the truckers’ cafe on the side of the road and into Somerset, up the windy busy roads that cross the Kennet and Avon canal. around Bath and on to Bristol, with a choice of the M32 or the ringroad, across the Severn Bridge and nearly into Wales, but nipping up past Chepstow racecourse, heading north through the gorgeous Wye Valley, past the picture postcard ruins of Tintern Abbey and all the souvenir shops and cafes selling welshcakes, then turning right after crossing the river at Monmouth and finally into Herefordshire – onwards slowing for tractors through the hedgerows, then looping round with Hereford Cathedral in sight, past industrial parks and the old skatepark, past the racecourse and down the lane that disappears behind us as soon as we park at my friend’s house, when we’re ‘home’ with her again.
Routes on Paper
So this is exactly that route in exactly that order, but laid out in straight lines rather than meandering roads. It was inspired by John Ogilby’s strip maps of the 1670s, which simplified journeys by focusing on only those things you need to know about the journey itself.
With the use of papers and glue, the landscape completely changes, morphing and adapting to the route itself, which carves its way through the paper, sending delicate ripples across the surface.
This piece is currently on tour, until November 2019, with St Thomas Way in the exhibition ‘Re-Making Maps of the Mind: Medieval and Modern Journeys’