Journey to the Centre of the Moss

Keith Ashford and Elizabeth Turner are Shropshire-based artists who have worked together to create sculptures, sited in the landscape at a range of different locations across Shropshire, Telford and further afield.  During 2020, we began a conversation about making some work at Fenn’s and Whixall Moss, and we discussed these ideas with Shropshire Wildlife Trust.  We were all excited that the National Lottery funding I secured from Arts Council England would enable these ideas to be turned into reality during 2021.

Wem Youth Club on the Moss

Engaging with the local community is one of the key parts of the Mosses and Marshes project that gives it meaning and brings it to life. I teamed up with artists Kate Johnston and Dr Sue Challis and Shropshire Wildlife Trust for a fabulous collaborative project with Wem Youth Club at Whixall Moss.

Across the Border

During last year, I was contacted by Sheila Birch who said to me that some of my artistic responses to the Mosses resonated with her experience of the landscape.  Although she no longer lives in the area, she still has family connections with Bettisfield and is a regular visitor.  I invited her to recount some of her childhood memories

Stories from the Moss

In the course of visiting the Fenn’s Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR over the last few years, I’ve met and spoken with people on and around the site, either living locally, or visiting from further afield.  Here is the first in a short series of posts recording some of the conversations I have had with local people who lived and or worked on the Moss

Tracing Human history across the Moss

Most visitors to the Fenn’s Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses today, will be coming to enjoy the Nature Reserve and to look for wildlife or simply get some fresh air and exercise, but few can escape noticing the physical traces in the landscape and interpretation boards which tell the story of human involvement on the Mosses over many centuries. It is this aspect, the evolving relationship that humans have with the wetlands, that really intrigues me.

Being with the Landscape

How would we describe the experience of seeing and being in this wetland landscape? It is not a place of classically dramatic views and spectacular rock formations. It is not particularly a place with natural physical challenges for the adventurous outdoor enthusiast. Yet there are challenges, perhaps more psychological than physical. Its charms are more understated, but no less impressive.

Pulse of the Wetland: Part two of a conversation with Kim V. Goldsmith

In this second part of a conversation with my artist collaborator Kim V. Goldsmith, we look ahead at some of the outcomes from our project and themes to explore… As you said in the earlier part of our conversation, there are all kinds of political, socio-historical issues associated with these wetland sites which inform theContinue reading “Pulse of the Wetland: Part two of a conversation with Kim V. Goldsmith”

Pulse of the Wetland: A conversation with Kim V. Goldsmith

Kim V. Goldsmith is an established digital media and installation artist, based near Dubbo in Central New South Wales, Australia. Raised on a large mixed farm in the region and going on to work as a rural journalist, farmer, and a marketing communications specialist in the rural, regional and natural resources sectors over the past 30Continue reading “Pulse of the Wetland: A conversation with Kim V. Goldsmith”