As readers of this blog will know I attended Settlement last Friday; a day long artist-led workshop, which involved a tour of the Howardian Nature Reserve under the thoughtful guidance of artist Ben Connors. In the 70s this reserve was a landfill site, and was transformed by the local community into this oasis of wilderness, smack bang in the commercial heartland of Newport Road.
|Ben, introducing us to the walk
Using our natural surroundings as an ideological framework, Ben - in the company of park ranger Raj - led us on a thoughtful and immensely intellectually stimulating walk, which included a lecture from Raj on the history of the site, and several intensive discussions on the nature of art, the role of art within community settings, and why it is that as both artists and as community members it is important we continue to engage with each other.
While we were exercising our brains and legs, talented photographer Nigel Pugh was racing up and down, snapping pictures of our group looking their most thoughtful.
Nigel very kindly offered to send me some of these pictures to support my blog post - which given the intellectual stimulation of the walk, I was envisioning as an essay of gargantuan proportions.
Then I actually received the photos - all of which are below, and are beautiful - and thought: sod that, I'll just let you guys admire some proper handiwork instead.
I'm sure you're all very relieved.
|I look pensive, but I'm probably thinking about lunch
If you get the chance folks, please do go explore the Howardian nature reserve - that's if you haven't already. And if Raj is there, say hello! He's very informative.
Also be sure to check out Ben Connors' website, listed below - he plans on making a Settlement-inspired comic, so you're gonna want to keep your eyes peeled for that.
Lastly, all credit for the lovely photographs goes to Nigel Pugh.
Ben Connors lives online here.
Nigel Pugh can be located on Flickr here and on Twitter @nspugh