Like a Whisper: Time on the Land

The past lives on in art and memory, but it is not static: it shifts and changes as the present throws its shadow backwards. The landscape also changes, but far more slowly; it is a living link between what we were and what we have become.

—Margaret Drabble, A Writer’s Britain: Landscape in Literature

 

Like a Whisper: Time on the Land is a project to photograph the traces of human and geologic activity on the land, a geography of time resulting from years of scarring and healing leaving traces on the land, much like the writing and erasures in old manuscripts when vellum was too valuable to waste, resulting in a palimpsest. Hadrian’s Wall is a landscape of ruins; the remains of the wall and ancient forts are everywhere present. The site defines construction and de-construction; ancient histories bump up against present realities and excavated walls coexist with contemporary. These photographs are a visual rendering of ideas about fragmented histories, process, destruction and excavation, and remnants, as well as the nature of artistic practice through collaborative process using contemporary technologies. [Also see the work of other members of the Hadrian’s Wall working group: Deborah Dancy, Ray DiCapua, and Judith Thorpe]