Horse Head

u-pop-unseen-12

“UNSEEN FORCES #12
Think Again

Acrylic on canvas by Unknown Acquired by Scott Wilson from trash
This disturbing work “makes an offer you can’t refuse”. The chilling, matter-of-fact manner in which the subject presents the severed head to us is a poignant reminder of just how numb we have become. The understated violence implicit in the scene speaks volumes on our own desensitization, our society’s reflexive use of force, and the artist’s inability to deal with the hindquarters of the animal. “

http://www.museumofbadart.org/collection/unseen-12.html

 

Walk 26 – Walk 8

Folkestone Caravan and Camping Site

Tuesday 23rd October 2012

Walk 26 – Circular Route near Hythe (25 miles)

After arriving in Folkestone my documenter and I made our way to the Caravan and Camping site which is a four mile walk from the starting point of the gallery.

The area was filled with thick fog which was a hindrance before even starting the task, it made it difficult to see signs or problematic terrain. This weather lasted for two of the days and the wind was strong, luckily the rain held off except at night. We camped throughout to keep the costs down which went well, apart from for having to carry the tent and all that goes with it. It didn’t put us off though and we completed all of the tasks I had set out to complete.

Strange Cargo, Folkestone

Starting at Strange Cargo in Folkestone we were warmly greeted by Brigitte the director of the gallery who allowed us to rest our feet before beginning the voyage ahead. When the time came to leave we headed towards Hythe following the coastal path for the majority of the way. (Leaving at 10am).

Hythe town centre

From Hythe we headed towards West Hythe and then on to Lympne.

The most significant aspect of this particular walk was that on a number of the bridleways there were new signs made by Hythe & Folkestone Council stating – no horses, no motorbikes, no bicycles – which is unfortunate for a path specifically created for bridleway use. Interestingly Stewart and the other contributors to the Bridleways of Britain predict this being the bridleways’ future.

The walk, due to its many changes was extremely difficult and the only coordination was provided by following the Royal Military Canal path for a large part of the journey. Historically it was very educational and along the way continued to provide the walker with facts about the path and canal.

Sections of the route did allow for horse riders, but these were so short and segregated from the route that I feel it would probably be more hassle than it’s worth for a rider to have brought their horse all that way for no more than two miles of bridleway.

Acoustic Mirror

Finally my documenter and I managed to follow most of the path provided by the book, passing some interesting places such as Lympne Wildlife Park where we saw a lion laying on the grass. Disappointingly we didn’t manage to see any horses though at times there was evidence that they had been there.

Once off the bridleway we made our way to the train station, hoping to reach Hamstreet we found ourselves a few miles away having taken a wrong turn. Eventually we found a pub where the bar lady helped us get us a taxi to Ashford train station. From there we journeyed to Seaford in order to reach the next campsite. (Arriving just before 9pm – completing 18 miles on foot).

Seaford Buckle Caravan and Camping Site

Wednesday 24th October 2012

Walk 8 – The South Downs Way (75 miles)

After resting at the campsite in Seaford we begun our travels from Bishopstone both with severe blisters and sore backs, we continued our journey towards Brighton. After spending some time there we moved on to Lancing where our final stay would be. This part of the experience was very difficult due to the problems I had walking, however we carried on and eventually made it to our destination.

Brighton Pier

Wednesday 24th October 2012

The walk proved to be worth the pain as we were greeted by many horses. The campsite was framed by an Equestrian Centre, fields filled with horses that were only too happy to be documented.

Many of the bridleways in the area remain however; much of it does go through roads and villages which have expanded their tarmacked areas over time. Although this is a shame like the problems shown in Hythe it is not nearly as concerning a problem due to the presence of the Equestrian Centre.

We were unable to complete this walk with our timeframe but will be returning to it. (22.5 miles completed).

This swan tried to attack our tent

Horses! The Barn Caravan and Camping Site in Lancing

The next day we needed to get to Worthing to catch the coach home, we started our journey at 6.30am and arrived in the town with plenty of time spare, however it is was too difficult to find our coach stop. We asked many passersby with no luck other than the wrong direction as well as this there were no taxi’s in sight to be of assistance. Worthing is a very large place with very few signs showing where to go within the town (it only seemed to tell you how to get out). We missed the coach to London and subsequently found ourselves on an unexpected adventure. We had very little money or understanding of where we were. However, we found a bus that could take us to Crawley and managed to get a train to Victoria station from there. Interestingly the bus journey took us through much of the walk we had been unable to complete in the time frame; it went straight through Washington and passed Horsham. This allowed me to assess the terrain of that walk which is very much filled with small country roads without footpaths or pavement.

I am really looking forward to the next stage; the plan is to complete the Welsh walks in November, the Suffolk and Norfolk walks in December and to return to the south in the New Year.

Human Bridle

‘Some punishments were very heavily gendered. The scold’s bridle symbolized the idea that women were like animals, because horses were made to wear bits and bridles. But there was also the practical effect that the bridle stopped a woman from speaking. Speech was said to be one of the main things that set humans apart from all other animals. By taking away her power of speech the bridle made a woman more bestial in practice as well as in theory.’

http://www.investigations.4-lom.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/robinson-social-political-animals.pdf

 

 

 

‘..the ‘scold’s bridle’ or ‘brank’, a particularly nasty piece apparatus that emerges in records of the late sixteenth century as a tool of coercion to enforce women’s silence. The bridle was a metal contraption that covered or encircled the woman’s head and incorporated an iron bar or ‘gag’ to hold her tongue down, thus preventing speech. The association of the unruly woman with a horse that needs breaking is obvious, and no doubt part of the punishment was the shame of being reduced to the status of an animal.

A woman accused of scolding – basically, any form of unsanctioned female speech that was perceived as unruly or disruptive – had this vicious device forcibly shoved into her mouth and locked around her head. She was then subjected to the ritualised public humiliation of being led or dragged through the town, tied up in the public square and pelted with rubbish and excrement, urinated on, and otherwise mocked and degraded. In parts of England, there is also some evidence to indicate that a husband could have his wife bridled and tied up to a hook embedded beside the fireplace in their home.

Scold’s bridles took various forms, but their general design is such that at the least, they would inflict a measure of pain and discomfort. Some versions, which featured spikes or rasps on the gag part that is inserted into the woman’s mouth, would clearly inflict severe pain and damage. A 1653 account from Newcastle talks of a woman being led through the town with blood pouring from her mouth; other accounts allude to teeth being broken or wrenched out, and even of jawbones and cheekbones being cracked. A perilously high price to pay for the ‘sin’ of voicing an opinion.’

Lynda E. Boose, ‘Scolding Brides and Bridling Scolds: Taming the Woman’s Unruly Member’, Shakespeare Quarterly 42, no. 2 (1991): 179-213.

http://horseinculture.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/scolds-bridles-and-skimmington-ride.html

 

 

Horse Woman – The Walks

I found the book ‘The Bridleways of Britain’ a few weeks ago and have decided to use it as a guide to complete a series of performance walks. Although I have started Horse Woman this will simply assist in controlling the exercise which I believe it needs. Prior to this I have simply chosen walks that were close to where I was living or staying, using this book will push me to visit a number of areas across Britain. The walks are chosen for the book as they have been highly recommended by horse riders who often own their own land and horses. I am aware that this may take some time but I feel that the project now has an aim, it will also be an interesting investigation into performance and endurance (through both the projects commitment and also the length of some of the walks).

Alongside these walks, performances are being made indoors such as in gallery spaces as well as this, the text for the story continues to be developed with the aim of becoming a book. One of the works created from the story of Horse Woman will be performed at Hatch:Scratch, Leicester, Sunday June 17th from 6pm.

 

William Mackrell

I went to look around the Oriel Davis Open 2012 in Newtown, Wales today. I came across a video work by the artist William Mackrell titled Deux Chevaux, 2011 as it contained a horse (two in fact) I felt I should probably stay and watch it for a little longer. As I viewed the work in the darkened room, another audience member entered the space, he looked at the work, then at me and subsequently asked in his strong Welsh accent, “So, what’s he pulling a car for?” I instantly wanted to reply “Because the car is broken” but thought better of it given my extensive education and experience in the arts and instead answered “I really don’t know.”

http://www.williammackrell.com/biography/

Horse Woman – Poem /Text (unfinished)

I have been walking for a very long time.

Hoping to call something mine,

I could not climb high enough to be able to reach you.

 

Looking out at the view,

I followed the old roads made by the mines,

I have been walking for a very long time.

 

Hoping for a sign,

In search of something true,

I could not climb high enough to be able to reach you.

 

Noticing someone new,

Following each line,

I have been walking for a very long time.

 

All I could do is pine,

Looking for my muse,

I could not climb high enough to be able to reach you.

 

Praying at the pew,

Constantly in whine,

I have been walking for a very long time.

 

I could not climb high enough to be able to reach you.

 

I have walked coast to coast along the Mineral Trails of Cornwall,

Round in a circle at South Elmham,

And through the valleys of Snowdonia,

I have been searching for years and years,

I have nearly found my fortune a few times,

Then,

Finally,

Off the trail in-between the Mineral and the Valley I saw you,

It was May,

Evening,

The sun still shone,

Reflected from my boots and off your Stubbs muzzle,

I reached over and my hand slipped through the strap so that I could guide you along,

I burnt my hand encouraging you over,

But we did it,

I had you,

And you me.

 

I asked you nicely to lower your back.

Looking at your top,

I asked you kindly if I could climb up.

 

I attempted to hop,

But all I managed was to whack,

I asked you nicely to lower your back.

 

I quickly realised I knew Jack,

That I was no Jock,

I asked you kindly if I could climb up.

 

All I needed to do was hop,

But all I had was his rack,

I asked you nicely to lower your back.

I asked you kindly if I could climb up.

 

 

On top I feel your might.

I’m clinging to your white,

I guide you down the paths.

 

I look at the stars,

I see your fight,

On top I feel your might.

 

This night is ours,

Something is holding down the bars,

I guide you down the paths.

 

Your skin contains wars,

I am demoted by your height,

On top I feel your might.

 

In the far distance are cars,

Here is a horse ridden by his knight,

I guide you down the paths.

 

I notice scars,

Despite the dark night,

On top I feel your might,

I guide you down the paths.

 

 

At the end we see the gate,

All I can do is initiate,

This is home now,

You’ll enjoy it here.

 

Stay still,

Hand me your muzzle strap,

I’ll guide you,

Inside my path.

 

The garden,

It’s not big but as but has a pleasant view.

There’s a field not too far,

We’ll visit,

If you’re good.

If you’re good.

 

This is how it will work,

By following you’ll get some perks,

If you follow.

 

It’s all in your hands,

It’s all a matter of discipline,

My head full of routine.

 

The gate,

To be closed at all times,

I attached a lock, no room for tries.

 

It may seem strict,

It may be starched,

I’ll make it work,

No depart.

 

It will be best in the back,

Too beautiful for glaring eyes,

Too much.

 

I stay inside,

Please abide,

I’ll pay kindly.

 

 

And so we slept,

Eight, nine full of recline.

Rested fully,

On the             garments,

In order of course,

To the mirror,

To the door.

 

 

Stood tall, waiting for instruction.

Ready for the taking,

The daylight highlights your unique markings.

 

Not a work of fiction,

Working only with feelings,

Stood tall, waiting for instruction.

 

Approach is presented with tension,

It’s all in the learning,

The daylight highlights your unique markings.

 

Slight hesitation,

Who knows your previous dealings?

Stood tall, waiting for instruction.

 

To pose the question,

To which you and I are facing,

The daylight highlights your unique markings.

 

Which is the direction?

Are you leading?

Stood tall, waiting for instruction.

The daylight highlights your unique markings.

 

 

I climb to grasp your neck.

Lighting the wick,

Letting the reins out a little, kick with the heals and a click, click, click.

 

Aim for the trek,

Ready for the pick,

I climb to grasp your neck.

 

Admiring the flecks,

Hoping to go quick,

Letting the reins out a little, kick with the heals and a click, click, click.

 

Not to be confused with a pet,

Yet flicking the tick,

I climb to grasp your neck.

 

Ready and set,

Boiling and sick,

Letting the reins out a little, kick with the heals and a click, click, click.

 

What the heck!

To be named Dick,

I climb to grasp your neck,

Letting out the reins a little, kick with the heals and a click, click, click.