Saturday, 31 October 2015

Riches Are Green

Film & soundtrack written, performed & produced by © ℗ Gaynor Perry

In this film, I wanted to personify the landscape of the chalky East Yorkshire wolds where I grew up; and to convey a kinship with nature. The Capper Pass Plant, owned by Rio Tinto, operated on the outskirts of Hull between 1967 and 1991 when it was decommissioned. Despite being ravaged by this toxic tin smelting works, the surrounding environment and inhabitants continued to grow. Although tragically, many did not survive. By-products pumped into the River Humber and the East Yorkshire air were toxic, carcinogenic and radioactive. Radioactive emissions included Polonium 210. Even back in the early 70’s, lead and arsenic was found in cattle that grazed near Capper Pass, livestock and crops had to be condemned on several farms. It was thought the situation would cause public alarm should the fact become generally known. The environmental damage was widespread.

Riches are green
the blackened pipes from the old organ lie resting on the hill, dormant

we grew up here, 'though I’d forgotten myself
the landscape has changed more than our deepest desires

we can be happy in our own skin, happy in our skin
we can be peaceful in our own beds, peaceful in our heads

we are the cows in fields, grazing – our life span is short and our meat is sweet
we’ve fallen prey to foul play, what was holy is now our loss

we can be happy in our own skin, happy in our skin
we can be peaceful in our own beds, peaceful in our heads
riches are green, all that we need is a heartbeat like you
and what we feed the savage within will make us chime or make us cold

Is it certain that I love you? Can I watch you surrender?
Can you hear me? Can I hear you? Can you trust me? Can I trust you?

Is it certain that I love you? Can I reach you? Can you sense me? Can I breathe you in?

Riches are green, kissed by the sun, blessed by the rain.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Perpetual Baby

written, performed & produced © ℗ Gaynor Perry.

Perpetual Baby

I shone a light on you and now you're my perpetual baby
The change is quite surreal - I'm thrown, I'm thrown

I lost it in the womb before I had chance to breathe
I found my inner glow and then I had to leave
Your secret's safe with me, I'll never tell a soul
We'll whisper in the dark and summon our release
We'll break the code, solve the mystery

I shone a light on you and now you're my perpetual baby
The change is quite surreal - we're thrown, we're thrown

Into disarray. Elusive safety -
Grains of sand sucked into waves
Are we falling? Or are we just lonely?
Birds are calling out their morning songs
Insensible of sorrow.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Hare's Meadow

with Marnie Scarlet
Concept, photography & prosthetic sculpting: Gaynor
Headdress, costume & self: Marnie


Monday, 20 July 2015

Portrait of Marnie in Stone

Portrait of Marnie Scarlet
Concept, photography & make-up: Gaynor
Headdress: Marnie


Friday, 1 May 2015

Raikes Mausoleum

Raikes Mausoleum is 38 ft (12 m) high and 67 ft (20 m) in circumference. Quite something to spy nesting there in the woods at the North end of Welton Dale, a haunting presence. Built in 1818 by Robert Raikes (1765-1837), it was desecrated in the 1960's and a skull was stolen, later found near the Humber estuary. After a coroners inquest and police investigation the skull was returned and the large vault underneath the main structure was permanently sealed.

David H Parker, who was born in the village in 1931, compiled a memoir about growing up there. He writes, "I will start at the northern end of the village at the top of Welton Dale where there are a few houses and a small church called Wauldby. This once belonged to the Raikes family who lived in the Manor House. Most of their ancestors are buried in a mausoleum which is in the corner of Welton Dale near the Beverley Road. It was built around 1818, with the main burial chamber under a round building which contained lead coffins on shelves around the walls. These had been broken into many years ago during the First World War, there was also a passage leading to another vault. A friend of mine, Bill Goldsmith, and I managed to get into the chamber when we were about twelve by removing a stone slab. While we were down there a shadow moved across the entrance. Bill and I fought each other to get out of there and didn't stop running until we got to Welton. It was only a tree branch moving across the setting sun, but it frightened us thoroughly."

(An extract from Welton As I Remember It: A personal recollection of life and times in the village by David H Parker).

Welton is the site of many springs, the one pictured above is near to the old watermill. Water runs through the village to the mill pond by the church, dropping down from a weir and beyond that in streams down towards the river. My composition Home Ground is inspired by the water and landscape of this place. As a child growing up there it has haunted and inspired me equally. I recall exploring wood and hedgerow, daring to stir up dark bodies of water with stones and little feet, vanquishing ghosts.

Robert Schuck: Clarinet
Composed, performed & produced © ℗ Gaynor Perry

For more, see my previous post Home Ground, May 2010.

Wauldby Chapel at the top of Welton Dale

Welton Water Mill (High Mill) conversion – 28 April 2015