Artist Simon Lee Dicker came up with the idea of creating an Internet based drawing that is activated through exploration. He completed 125 drawings that are based on one-kilometre squares along the River Parrett Trail that are activated alongside the participants creative responses when he receives their completed art-packs. The aim is to visit a location along the Parrett, record the co-ordinates and complete the tasks.
River Parrett (re)visited by Lead Artist Simon Lee Dicker. His role as lead artist has been a combination of looking at the existing art on the trail, generating ideas for how art along the Parrett can be developed, encouraging local involvement through creative workshops and making work in response to his experience of the River trail. His starting point was to walk the trail armed with a sketchbook a pen and a handheld GPS. These tools combined enabled him to explore the trail and accurately record points of interest at specific locations.
“During my walks along the Parrett it became apparent was that my original agendas all rolled into one and I needed to consider ways in which involvement and exploration would become the art.”
The art-pack contains drawing equipment, a handheld GPS and a specifically designed workshop booklet with guidance notes that encourage a self initiated exploration of the Parrett. The aim is to visit a location along the Parrett, record the co-ordinates and complete the tasks. The tasks will encourage a re-visioning of the environment through specifically directed questions that demand a creative response in the form of writing and drawing.
When the art-pack booklet is returned the Internet based drawing relating to the co-ordinates the participants have discovered will be activated alongside their creative response to the area. The participant’s name will also be linked to the drawing allowing them to adopt a section of the River Parrett. It is not necessary to use a GPS unit but you will need to provide an approximate OS grid reference.
To download a pack visit http:// www.riverparrettrevisited.org.uk
“The River Parrett ‘is’ Somerset. The name Somerset is derived from the Saxon ‘Sumer Saeta’ which means ‘land of the summer people’. Farmers would bring their animals to graze on the peat rich low lands in summer and retreat to the surrounding hills when the winter floods arrived. The Parrett cuts straight through the Somerset Levels and Moors and is the source of much of the flooding even in this technological time of control and diversion.
I hope that this project will help to reconnect people with the landscape and provide a contemporary portrait of this rich and diverse environment for future generations”
The Parrett and beyond.
The experience of walking and thinking River Parrett over the last year has inevitably lead to the conception of numerous artworks that are not directly connected to the ‘River Parrett Trail (re)Visited project’ although have been influenced by my Parrett wanderings.
As part of Somerset Art weeks 2006 I showed a selection of this work at Thorney Mill, an C18 industrial building that has taken power from the River Parrett for over 1000 years.
This project was commissioned by SAW as part of the Moving on (sustainable journeys) project in partnership with the River Parrett Trail and South Somerset District Council with support from Somerset County Council. Funded by Arts Council England, Levels and Moors Leader +, South Somerset District Council and Sedgemoor District Council.