We’ve been artists in residence with The Stove for 5 months and are now in to the final month before our film and sound installation HAME opens on 2nd May as part of The Stove’s Open House series of events to mark the launch of 100 High St.
HAME explores relationships to Dumfries and Galloway through the words of those who call it home. During our time working here we have been very privileged to record conversations with over 45 people throughout D&G and guided by these conversations have gathered footage around the area from our trusty Black Cab, chauffeured by the excellent Will Marshall. Our experience, perspectives and knowledge of D&G has gradually mutated and transformed through these conversations and our own explorations.
We have been recalling when we first moved here from Glasgow, following the Sat Nav to our house, exploring our own street and seeking directions to the shop. Journeys through the unfamiliar have gradually become dotted with reference points – places we’ve passed through, stopped to film or interview someone. Names of towns and villages that previously floated in an imaginary space now slot in to their geographical location. Buildings, bridges, trees and rivers that were once void of meaning now sprout stories and conjure images.
Through the process of filming and recording whilst journeying through the area we have become more acutely aware of its rhythms and the interconnecting threads of feelings, memories and knowledge of those living both within it and thinking on it from afar.
We have heard stories of everything from ancient stone markings in Eggerness to hiding places at Annan harbour to recollections of a Palmerston football match in 1958. There have been childhood dens, daredevil antics and trees that sprouted chocolate biscuits. Grub-collecting hot spots, smelly spots and “J” spots. Bad corners, best views, secret beaches and spooky ruins. Sunday mass in a chip shop, raves in a woodland, and the 2am ‘accidental’ purchase of a stretch limo in a pub. We’ve learned how to appropriately pronounce ‘Kirkgunzeon’ ‘Caerlaverock’ and ‘Red Cola’, have finally worked out the parking system in Dumfries and we now know how to find anyone’s house in D&G (over the wee bridge, round the bend and up the hill).
As ever, the more we explore, the more questions arise, layers of perspectives overlap, clash and muddle, and the more we realise we do not know. Yet through this has developed a kinship and a care. And this seems to be the binding thread connecting everyone that we have spoken to. Everyone, in one way or another, genuinely cares.
Perhaps what has most surprised us though is how the process of the last few months has changed our own perspectives so much so that we now feel at home here ourselves and are on the look out for a place to stay beyond the project (you know the place – over the wee bridge, round the bend and up the hill?).
We hope you can make it along to the opening of HAME, 2nd May and look forward to seeing you there!