By Our Selves

Toby Jones, Andrew Kötting (as a straw bear) and their merry men revive the wanderings and wonderings of Northamptonshire peasant poet John Clare, on a quest “for scenes where man hath never trod”.

Toby Jones, Iain Sinclair and Andrew Kötting (dressed as a Straw Bear), made a five-day walk from Epping Forest to Helpston in Northamptonshire, following in the footsteps of the poet John Clare. Clare’s delirious march is the spine of the project. A great English pilgrimage, a self-enacted novel in the tradition of Pilgrim’s Progress.

A film by Andrew Kötting, with Iain Sinclair, Freddie Jones, Toby Jones, David Aylward, Eden Kötting, Simon Kovesi, MacGillivray, Alan Moore and many more.

By Our Selves / Andrew Kötting

Frames of reference

Walking In The Woods (3)

This green cathedral is at Jacks Hill, Epping Forest. It was October 2020, the last time it was safe to go walking in the woods. The Covid beast has been at large and we’ve all been advised to stay at home. But deep in the forest, away from the crowds, is perhaps the safest place to be. I’m writing this in late March, the sun is shining outside and I am missing the trees. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (3)”

Frames of reference

Walking In The Woods (2)

I’ve been coming to Epping Forest for over 40 years, but I never saw this magnificent oak pollard at Rushey Plain pond before today. Complete with wasps nest. There’s always something new to discover here, and it all looks different every time. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (2)”

Frames of reference

Selborne

Selborne was the perfect rendezvous, being halfway between London and Salisbury. We came down and Howard Phipps came up and we met in the middle, in a field just off Gracious Street, the car park of the Gilbert White Museum, where we transferred the contents of Howard’s car boot to ours, in preparation for his exhibition in the Rowley Gallery window. But not before a lovely sunny walk around the outskirts of the village. And this map, embedded in the vicarage wall, dated 2 June 1953, is as old as I am. Continue reading “Selborne”

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The Journey Of Things

At the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich to see Magdalene Odundo’s exhibition The Journey of Things, a celebration of 45 years of her amazing hand-built pots, featuring many of her iconic vessel sculptures, and accompanied by a history, or rather a herstory, of inspirational encounters along the way – touchstones first seen at the British Museum, the Commonwealth Institute, the Museum of Mankind, the Pitt Rivers Museum, Kettle’s Yard and the Sainsbury Centre itself, to name but a few. Continue reading “The Journey Of Things”

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On Bell Street

The Lisson Gallery at 27 Bell Street in London is presently home to a fascinating and wonderful collection of sculptures by Ai Weiwei, cast iron facsimiles of tree roots grubbed up from the Amazon rainforest even before the latest round of Bolsonaro inspired deforestation wildfires. Melancholy mementos of ancient trees untimely ripped and castaway via traditional Chinese craftsmanship. Continue reading “On Bell Street”

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One Last Day In Ortigia

This time last year we’d recently returned from Sicily, and two sultry weeks in Ortigia, where the balcony of our apartment looked out over the sea. We watched through our crystal ball, waiting each day for a breeze, but the sailing boats passed by inverted, the air was still and we were becalmed. Continue reading “One Last Day In Ortigia”

Frames of reference

Avebury

This was a few weeks ago, driving back to London down the A4. It was so much more interesting than the slow procession along the M4 to Bristol the day before. Reduced to two lanes, it was being rewired as a smart new motorway. We stopped off at Avebury for old times’ sake. This lovely beech tree was beside the path from the car park to the village, on the edge of the cricket pitch. Continue reading “Avebury”

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Epping Forest x 3

Three walks in Epping Forest, all within the past few weeks. This time of year I can’t get enough of its green light to escape the city. I never lived in a forest but this place always feels like home. Maybe I did in a previous life, maybe we all did, maybe this is the nearest thing to a prelapsarian London. Continue reading “Epping Forest x 3”

Frames of reference