A&E Books at Photomonth book fair

The Debatable Lands was with A&E books alongside works from Heather McDonough, Sacha Lehrfreund, Caroline Penn, Jenny Matthews, Mick Williamson and Rod Morris at this weekend’s Photomonth book fair at the Printspace Gallery in Dalston.

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Dinosaur Dust shortlisted for EPF16

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Zoe Childerley – Dinosaur Dust

Debatable Lands book launch

This is the culmination of my 6 month residency Visual Arts in Rural Communities, walking the Anglo-Scottish border and exploring communities of this contested region.

Photographic images on one side and a reproduction of hand-drawn map on the reverse. Limited edition of 150.

Each book is signed and comes with a hand-made wrap and a limited edition print of ‘No Fly Zone’ (see image of feathers in the landscape).

Special exhibition price of £29.95 until 15th October. Follow the link to order a copy.
http://varc.bigcartel.com/pr…/debatable-lands-zoe-childerley

Debatable Lands Exhibition Opening

As part of my residency at VARC in Northumberland, I have spent the past couple of months walking the length of the Scotland/England border. This follows a desire to explore areas of contested land. Along the way I have been photographing the distinctive landscape and features and talking to and photographing individuals who live and work on both sides of the line. I am using photography and drawing to map and tell stories of people and their relationship with place, past and present.

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Image credit: Neil Denham

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Image credit: Neil Denham

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Image credit: Neil Denham

The Eastern end of the border

To reach the North sea at the end of the border is tricky as the East coast mainline and 30 metres of sea cliff present substantial obstacles. The best route is a few hundred metres south via Marshall Meadow caravan park which has a footbridge over the train line and more obscurely an abandoned railway tunnel down to the beach, the entrance to which now lies between two static caravans.

It’s been suggested that the 240 ft long tunnel was constructed in a bid to allow farmers to transport seaweed from the shore to the headland above, since the rugged coastline at Marshall Meadows which makes access difficult. In days gone by, kelp was commonly gathered from the beaches and spread on nearby fields, its rich mineral content providing an ideal fertilizer. It’s likely the tunnel was also used by fisherman bringing their catch ashore, as well as the transportation of sandstone quarried from the sheer cliffs.

Bored through solid sandstone, the tunnel passed beneath a stretch of the East Coast Main Line, which had been built by the North British Railway in 1846, and was later moved to the west due to a cliff collapse. It runs at an incline of around 40 degrees from the headland and emerges some 13 metres above the chilly North Sea.

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Seacliff tunnel from the bottom

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Seacliff tunnel from the top

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Perilous concoction of ropes and ladders to climb the last 30 feet

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The North Sea and the end of the border