These sketch book drawings and soundscapes are part of a larger project to explore the dark underground through sensory experience. Tunnels and chambers, drops, crevices and crawls, mud and water must be negotiated with the whole body. Touching the wet stone, listening for water courses to the side and below, feeling the draughts passing through the cave. Sensed above are layers of dark rock, bearing down, the weight of eons of limestone. The experience roots us to the primordial and connects us to temporal dimensions.
Observations and sketches will be used to create larger works using the cave as metaphor for human experience.
"It is when we close our eyes that we most readily experience our body as a place: that experience of interiorised darkness is not so different to the darkness of the night sky; the darkness of the body and deep space are a continuum"
Antony Gormley on Cave (sculpture) 2019
Catalogue 2019, Royal Academy of Arts
Lower Long Churn Cave in sound and image
Recorded in Lower Long Churn, this is the distant sound of the force of water surging through Diccan Pot, the adjacent pot that now carries the main stream. Headphones are advised.
This is the sound of the derigging of the handline from the rift above the Cheese Press. The recording device is 15 metres away from the site of the sound. This demonstrates the clarity with which sound travels underground.
Hanging Form, Charcoal on paper, June 2020
Image 1, The entrance to Lower Long Churn. There are several caves in the area linking together under the ground
Image 3, This passage heads to Upper Long Churn cave. The water from recent rain is exiting from that cave.
Image 2, The limestone is worn smooth by the feet using this step to enter Borrins Moor Cave
Image 4, The side walls resemble vertebrae
Image 5, The deep pool of Double Shuffle
must be skirted by gripping the rocks above
Image 6, The cave is rigged to safely navigate the rift drop to the Cheese Press.
Image 7, The Cheese Press. A very tight squeeze between two bedding planes of dark limestone. The body must relax and use the feet to shuffle forwards another few inches.