Many of the (shorter) poems are also being printed as postcards. Postcards seemed the most appropriate way to display/present the poems. A postcard commemorates your visit to a place; it sets it in a neat frame; the place is defined by our visiting it, and our experience of it; and there is a local assumption that the place somehow does not exist once we have left.
This seemed to match the disjointed experience people have of the waterways we explored. This was also a key theme in the prior collaboration, funded by Scottish Crucible, between Jo and Rebecca.
A Third Landscape
When Jo and I went on safari down the Denburn, recurring themes in our dialogue were the opportunities for plants and other wildlife to recolonize areas, possibly in ways dissimilar to before human intervention in the landscape. Jo referred to Gilles Clement and his idea of the “third landscape”. I liked this very much: it accepts that we cannot, nor should not expect to, return to an Edenic state. As well as being practically impossible, it also goes against the adaption, natural evolution and pragmatic opportunism of the natural world.
Nature and “Nature”
When we chose to look at urban waterways, we wanted to look at real, modern “natural” Scotland. Too often conservation and research, and artistic responses, are directed towards emblematic (but also highly managed and altered) “raw wildernesses” such as Glencoe and Glen Tilt. In combining the skills and perspectives of an hydrologist, an anthropologist and a writer, we have concentrated instead on human interaction with their immediate environment at a practical, instinctive level.