From late 2018 until April 2019 I worked with Clare Battersby, alias Fairy Clare, dance teacher and creatrix extraordinaire on Between Tides 2019.
This was a lovely event, with a range of artistic responses to the expanse of Westmere Beach (which ironically does not exist on the map!). The element of dance and discovery walks has been growing in the longstanding event (it first took place in 2002), and was blessed by perfect weather on Sunday April 7th.
As this year passes, the memories of Between Tides are a golden room in my mind, reminding me of the value of being connected to place and space; also of the subtlety of materials and how they resonate with the ambience and textures of the location. Between Tides happens in a transitory time, on the cusp between late summer and early autumn and just in the few hours between one high tide and the next. The event has a light touch, taking shape as the tide ebbs, and vanishing as the water returns, leaving no trace afterwards. It attracts people who want to work with a place, with its story and with its rhythm. The beach is, in its own way, a participant and key feature of all the works. For me, it takes away the pressure of being “the artist”, when the place contributes so much to the making. It also requires an extra responsibility for ensuring I am working with the beach and not simply using it as a platform.
But beyond any personal benefits for my art-making process, and the chance to give my mangroves another outing, the best part was working with Clare and all the artists who participated. It was also great to meet the local community, from the Kindergarten teachers who created a piece with the children to the residents we chatted as we delivered flyers. Crafting the whole event together was a new experience, and hopefully we will do it all over again next year!