Trespass! Exhibition at Sheffield Institute of Arts until 22 December 2018.
This exhibition explores the relationship between visual art and text based work on the broad theme of walking in forbidden territory.
Curated by Andrew Jeffrey, Abi Goodman, Daniel Eltringham and Vera Fibisan, Trespass! takes inspiration from the history of rambling in The Peak District. Exhibition contributors: Abi Goodman, Alice Tarbuck, Andrew Jeffrey, Brian Lewis, Chris Jones, Daniel Eltringham, Harriet Tarlo, Judith Tucker, Lizzie Cannon, Natalie Joelle, Rafael Torrubia, Vanessa Daws, Vera Fibisan, Walking Reading Group, Well Red Films.
Myself and Andrew Jeffrey were interviewed on Rony Robinson’s radio show – that Thursday’s theme was ‘Rebels’ – on BBC Sheffield (from c. 1 hour and 5 mins in). My contribution is a collaboration with artist Abi Goodman:
Dan Eltringham & Abi Goodman, ‘Path & Present: A Poetics of Trespass’
This collaboration of words and images explores relationships between archival material and walking-based participatory art, by revealing a forgotten trespass and recent actions to maintain access. The work draws on archival materials from the Sheffield Clarion Ramblers, whose central presence, G. H. B. Ward (1856-1957), was a significant figure in twentieth-century access-to-moorland campaigns. Eltringham’s creative-critical prose text and Goodman’s visual interpretation of these materials are a playful homage to the Clarion Ramblers Annuals, in the form of a “Lost Issue” that imaginatively imitates their portable dimensions. Produced by Ward and crammed with local-historical research into the access struggles of the Derbyshire moors and beyond, many of the Annuals are on display here, kindly loaned by the Sheffield Local Studies Archive.
Part 1 recounts the “forgotten trespass” of Abbey Brook, several months after the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass of 1932. But the walk that attempts to recreate the route of The Abbey Brook Trespass goes off course, into a differently contested terrain of its own. In Part 2, these connections between archival history and contemporary landscape are brought out by comparison with contemporary footpath campaigner Richard Felton, in the Derbyshire parish of Ashover. An interview with Felton draws suggestive comparisons with Ward’s earlier access activism. Three lines in the landscape bind these parts together: a field path, a moorland track, and a coffin path. A poetics of trespass suggests oblique linkages between them, in an un-concluded dialectic of path and present.