Clouded Border (2022)

with Gabrielle Hoad
laser-cut plywood and paint, woven polypropylene and wire, digital screen mounted on cut log, felt, window film, window cleaner, A3 (folded to A6) publication, two digital videos with sound (looped, 7 minutes), sound and text (10 minutes)
Photos: CalverHoad ©

Clouded Border was an extended collaboration with Gabrielle Hoad, developed with and for Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve in Dorset. Work began remotely during the 2021 lockdown with experimental works drawing on the Rangers' Daily Diary. Two periods of residency at Durlston itself (June 2021 and March 2022) enabled in-depth on-site research, while a micro-residency at Exeter Phoenix (August 2021) allowed for the development of ideas in a gallery context.

Our exhibition, Clouded Border, followed in the Belvedere of Durlston Castle in September 2022. It drew inspiration from Durlston Castle's history as a lookout and signalling station. Named after a variety of night-flying moth, this site-responsive installation also referenced an innovative radio-based navigation system developed in the vicinity and deployed at Durlston during World War II. Known as Oboe, it allowed RAF bombers to precisely locate targets in Nazi-occupied Europe - at night or in heavy cloud or smog.

The exhibition culminated in the presentation of a new sound and text work, combining Morse code signals with recordings from oboist Paul Sartin. These were broadcast to the surrounding sea, sky and countryside through the Belvedere's open windows. An artists' publication also accompanied the exhibition. Buy

Clouded Border was supported by Dorset Council and the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust. Music by Paul Sartin with contributions from Kai Wilks. Technical consultant: Tim King.

The project has now evolved into a more detailed exploration of the work of Oboe's inventor Alec Harley Reeves called Delicate Instruments