Echtrai Journal – Edition 2

EDITORIAL AND CREATIVE DIRECTION – Baz Nichols / Bran Graeme Nairne

COVER ARTWORK: Zoe Taylor –ZoeTaylor.me

FORMAT: A5, Perfect Bound, 160 PAGES.

PRICE: £12.50 + £3.50 (UK) , £5.50 (EU) , £9.50 (USA) postage and packaging

PUBLICATION DATE – 12th December 2022

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CONTENTS of EDITION 2

This is perhaps our most ambitious edition yet, and here we focus on a diverse range of subject matter, encompassing the preservation of our heritage, the magic and mythic, the lost and marginalised, abandoned islands, and places left forgotten.

David Gladwin  |  Walking the Wood Road North

The fields on the other side of the fence were farmed with crops and ploughed in winter. Unlike the trespasser of myth, I have always made my way along the hedgeside, along the walls and under trees. On farmland, this is where you find things. And some of those things were agricultural fossils. 

Martin Malone |  Gardenstown IV

Night hangs its blue-black bruise

out over the horizon, rolls land-

ward on the moon’s Scarboro’ reel,

gaffed by the tide to the bay’s

own crescent. 

Anna Chiara Bassan | A Distinct Possibility 

Long rotten and oxidised conduits meander into the water. They unload ghastliness into the lake in a breathless regurgitation. 

How were you before? 

Don’t define it now as substance, love:

a shore is a distinct possibility.

Brian Burke-Gaffney | Hashima The Forgotten Island

Now desolate and forgotten, Hashima guards the entrance to Nagasaki Harbour like a strange, dead lighthouse, attracting little more attention than the visits of tired seagulls and the curious stares of people on passing ships. But the symbolism is hard to ignore. 

Tim Edensor | Old Kilmadock

Diving into the subterranean world, they have handled ancient shards, plunged their fingers into earthy mixtures, scanned for surface idiosyncrasies on the ground, recognised non-human energies, and speculated about what was and what might have been. 

Alison Mary Green | The Ythan Man

They gape in wonder at his sheepskin coat and leather belt 

And make way for him as he plucks wild rasps and sourocks From the riverbank

All along the Ythan from Methlick to Newburgh 

Belinda Guerriero | A Mesmerising View

They are silent structures, static elements, pale, closed, opaque, dark metaphors of an intention. 

They are not part of the massive wall nor a filter between inside and outside.

I always stop in front of them. 

Enchanted. 

Waiting.

Caitlin Desilvey | Curated Decay, Heritage Beyond Saving

The negotiation of the process of dying – whether of a person or of a place – is almost always bound up with  the exercise of power, whether soft or hard. Who decides when death will be deferred, when it will be revisited, and when resuscitation will be attempted? 

Kate Darby & David Connor | The Croft Lodge Studio

This novel approach is a hybrid form of conservation/stabilisation; it is post-humanist because it seeks a new balance between the needs of man and those of nonhuman entities (plants, animals, buildings, environments), putting an end to human exceptionalism. It is also post-preservationist since it tries to make room for the creation of new relationships with the past through the managed use of decay…

David Lewis | River Nocturne

Dangerous walls, mossy stones, rusted ironwork, the endless slap of the abandoned water.  One slip and I would be gone into the river, be lost, dreaming of the strange softness of granite.  Nobody would know.  I am tempted.  Never afraid of falling, always afraid of jumping.  

Alistair Laurie | Anamnesis

…wisps snaking

from long dead campfires

a memory of dried twigs

no more

 than cold damp ash

what might have been

a smell

catches in your throat

still

redolent

of dank clay

on an upturned sod…

Philip Terry | The Lascaux Notebooks 

…this is where the story should have ended, as the crate languished in the garage for 4 years and was largely forgotten or ignored. That is, until much later when the Terry’s were in the process of relocating,  the crate was once more unearthed and subsequently broken open to reveal a stack of mouldering books and papers, rusty pens, and bundles of notebooks in various stages of legibility – all in an extremely delicate condition, verging on collapse…

Bran Graeme Nairne – THE CABRACH – A Dreaming, a Summoning, an Incantation

Water seeping from high up on the pale slow hills, in burns and rivulets,  meandering paths into the  imagination – water is embroidered into us. Water is memory.  Water is life, cloud and mist – a shape-shifter, a constant, from source to sea. Deveron – a black amnesia, gathering and losing itself;  alive in the senses, and only briefly – infinite…  

Helen Cornish | A magical topography: The Spirit Force, Wayside Witches, and Cecil Williamson’s legacies in the West Country.

The Cornish landscape, reinforced by the museum, suggests psychogeographical possibilities, following ancient tracks and standing stones, watchful for other-than-human encounters. The steep and winding road down into the town can feel like a descent into an enchanted, maybe forgotten, place, somehow distanced from the rest of the world.

Julia Usman | Mapping Onto Swaledale 

Westerlies chisel and sculpt, stray amongst margins of fields, stroll ancient lanes, touch parish boundary stones, roam over grits, flag, plate.

 Rub alongside absences and edges, imagination and reality.  

We are wool caught on barbed wire.  

A shelf of carboniferous rock smoothed by the ceaseless flow of unbroken time.

Physical maps fix time, but we are memory through which the truth continually falls.

The Dreaming Bog  | A Conversation with Robert Aitken

The idea that the Bogs are like a mighty subconscious entity greatly appealed to me. Their landscape even looks like a gigantic brain from the air. I then wondered what it would be like to enter this huge living organism, to witness the synapses of visions flashing all around, seeing and feeling its dreams.

Barbara Hickson | Erasure

bones of machinery

buried under years of leaves

a cast iron block (1846)

purpose unknown role redundant

Stella Sebellin | Two Poems

This strip of land

 Is at the edge of infinity.

The little egret,

The gray heron – silvery wings –

Sparkles of otherworldly light.

ECHTRAI JOURNAL – EDUCATION & OUTREACH a  programme in collaboration with the Liceo Artistico “De Fabris “, Nove – Italy,  A School for creative studies.

Introduction by Baz Nichols, examples of work by two students, closing piece by lead tutor, Stella Sebellin. 

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