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Returning unto the ground: West Dorset

Returning unto the ground: West Dorset

Have we been busy singing “Ain’t got a home” like Clarence Frogman Henry?[1]

Have we been cast out into the world committed to wander the face of the earth?

“cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken”

(Genesis Chapter 3, verses 17 – 19)

Returning unto the ground: West Dorset

Returning unto the ground: West Dorset

We have spent a week in a classic thatched cottage in West Dorset, searching for our final resting place; our promised land? Views and walks across Hardy country from the Iron Age fort at Eggardon Hill. Low grey clouds, so  different to the huge skies we have been living under; bright sun and open savannahs.

Returning unto the ground: from the top of Eggardon Hill

Returning unto the ground: from the top of Eggardon Hill

Coffee and cakes in small country towns, what is the optimum number of mobility scooter shops for our future Eden?

Returning unto the ground: West Bay

Returning unto the ground: West Bay

Visits to the coast, nice to be by the sea after three years in a land locked country. A growing wish to write and make art about an ingrained sense of place

Autumn Return part two 4

(cf Robert Macfarlane of course, who wrote about the hollow ways of Chideock in West Dorset amongst other places; somewhere we have visited often.) Interesting by the way that the curious and savage late thirties thriller, Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, is cited by Macfarlane

Rogue Male: Geoffrey Household, 1939

Rogue Male: Geoffrey Household, 1939

and has also been claimed as part of the Neo-Romantic movement, the art that best illustrates this area. For example in a recent article in Yarn magazine about Rena Gardiner.

Liz Somerville: 'Corfe Past Over Present' Linocut, 800 x 400 mm

Liz Somerville: ‘Corfe Past Over Present’ Linocut, 800 x 400 mm

Liz Somerville, also mentioned in that article, is still carrying on that tradition of “Ravilious, Bawden, Nash and all that lot’” as she puts it.

Returning unto the ground: West Dorset

Returning unto the ground: West Dorset

Small country lanes? The hospital years are coming; age and infirmity. Do we want to advance in age and decrease in confidence behind the wheel, marooned in the tiny lanes of a rural paradise as our personal sun begins to set?

“Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from Thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth.”

(Genesis Chapter 4, verse 14)

Where should we vagabond to next?

Murchison National Park: Elephants

Murchison National Park: Elephants

 

[1] “Ooh ooh

Ain’t got no home

no place to roam

Ain’t got no home

no place to roam

I’m a lonely boy

I ain’t got a home

 

I got a voice

I love to sing

I sing like a girl

And I sing like a frog

I’m a lonely boy

I ain’t got a home”

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Some Background

We were in Gulu, Northern Uganda for two years nine months, working with a huge DFID funded vocational training programme.

Gulu is on the road to South Sudan, it was the centre of the conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan Government. Many of the Internally Displaced Peoples camps were here. The northern region has been peaceful since about 2007-8 and the context has moved from emergency humanitarian aid to development work.

The Vocational Training Institutes provide opportunities for the youth(male and female aged 14-35). Most of them lived in the camps or were abducted by the LRA. They have had very little education, leaving them with few skills. Our purpose was to help these Vocational Training Institutes build up their capacity to equip the youth with what they need to earn a living and live as decent a life as possible.

By the Way
Mark's old art/ history of art website is still active should you want to read more by him or look at his work

Whitemarkarts

From There to Here

Our Old Life, Packed Away in one Twenty Foot Container

Here

A Vocational Training Institute, Assembly under the Mango Tree

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