2.3: Aldeburgh Diaries, Suffolk

Aldeburgh itself is ‘on the edge’ in a number of ways:

  • the extreme vulnerability to the encroachment of the sea that has halved the land originally occupied in Aldeburgh and nearby Thorpeness and Orford – currently generally held at bay with barriers and groynes, but threatened in the longer term by global warming.
  • to the North the skyline is dominated by Sizewell nuclear power station – with periodic leaks though none so far serious.

!! being developed Sketchbook course Assignment 5 by December 2022. All the below will be completely rethought and updated.

Reportage Sketchbooks

Aldeburgh is a very good place for sketching people. A key regular element in my practice going forward will be sketching of people in locations along the derives together with notes on conversations as the basis for developing narratives. Some very preliminary rapid sketches together with supporting photos and video clips are being developed into more considered drawings in different media for Illustration Sketchbooks Assignment 3 (see drawings on the right).

Psychogeography Walks: Aldeburgh with an iPhone 2021

To be done September together with sketchbooks: My starting point for this project will be a series of Psychogeography walk experiments with my new iPhone 12 as I work through the OCA Psychogeography short course. I will contrast and compare my experience of each of the following techniques, and what they teach me further about a place that I have often been to as a tourist.

  • Starting in a place you know, and then going forward for one minute, left for one minute, right for one minute; repeating this pattern until you are actually lost.
  • Doing absolutely everything that each street sign tells you to do.
  • If the sun is out, walk keeping your shadow on your left at all times.
  • Get a tourist or google map of your home town/village, take a ruler and draw a diagonal line right through it. Try to traverse that line.
  • Using the same technique above, draw a circle, shape or letter on the map – walk that route.

Other walking ideas and techniques will be added eg from participatory transect walking used in community development projects.

These will form the basis for a documentary narrative for further inquiry on-line and discussion with local people.

Moot and Other Tales

My current plan is that I would use these insights from different visual narrative practice to produce a series of 5-10 texture-based allegorical narratives that can form a small book about life in Aldeburgh and more generally, building on texture images from ‘Into the Edge’ manipulated in Photoshop or Procreate from Illustration 2 2017.

Some of the original textures and objects lying around Aldeburgh.

There are many more from which sections can be selected for a narrative.

Currently I have selected the texture, then considered what the different lines and shapes suggest.

An alternative approach to produce something more powerful, but building on that initial exploration, is then to:

  • develop the narrative based on my psychogeographic walks and sketching observations
  • actively seek out textures that can be worked with to represent it, informed by my sketching. And working in different media, including but not only the iPad.

The aim is to retain enough fidelity to the original textures to be intriguing, but manipulated enough to create a meaningful narrative that provokes questions about life in Aldeburgh, and more generally.

Some resulting images selected, cropped and processed in Procreate on my iPad.

A very quick selection of many more images, some of which form a rough narrative for me to add to.

Text from my diary in 2016 – notes on walks and also art exhibitions, radio programmes and books I read at the time. These provide some possible starting points, but my aim is to substantially add and update these to the context in 2021.