Re)collecting (f)ears sound mirror art events

re)collecting (f)ears is a series of site-specific performances at fallen sound mirrors across the Kent coast. The project will culminate with a publication produced by Well Projects and an exhibition of photographic & film documentation, exhibited at ]performance s p a c e [ (Folkestone) and Well Projects (Margate).

These sonic remains are physical manifestations of pre-war tensions and fears – initially built to provide defence, they are now succumbing to elemental erosive forces along the coasts of England. As relics of an early warning system that never came to fruition, their failure to serve their intended function could be seen to occupy the space of a fossilised mourning for a future that never came.

More on Facebook and at selinabonelli‘s website. It seems there is something happening in Folkestone on 14 and/or 21 September 2019.

There have been events on Thursday 15 August 2019 at the Warden Point sound mirror from 13:45 to 20:08:

And before that at the Hythe sound mirror from 12:00 to 17:10 on Sunday 15 July 2019, at and Abbot’s Cliff from 11:08 to 18:34 on Sunday 16 June 2019.

Sound mirror poem

Sound Mirror, a Denge sound mirror inspired poem by Derek Adams at Places of Poetry:

“It does not stand on the marsh.
It does not sit in the landscape.
[more]”

Places of Poetry “aims to use creative writing to prompt reflection on national and cultural identities in England and Wales, celebrating the diversity, heritage and personalities of place. The site is open for writers to pin their poems to places from 31st May to 4 October 2019.”

“Bombing the Channel Ports” by Eric Ravilious, then and now

A comparison of the 1941 watercolour painting “Bombing the Channel Ports” by war artist Eric Ravilious, and the same view of the Abbott’s Cliff sound mirror on 13 August 2017.

Bombing the Channel Ports
Bombing the Channel Ports © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 1588)

The painting is described by the Imperial War Museum as showing “a deserted coastal road that leads past an ‘acoustic mirror’ early warning device. In the top right of the composition there are searchlights beaming up into the sky, and a large circular glow of light to one side.”

Sound mirror photos on the BBC website

Black and white photos of the sound mirrors by Joe Pettet-Smith on the BBC News website.

More than 100 years ago acoustic mirrors along the coast of England were used to detect the sound of approaching German zeppelins.
{…]
Joe Pettet-Smith set out to photograph all the remaining structures following a conversation with his father, who told him about these large concrete structures dotted along the coastline between Brighton and Dover.

Source: The concrete blocks that once protected Britain, BBC News, 7 January 2019

Sound mirrors in the Financial Times

An article about sound mirrors by the security and defence editor of the Financial Times.

Forgotten, dilapidated and, in one case, buried by the local council as an eyesore; these smooth, spherical concrete structures known as acoustic mirrors provided the UK with its first early warning system against German air attack during the first world war.

Source: Joe Pettet-Smith’s photographs of the UK’s early warning air defence system, David Bond, Financial Times, 20 July 2018.

It even quotes this website!

Dungeness sound mirror open day

2018 Denge sound mirror open days

There will be two open days at the Denge sound mirrors this year. The open days are scheduled for 10:00 to 15:00 on Saturday 7 July 2018 and Saturday 1 September 2018.

Denge sound mirror open day 2016

There will be a cash-only charge of £5 per adult, £2.50 per child (RSPB members free).

There are more details on the Romney Marsh website events listings for July 2018 and September 2018.

The open days are generally the only way for the public to access the Denge listening ears close up, although there have also been some photography days, so it might be worth keeping an eye out, if you are seriously interested.

(Please note that andrewgrantham.co.uk has no connection to the open day, the RSPB or anything else! Please check the details with the RSPB before visiting)