There’s a honeymoon feel to the beginning of a residency, all is expectancy and potential, ideas mulled over and pieced together. And in the summer sun I walk the streets of Blaydon and Cowgate enjoying the process of discovering places anew.
I love the blue-sky-ness of wandering where my feet take me and pondering juxtapositions: goal posts abandoned in long meadow grasses, railings old and new sandwiched together. Why have these survived when most were felled years ago (as part of the ‘war effort’)? Their elegance – the attention to detail – still shining through! They are beautiful even in their rusted and abandoned state – the modern ‘functional’ fence behind is so dull and bland in comparison.
When planners make changes to a shopping centre or a housing estate, how much time do they give to meeting local people and exploring the streets? My fear is they sit in offices designing change through committee budgets and computer expediency, forgetting to value ‘place’ over ‘space’ as they cut and paste.