This season ticks by relentlessly as we enter winter’s most difficult month. As this is the most troubled month of the season, the weather swings from one extreme to another very often within the same day. All the while winter attempts to make it’s last stand against a emerging spring that is waking and stretching its wings. It’s these dark and moody dying weeks of the winter that must be no more than a breathtaking backdrop to a project that has been gnawing away at me for a few years, in fact since I filmed one of my first videos back in 2010
As the cover dies back and the first sprinklings of frost and snow flatten down the brambles and nettles you begin to notice straight lines and corners in the countryside. However not the usual and rhythmic lines of filed boundary’s or the familiar curves of lanes but in clumps of trees and along banks of dingles these shapes emerge, if only brief. It’s very often just a hint of a dark shadow or an unnatural looking hollow in a snow covered field catches the eye. Like Goshawk spotting a rabbit it captures you in an hypnotic embrace as your mind plays with the images of people long gone of a time when life was simpler but so very hard and often short.
I have over the course of time plotted these on a map making brief notes. I hadn’t paid them that much attention as knowing that at some point in the future I would lavish my soul attention upon these shadows of the past and the stories they hold. That time is now; so join me as we climb deep into the legacy of the true people of the Black Mountains.