(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)







[Tunstall, Withernsea]
A largely unimpresive area which through some fortitude, had suddenly been given a sort of ethereal tint by its inclusion on/in the meridian line. I was obviously not impervious to the affects of the line and the 'pilgrimage' from London, by way of two trains, a bus and a 7 mile walk, only acted as a intensifier to my emotive response.


[author's diary notes in italics]













 
 The Meridian project was conceived after reading How to be an Artist by Bill Drummond. Drummond muses at one point in the book that having passed along 0° for a few steps, why not continue onwards, down to its final point at Peacehaven, where it leaves for France. Drummond however, never took up this urge and carried on with his original journey. However, that rumination by Drummond, resulted in my attraction to the Greenwich meridian line and a desire to work/walk along it.

Greenwich was chosen as the prime meridian due to the imperial standing of the British, back in 1884. Its acquisition came about through a vote, held in Washington, with all of the then present, nations of power. Yet, my interest lies not in the historical flexing of Britain’s muscles, but in part, the absolute lack of any topographical splendour you find whilst walking along its trajectory. 

The LINE it seems, is scientifically, geographically and topographically, forever shifting. If you were, for example, going to search for 0° using a GPS device then you would be led to a LINE that is 102m east of where it was originally positioned (Airy's transit circle). This is due to the fact that the original location - which for many years functioned as the baseline for time and navigational calculations - has now become defunct because of technological advancements and the necessity for more detailed mapping and time calculation systems. 

Movement - or signs of shift - is found everywhere. The arbitrariness of the LINE is also evident. The meridian line runs for more than 260 miles through England before heading over the Channel, to France. Thickets, hedgerow, fences, gates, walls, curbs, tussocks, mounds, hills, houses, and homes seem to make up some of the more stable or slow moving topographical elements found along the line. Whereas shore-line pebbles, dropped crisp packets, flowers, washing lines full of clothes, people on park benches, parked cars, billboards, McDonald's offers, traffic cones and inferior graffiti, often shift from visit to visit. The ambience of the site is forever shifting. 

All these (semi) stable elements make-up a line - whose width has never been determined - and whose trajectory was only determined by its relation to Greenwich. I am aware I may bump into imperial ghosts of the line's past - placards voicing historical titbits and sites where permanent sculptures attempt to hold onto the line's past. I will, however, endeavour to ignore them. Choosing more, the present day spectra (Terada, 2011) or, meridian phenomena, as my muse.

The use of Shank's pony seemed the obvious method for setting up a relation with the line. The Prime meridian enters the UK mainland near Tunstall, Withernsea (GPS co-ordinates) and comes in off the North Sea and hits the half sand, half pebble beach, just down from Goring Caravan park. 
 

 

 

 














[Epping to Waltham Abbey]
My plan had been to take the train to Epping, walk due West and join the LINE after a couple of miles, and head along it down to Waltham Abbey. After a reletively short time, though, I became aware that I had been premature in leaving the train at Epping and If I continued at my current speed I was not going to succeed in joining up with the line before reaching Waltham Abbey. 


The LINE is an extremely frustrating companion; it is DEAD straight, yet everything around it is patchwork, wonky, undulating, bendy, very unstraight. At points fields can be crossed, staying true to the LINE, other times it seems to laugh as it runs on ahead, hopping a river or jumping a wall, leaving you to head anywhere but South. 
 
[author's diary notes in italics]

You usually find it down a disused train track, waiting for you on a clump of grass. It is at this juncture that you once again become very excited and everything around seems to glow a little more.