‘Place’ is fluid. The bricks and mortar of buildings may seem solid enough, but it’s all a front. Even seemingly solid buildings surreptitiously change over time and their presence only ever tells you part of the story of place. They may be a tangible, tactile asset, a representation of the thickness of a place, but that thickness is accreted by layers of both sensory stimulus (what we see, hear, smell, touch & taste now) and a sedimentation of personal memory and experience.
‘Place’ is slippery, affected by echoes, light, mood, weather, company or time, place is in constant flux, is being made then unmade by the subconscious swirl of ordinary effects (emotions, habits, memories, dispositions) that shape the performance of our everyday lives.
‘Place’ prompts reading after reading of the totality of our thoughts, memories or experience. Those (re)readings are fluid and may tell another story tomorrow. Here, for example, are a few free-associating thoughts prompted by my looking at the images above.
Old John Allen, Grannie Allen, half crowns, spats; a faded photo of a wedding in Matlock Bath; a teenage schoolboy cross-country running; frogs; steam rallies; coal lorries; more frogs; huge and ominous fish; ghost stories – the ‘man with the lamp’; sleeping in a battered Renault 4 with sky blue wings and a red-orange bonnet as sheep gather and shove the car…
Thoughts talking to each other, telling tall-tales to a point where its no longer clear where fact ends and fiction begins or vice versa. Wonderful ‘place’.