In 2016 I was shocked to see disturbance in an area I had long experienced as a place of peace and restorative contemplation. It had felt timeless and untouched to me, and I had never expected it to change.
When I realised it was a privately owned micro-hydro installation the grief I felt was modified by the recognition that we need to rethink our relationship with our environment and that the idea of untouched nature is an illusion, even in a national park. Gradually as the installation bedded in, I came to appreciate the site in a different way, and to see new interest and beauty there.
I'd been aware for a long time of Llangattock Green Valleys' award winning initiatives to make our community carbon neutral and was keen to be part of this. My own experience of micro-hydro made me want to reflect more on the relation between new sustainable energy initiatives in an area typically seen as unspoilt, but with a long industrial heritage.
For me, this was another opportunity to respond artistically to social, environmental, agricultural and industrial activities and processes in the Black Mountains with a particular focus on water and energy (see Brunel House). It was on this residency that Leona Jones and I found we had shared interests and approaches to working in response to place and in collaboration.
Between February 2017 and April 2018, we were joint artists in residence with Llangattock Green Valleys, recording and responding to their micro-hydro installations.
We wrote regular accounts of all our activities which can be seen on LGV's website. We followed and recorded a new micro-hydro installation at Blaen Dyar, and created a 30 minute audio visual response, which was shared with the public as part of LGV's10th anniversary celebrations.
We also made a short documentary-style film, led walks and other public engagement activities to promote awareness of and understanding of micro-hydro.
Click here to see other information, acknowledgements, links to films and responses to the work we produced.