Here are some stats:
- It’s official! March, 2013 was the second coldest recorded with an average temperature of just 2.2 degrees C, matching temperatures for March 1947, with only March 1962 being colder.
- 2012 was the UK’s second wettest year since records began in 1910, and for some areas, the wettest.
Apart from the effects of local flooding to fields, businesses and homes, I have been watching the destructive effect all this rain has been having to our coastline. (see previous post Marking Time). The water has penetrated so far down into the ground that it has lubricated underlying loose soil. On coastal slopes this has caused footpaths to be washed away, many hazardous landslips onto beaches and collapsed hedgerows. In the Southwest alone, there have been 30 landslips recorded since November last year as opposed to an average 2 in the same period.
These landslips are changing the face of our cliffs and redefining the shape of the land. Loess is being exposed in the cliff-face for the first time in thousands of years on a fairly regular basis. Our coastline has always been a marginal area and usually these changes go largely unnoticed. But the amount of landslips we have witnessed recently seems to be unprecedented. Does this mean global warming is accelerating at an alarming pace? Will we need to redraw the geological map that defines our coastline? Is this sending ecological shock-waves across the globe?
These are some of the thoughts that have occupied my mind whilst making this series of images, Facades. I have used a mixture of materials and techniques: post-it pencil drawings; acetate sheets; digital images; painted collage; geological maps; inks and charcoal, and arranged fragments of these into an stacked ‘strata’ format. You can see more of them in my image bank.