The search for springs and underground waterways led to dowsing, an ancient skill controversially still used today by agricultural workers, water companies, engineers, divination workers and enthusiasts. This craft featured heavily in a series of workshops at Holyrood Academy, during which Anna and a group of students explored water within the land. Learning traditional water divining techniques with tuition from professional dowser Jon Warfield, interpretations of the landscape shifted after the re-examination of known ground and attempts to imagine hidden flows beneath. Questioning knowledge, truth and fiction, the group recorded their strange and free explorations of water around and under the school grounds and in collaboration they made this film: Mystery Rain Rods, creating music, a co-written text and film footage which Anna later edited into the final version seen here.
‘Working with our students in a very different way to their usual art lessons, Anna gave them significant freedom that they wouldn’t normally have, freedom for them to follow their thought patterns and their ideas and that is really really unusual for children within the structures of a school setting. I think that’s one of the most valuable parts of this experience.’
Sam Davison – Holyrood Academy, Chard.
Community-led cultural activity celebrating Chard’s historic town centre. Culturally Chard is the Chard High Street Heritage Action Zone cultural programme, funded by Historic England, Arts Council England and the National Heritage Memorial Fund. https://culturallychard.org/