September 19, 2018

Can one be both anchored and moving?

Beatrice Searle


Throughout human history, people and cultures have been on the move, taking with them, where possible, the objects that define and strengthen them. The world is currently witnessing one of the greatest mass migrations it has ever known. Moving with a pebble or a handful of earth, taken from a beloved homeland, is commonly reported.

But who can move with their homeland in tow, truly?

For the Journey and Return describes how I raised a piece of land that grounds me and made a journey with it, over the North sea and then for 500 miles on foot through Norway, setting the stone down to stand in it and inviting others to do the same- to draw strength from their connection with it and add to its on-going narrative.

Historically, the purpose of standing in footprint stones such as mine, was to provide the courage needed to lead, speak or undertake a journey, through one’s direct contact with the rock. Today, as we speed our ways through the world, we often miss the potential that landscape has to fortify us. The carving of the Orkney Boat, and the journey made with it, is a response to that lost experience.

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