Yesterday we walked along the Fleet Lagoon - the body of water created and protected by Chesil Beach, that runs about 9 miles along the coast from Portland. It’s a beautiful and important nature reserve which yesterday in the drizzle felt stagnant and bleak, emitted a strong and unpleasant smell of sulphur and failed to inspire me.
On land we walked past a large MOD compound - also protected by high fences and razor wire. The previous day on Portland we had passed the prison similarly enclosed.
I have discovered this is not my favourite stretch of the coast path. It made me think about the urge to defend and protect ourselves and how this can shut us off from and mar the beautiful. And also how (in the case of Fleet Lagoon) the natural protection of a long gone geological event has created a sanctuary where delicate, unique things thrive. I guess protection is double edged.
As we approached Abbotsbury - the landscape rose up away from the sea and changed to sculptural, undulating shapes as the sun came out and uplifted us both.
Of course it’s all personal and my responses just affirm to me that now is not the time for me to shut off or protect myself but to be out there getting amongst it all exposed and vulnerable.
I'll be posting my personal reflections on creating work as an artist with mental health needs, my work with the wider sector and interesting developments in arts and mental health