Artist James Aldridge Walks Back to Marden
Local artist James Aldridge is one of six artists commissioned to create work for ‘Frames of Reference’, part of the commissions programme for King’s Gate in Amesbury. He is drawing on recent research on the Marden Henge and its relationship with the wider Wiltshire Neolithic landscape carried out by Reading University. He has called it ‘Walking Back to Marden’.
Marden Henge is the largest henge monument in Britain, enclosing an area of 15.7 hectares. The prehistoric site at Marden is 8 miles south east of Devizes and halfway between Avebury and Stonehenge.
During his research, James has become interested in coming to know the place through walking to it and in it, and visiting related sites such as Avebury, Stonehenge and Durrington Walls. He is interested in how his body and senses relate to the land and to the materials that make it up. The chalk, the flint, the earth and charcoal. The relationship between Marden Henge and the River Avon is also of particular interest to him, and the possibility that late Neolithic henges that lie along the River Avon, from Marden and Wilsford to Durrington Walls and Stonehenge, might have supported a form of pilgrimage for people, moving along the river.
James is experimenting with layering images and sounds together. In ‘Walking Back to Marden’ he is seeking to develop a way of recording and communicating his bodily and imaginative experience of the site, through blending the tangible here-and-now of its material reality with the might-have-beens of pilgrimage and ritual, to explore both his and ancient settlements’ spiritual and ritual connection with the land.
To follow James Aldridge’s progress, follow his blog.