In March 2018, the CCFT group made a short visit (my first) to the village of Agios Sozomenos, in Cyprus: a “ghost” village, whose continuous occupation was interrupted by the island’s intercommunal conflict and whose ruins have now stood entirely uninhabited for many years. The site is redolent of the island’s history and with the presences and absences of its former residents.


In October 2019, the CCFT group returned to Cyprus, this time to Nicosia and to the actual site of the UN Buffer zone between Northern and Southern Cyprus, to take part in the annual Buffer Fringe Festival.


In both cases I created small actions or interventions at the locations in which the group was working. Each reflecting the development of my research practice at that time. In the case of the “no man’s land” of the UN Buffer zone, as the starting point for my work, I brought with me an auto-fictional text with which I was then working, which addressed the theme of silences and break-down’s in interpersonal, intergenerational communication and placed this personal exploration in the context of other practitioners’ work, dealing with different orders of silence and other gulfs of ineffability that arise between interlocutors. As it was read, this text was spread out line by line, in the dirt of the buffer zone’s inter-communal interstice; “pinned” in place by small fragments of glass and stone and berries found amongst the dirt.


In the case of the abandoned village, with the help of Ana Souto, I created an ephemeral installation in one of the remaining building’s shells, comprised of the shell itself and a ball of wool. The lines of thread left by Ana’s movement’s back and forth are ambiguous: they could equally trace the movements of long absent inhabitants or the trajectories of bullets, though they may equally serve to draw the viewer’s attention to the void between the abandoned building’s walls.

CCFT fieldwork: Mar 2018 untitled performance, Agios Sozomenos, Cyprus. Video work and Oct 2019 'Between our words I will trace your presence' (2nd iteration) performance at Buffer Fringe Festival, Nicosia, photo documentation

Since 2018 I have been working with and loosely affiliated to a group of artists collectively involved in an ongoing project, under the banner CCFT, Creative Centre for Fluid Territories. This involvement has entailed field work at three locations: two in Cyprus, one in Norway, between March 2018 and October 2019. The artists involved used these intense periods of fieldwork each lasting three to five days in different ways. I chose to use each as an experimental test-bed for trying out new ideas in my practice.


Each of the three sessions of situated fieldwork gave rise to an action or event or performance, on my part, however, beyond the specifics of these performances, perhaps the most significant contribution of these experiments and experiences to my practice has been in helping to develop a way of working intensively at a site; responding to the histories, the stories and the material resources that each site uniquely has to offer, in an intuitive and improvisatory way and yet still within the terms of my overall research preoccupations.


In each case I went through what I would describe as a process of searching out some specific facet of the site’s topology, ecology or history, which intersected with my research’s emergent themes and which allowed me to respond to what would in each case otherwise be a site of such historical import that any fleeting engagement would seem at best dilettante and at worst simply crass. It has been a process of “going small”; of burrowing around the “big” story, which in each case characterises the site in historical terms, to find some other and more personal entry point into work-making and story-telling.


The fieldwork in Norway, in November 2018, took place at the village of Tælavåg, on the Atlantic West coast, historically, the site of the nationally significant Tælavåg Tragedy during World War II. My work there, which focused ostensibly not on the tragedy itself, but on the area’s ecology, proved explicitly significant in the development of my research’s themes and my thinking about its objects and is archived and annotated, elsewhere in this RC exposition. The experiments arising from my two visits to Cyprus are detailed and documented here.


above: untitled performance, Agios Sozomenos, Cyprus. Video work, 2018

below: 'Between our words I will trace your presence' (2nd iteration) performance at Buffer Fringe Festival, Nicosia, photo documentation, 2019