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About Map Jacket
Click on the pockets or scroll down to see the contents of the Jacket.
Ford Focus bearing roller, picked up beside the A66 near Appleby-in-Westmorland when the back bearing collapsed on my car, September 2018. The RAC man took the wheel off and several slightly flattened rollers dropped out. I picked up three but lost the other two. Afterwards, I was often paranoid that it would happen again and to this day listen out for the odd sound of a collapsed bearing whenever I drive. The roller is sealed into a small map paper pouch with a small glass replica Anglo Saxon bead near the left collar of Map Jacket. The bead symbolises hope. The pouch has the word 'ruin' on it in two places.
Cross-shaped candle, modelled after the medieval stone cross known as Fat Betty Cross, which stands on the moors at Rosedale Head, North York Moors. The candle is made from two wax tea lights found at the nearby Young Ralph Cross. The wax has some of the whiteish moorland earth known as podsol and white pigment incorporated. It is contained in a small drawstring bag made of fabric from a baseball hat found on Wheeldale Moor.
Candles and hat found on a walk from Goathland to Rosedale Head and back, 2nd July 2019. Earth collected on Howl Moor, near Goathland on 5th July 2019.
Cross cut from a piece of thick rusty steel found on the road near Goathland during a circular walk which took in Lilla Howe and Goathland, 1st July 2019. Modelled after Young Ralph Cross. The shiny metal edges have dulled since it was made.
Lower mandible from a sheep with the shape of Ana Cross, North York Moors, cut out of it. Mandible was found close to Ana Cross during a walk on Spaunton Moor, 5th July 2019. (Pictured with Young Ralph Cross).
Book made from materials gathered on a trip to Spurn Point, 17th August 2019. Materials are: aluminium (from a wrecked aeroplane?); painted plywood from a discarded hoarding which was painted with waves and sea creatures; rubber from a seaman's glove; plastic; seaweed attached to a stone. Bound with copper wire found elsewhere.
55°31'56.0"N 2°12'26.0"W and 55°35'09.7"N 1°39'44.3"W
Boat made from a fragment of a blue plastic sheep feed bucket found on top of the Cheviot Hills during a figure-of-eight shaped walk starting at Town Yetholm and following sections of the Pennine Way and St Cuthbert's Way, early September 2019. (It was found on the St. Cuthbert path close to where those two paths cross). The boat is attached to a sea-worn piece of plastic found on the beach at Seahouses, early September 2019. I was reading the Kalavala during the holiday during which both objects were found and also visited Little Sparta, so boats were on my mind. You can see the sea from a point close to where I found the blue plastic and it is also very close to the England/Scotland border. The St. Cuthbert's Way ends at the sea and also unites the two countries. Both objects were found in England.
Piece of scuffed plastic vehicle trim picked up on a linear walk along Rudland Rigg, North York Moors, 16th November 2019. I inscribed a short section of the trim with a map of the route, including contour lines and tumuli. The long piece of trim reminded me of the linear nature of the walk. I did the walk on a misty day and walking through the group of large round barrows was eerie and stayed in my mind. The tumuli are represented by small drill holes.
Small plastic cage containing a short length of barbed wire. Both objects picked up during a walk on the north bank of the Tees estuary, 16th January 2020.
Barbed wire barb found next to a freshly cut thorn hedge on Station Road, Ravenscar, during a walk along the Cinder Track from Scarborough to Robin Hood's Bay, 7th March 2020. Contained in a series of nested pouches. The inner pouch is made from cigarette papers found left as an offering on top of Fat Betty Cross, 5th July 2019. The middle pouch is made from a recycled cashmere wrist warmer found on the Cinder Track on the same day as the barbed wire and the outer pouch is made from a cover for an equestrian helmet, also found on the same day.
Pack of RAW brand cigarette papers with topographic and farm names from Kirkdale, Yorkshire, inked onto the individual papers. The cigarette papers were picked up at Fat Betty Cross, 2nd July 2019. The names relate to a walk in Kirkdale, 14th August 2020. The pack also has some tear-off gummed paper strips, which have words gathered on my walk written on in pencil. The coordinates are those of the spot on the dry section of the Hodge Beck where I sat writing in my notebook (I may actually have written the words on the gummed paper at that point, I can't remember. I did definitely make a couple of small drawings on cigarette papers on the spot).
Sheep bone picked up on Pockley Moor during my walk in Kirkdale 14th August 2020, with words inked on it from my notebook of the day's walk. The bone has an inked line round it half way along its length, because I intended to cut it in half and take half back to the moors. I never did this.
Third object relating to my walk in Kirkdale, 14th August 2020. It is a flat stone picked up from the dry river bed near St. Gregory's Minster. It has the name Orm engraved on it. Orm is the Anglo-Scandinavian landowner who restored St. Gregory's Minster in the 11th century and who is commemorated in the rare Anglo-Saxon inscription above the door of the church. Orm son of Gamel is known from other historical sources and is connected to the feud discussed in Richard Fletcher's book Bloodfeud. (Richard Fletcher lived in Kirkdale at some point).
Rabbit bone and a piece of dried melancholy thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum) found on a walk on 22nd September 2020 around the top of Farndale, North York Moors. They are tied together with red embroidery thread and live in a small metal tin. Piece was made in May 2021. Azazel may have been a demon of waste places in ancient Israelite mythology.
Two ends of sheep rib cut off and joined together. The ribs were found on a walk along College Valley in the Cheviots some time between 5th and 8th September 2020. The piece was made May 2021. Piece lives in the same tin as Bone for Azazel.
Cinder Track Tool is made of three hawthorn thorns mounted in the end of a cut-off sheep's rib, with three dried harebell flowers inserted in a hollowed out cavity in the rib. The thorns and harebells were found on a circular walk from Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby and back along the Cleveland Way and Cinder Track, 8th October, 2020. The rib came from College Valley in the Cheviots. The Cinder Track is not all that far from the famous Mesolithic site of Starr Carr, and Cinder Track Tool reminds me of an archaeological find of unknown purpose.
Cinder Track Object is made from four dried hawthorn berries collected on the same walk as Cinder Track Tool, set into holes in a piece of sheep's rib found in College Valley. Both pieces were made May 2021.
Piece of ironstone with the word 'hallelujah' painted on it in white oil paint. I picked the stone near the Cammon Stone on Rudland Rigg. The Cammon Stone is a prehistoric standing stone and it has the word 'hallelujah' carved into it in Hebrew characters, reputedly by the nineteenth century clergyman Rev. W. Strickland, vicar of Ingleby. The walk was from Blakey Ridge along the top of Farndale, across to Urra Moor and then back down Rudland Rigg and finally across Farndale back to Blakey Ridge, 17th June 2021. I made the piece a few days afterwards. The stone is heavy for its size.
Plastic watch strap found on one of the arms of Lilla Cross on a walk across the North York Moors, 8th July 2021. The strap is badly cracked in places and I repaired it using yellow embroidery thread (a sort of kintsugi). I cut one end into a cross similar to the shape of Lilla Cross. Lilla Cross is one of the oldest of the stone moorland crosses on the North York Moors. It reputedly marks the burial of Lilla, a retainer of the 7th century Anglo Saxon king Edwin of Northumbria, who saved the king from an assassin but was stabbed to death himself in the process - however, the cross probably dates from the 10th century. It is my favourite moorland cross. I sat watching green tiger beetles at the foot of this cross.
Mandible of a seabird, possibly a shag or cormorant, found near Neist Point, Isle of Skye on an art school field trip in 1998. I have used it as a pen for several pieces, including the books Book of Skye and Birthday Boy Fylingdales Moor and the labels on Map Jacket. It has red embroidery thread wrapped round it because it started to break apart and needed holding together. The tip has worn down and it now makes a much thicker mark than it used to.
Artist's book listing all of the place names on the North Skye Landranger Ordnance Survey map which are not those of habitations (i.e. all the rivers, hills, bays, bogs etc). It is written in black ink using Neist Point Pen. The book is made using several different kinds of paper, including oriental tissue paper, bible paper and Ingres paper. The associated map coordinates are those of Neist Point lighthouse. The book memorialises a field trip to Skye in 1998, where we stayed at the lighthouse.
Artist's book listing place names from around Fylingdales Moor, North York Moors, where I walked on the day after my birthday. The book was written using Neist Point Pen on endpapers from the encyclopaedia I used to make my artwork Encyclopaedia Ball. On that walk I found a deflated helium balloon shaped like a unicorn near the RAF early warning station, which was later inflated for my daughter's birthday. Coordinates are those of RAF Fylingdales base.
Iron nail with 'Attercop' painted onto it. I extracted the nail from a large fence post I was chopping up for firewood at my wife's mother's house in Agaş, Romania, in September 2021. 'Attercop' is an old English word for spider and I saw lots of spiders on this trip, including Argiope bruennichi and the magnificent Araneus circe. I was also reading Lord of the Rings to my children at this point and Tolkien uses the word 'attercop' (in The Hobbit). 'Attercop' means 'poison head'.
'Book' made to preserve two inscriptions I found on a toy chest of drawers which I broke apart. It is really just two pieces of wood hinged together with book cloth. I might give it to Debbie one day (if she wants it).
Plastic face of a hawk embroidered with jute yarn. The face came off a weird toy train/roller coaster thing which my son received for his birthday, which happened to fall when we were holidaying in the Lake District. The toy was played with on that holiday and broke soon after. I kept the face when it broke, because I liked it, and it lived on Map Jacket like a brooch for a while. I embroidered it because it needed to be made stranger. Keswick Hawk memorialises a non-walking holiday, because I was ill when staying in Keswick and found it disappointing not to be able to walk.
Plastic face from a Thomas the Tank Engine toy embroidered with blue, yellow and red crochet yarn/embroidery yarn. Not linked to a place or journey, but included in Map Jacket because of its similarity to Keswick Hawk.
Mirrored lens from a pair of sunglasses found on the bridge where the A1237 York ring road crosses the river Ouse. It is contained in a found pouch made from red fabric.
Sharp fragment of sandstone found on the edge of Saltergate Bank, North York Moors, during a walk from Hole of Horcum to Langdale Forest, 13 January 2022, with the word 'windhover' added in black ink. The form of the stone reminded me of something aerodynamic, such as the wing of a bird, as if it was meant to catch the wind and generate lift. Windhover is an old word for kestrel (made famous by Gerard Manley Hopkins in his poem of that name). Saltergate bank is a good place for hovering or soaring, as the wind creates updrafts as it hits the steep slope. I've seen buzzards soaring there and paragliders.
53°57'32.6"N 1°08'15.2"W (Thummim)
Two round metal tins with clear plastic windows in the lids bearing the Coca Cola logo. One (Urim) contains rodent bones picked up at the foot of a tree in my friend's parents' garden somewhere in the Midlands of England (I forget where) in 2000 or 2001. The other tin (Thummim) contains two owl pellets picked up in my parents' garden in York in summer 2022. The urim and thummim were two objects used for casting lots by ancient Israelite priests. In 2022 I camped with my son in my parents' garden and saw a family of tawny owls circling round the trees. The owl represents the phoneme 'm' in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Hair clip with a brown and cream fabric bow with the words 'Sweet Cicely' embroidered by me across it in cotton crochet yarn. I found the bow lying on the road on Wethercote Lane/High Leir Lane, near Old Byland, Yorkshire, during a walk from Helmsley to High Paradise Farm and back, 16th June 2022. On that same walk, especially around Rievaulx, I noticed lots of the plant sweet cicely by the roadside. I kept picking bits of the aniseed-scented leaves to smell and collected some seeds. The bow has four sweet cicely seeds sewn onto it.
45°54'59.1"N 27°12'55.2"E (Mărăşeşti, Romania)
54°29'17.1"N 2°04'31.0"W (Sleightholme Beck Gorge, near God's Bridge, County Durham)
Cuddly toy hamster bought by my son from a seller on a train in Romania (somewhere between Adjud and Focşani, possibly near Mărăşeşti), September 2022. He gave it to me as a present and told me it was a beaver, although it had a short furry tail like a hamster. The toy has a red hat with the word 'Switzerland' and the Swiss flag on it and is wearing red dungarees. It plays a Swiss tune when you squeeze its belly. I gave it a beaver tail made from the finger of a black leather glove that my wife picked up on the street somewhere. I also gave it real teeth by embedding the front part of an articulated pair of rabbit mandibles into its mouth in place of its original fabric teeth. I picked up the rabbit mandibles on a walk at God's Bridge, April 2022.
Long pointed nose of the character Ice King from the children's cartoon series Adventure Time made from a blue child's sports top found on Scalby Road, Scarborough, on a walk from Hole of Horcum to Scarborough along the Tabular Hills Way, 28 July 2022. I made several versions of Ice King's Nose. The version pictured is the second. It has the Nike swoosh on it and is stuffed with plant materials from various walks, including fir cones, alder cones, sticks, acorns and grasses. Other versions are stuffed with other things, including my shaved off beard.
I was thinking about Ice King on my walk along the Tabular Hills Way, then found a blue top. After I picked it up I felt guilty, because someone may have returned to look for it, but it was too late to return it. I found it dropped on the pavement. Ice King is a poignant character.
Small fabric pouch filled with rock salt picked up down a salt mine in Romania (Salina Târgu Ocna) in September 2021. I got the fabric in Fulham when I lived in London between 1999 and 2001; it was being given away free outside a posh furnishings shop. The fabric has the words, 'Jane Churchill Limited. Roses and Ribbons. Printed in England. © 1991' printed along the edge. I included the word 'England' on the pouch. The fabric is quite grimy from having been stored with other rags in my studios for so many years and possibly has mould stains on it. My wife makes larger pouches full of salt for drying your nose when you have a cold. Pouch made in 2022.
Ticket for the Glasgow underground ('Shooglie') bought for my wife by artist Peter Gardner on the day of the Encyclopaedia Ball Rolling in Glasgow, 8th July 2022. Peter kindly took my wife by underground to the police station to retrieve our suitcase which we'd left behind in George Square after photographing Encyclopaedia Ball between the paws of one of the stone lions which guard the cenotaph. We only narrowly caught our train home.
A plane tree seed ball covered in soil and a small piece of rock (possibly chert) picked up and kept during a performance piece by artist Alyssa Coffin at the Renaissance conference, Saint Church, Hackney 17th November 2022. The performance took place in a small park next to Saint Church. Alyssa invited us to explore our relationships with our phone cameras and the earth (I don't have a phone with a camera). As part of this, we were invited to pick up and contemplate objects from the ground, and these are the two objects I picked up. They are contained in a small found fabric bag.
Paper boat with abstract crayon drawing over it. Made as part of a reflective workshop led by Carol Marples as part of the Morphe Arts Interface Conference at Leith School of Art, 18 February 2023.
Plastic hook found on the beach at Hayburn Wyke, 26th March 2023, during a walk from Scarborough to Ravenscar and back. It has three white handmade tassels added to it.
Piece of limestone picked up on the moors on a walk along the Cleveland Way starting at Sutton Bank, 2nd April 2023. I painted 'AP' on it. For A.P.
Handwritten book listing place names in Ukraine sewn directly onto the Jacket, made during the Ukraine war. Written using Neist Point Pen. The cover is made from a map of Northumbria. The title references a place in Northumbria which appears on the cover. I wanted to draw a link between the two places.
Booklet from an exhibition of Magdalena Abakanowicz's 'Abakans' at Tate Modern with embroidery.
Piece of stone picked up during a circular walk round the head of Rosedale, along the old railway track, 4th June 2023, with 'Owl?' painted on it. I saw a bird flying quite high which I tentatively identified as a short eared owl. I couldn’t be sure of the identification, though.
Skein of white thread with organic fragments found on top of Great Whernside on a walk with my son on 15th June 2023. It is contained in a tin bearing the words 'Riding is my life. RISK', which originally contained bicycle seat bolts.
Handlebar grip found on the road between Hill End Farm and Low Cote Farm, Snilesworth, Ryedale, during a circular walk from Osmotherley to Urra Moor and back, 29th June 2023. The grip has a large black feather, which was found on the same walk, cut into three pieces and inserted into it. The end of the hole is blocked with rolled up paper from an old drawing of mine.
Metal tin containing fragments of burnt shale and a yellow shotgun cartridge case. The objects were picked up on the same walk as Snilesworth Object, 29th June 2023. The shale fragments were picked up from the path close to the Scugdale Beck. After I had bent down to pick them up I noticed a woman sitting beside the beck resting from carrying a heavy pack a few feet away, who I hadn’t noticed before, probably because it was shady under the trees. The pinkish red shale is spoil from the alum industry, which died out in the mid nineteenth century. Shale was roasted during the process of extracting alum, which turned it from grey to pink. The shotgun cartridge case was picked up somewhere in Ryedale, near Snilesworth. Both objects have a connection to fire. The tin has a perfumed smell, because it previously contained homemade lip salve. Coordinates are those of the Scugdale Beck.