A Thousand tides.

I’m leaving Butley, The Creek has fed me for 15years!

I wanted to make a gesture, an offering of gratitude, a bookend if you like, to the Creek men project that saw the beginning of my time here, the arrival so to speak…

I decided to leave a life size bronze figure lying in the mud, to let it slowly sink, joining the Saxon bodies buried at Snape and Sutton Hoo, to create my own archeology and maybe make a myth.

It wasnt as easy as I’d first thought. How to get it out there? how to get it to sink evenly? So it was back to building rafts and thinking about tidal flows, and the safety of my friends. Here’s what happened in chronological order.

I had the thought at Christmas. A film was to be made by Phil Cairney for the show this May. I thought it needed a narrative. Coinciding with my departure from Butley it seemed an opportunity ,a moment to record and reflect.

This was my vision!   I apologise for the low quality of my renderings, they were never suppposed to be published!!

Please hang on until the end, as there’s a 5 minute film by Feli Marzo. A day in the life, so to speak.


raft sketch2

This was the proposed mode of transport. Two floating sections, a space in the middle and a frame to hang the man from.

raft sketch

this the means of release:

raft sketch4

and how it would settle on the mud.rafte sketch5


So here’s the raft in the metal shop, old scaffold tubes, polystyrene sheets, ply and gaffer tape.


The figure, nearly finished.


Tobias the workhorse, carried most of the raft out to the Creek!


Where a week before the event, we assembled it, in preparation for a test voyage.


I tested my welds!


In trepidation we set off, a maiden voyage..


John had us on a leash, he a water man, knew the danger!


We returned discombobulated, a few men short!


Hopeful they would return, we set about preparing for the day.

A high tide was to coincide with a full moon on the 22nd of March. So at midday we set off to bury the bronze.

We now have Tim Bowden’s fantastic photographs to tell the story.

A private moment, a farewell..


The carrying of the man, to the waters edge..Alice….Freddy…Craig… and Me


Onto the raft..


_MG_4860The journey to the centre of the Creek.


Couldn’t believe the weather. It had been aweful the previous week. We moored him, returned to shore to consider him.  Alone on the water.


He floated alone for a while, as the tide peaked.


It was like some nautical pyre. We rowed out to perform the ceremony.


He bubbled as the air left him, the surface of the water boiled, as he receeded he glowed,  like a giant fish, a golden carp. The bubbles intensified as he disappeared,  they rose from a deep place and could be heard from the shore.

We returned under our own steam.




It was impossibly calm, we had lunch, two hours passed.

Someone saw an eddy in the current, then a shape, I thought it was a seal. (excuse the image, taken on my ipad)

See the line in the current trailing to the right..


Ebbing man..

'A Thousand tides' 2'A Thousand tides' 3


We watched transfixed as he reappeared, it was natural cinema..



The water finally drained to reveal him lying perfectly.




'A Thousand tides'

I watched for a long time.. I decided to call him ‘A Thousand Tides’, I think he’ll take a while to submerge.

looking on b&W

The next day we were to film the dawn with a drone, I rolled my van in the forest on the way. Thats often the way it is…


Enough for now, The film will be available online soon.

A wonderful ‘Visual Anthropolgy’ student from Goldsmiths called Feli Marzo  has made a 5 minute short of a day in my life. This is the link……

Please view the website for finished work, and carry on scrolling for the previous postings.. they don’t date!!















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