Anecdotal Evidence

When I was first invited to apply for a residency at Grafham Water Centre I remembered a strange image I thought I'd seen on film as a child - one of water pouring out of a tower. I was unsure if I had imagined this so I spent an evening projecting my Grandfather's standard 8 films. In amongst the usual home movie footage of weddings, holidays and children waving I found the image. I must have seen it only once or twice as a child but it was just as I remembered - a strange piece of footage that documented the water pouring out of a tower and into the fields that would become the reservoir.

Trying to replace this visual image or compete with the strange contemporary landscape of the reservoir seemed impossible. Instead, prompted by this image, my own family connections to the reservoir (my Grandfather over saw the building of the valley dam) and many stories about the lake I'd heard as a child, I decided to record other people¹s impressions of the area - their anecdotal evidence. Fragments of this research have now been incorporated into an audio CD, produced in collaboration with Tim Olden. I hope that people will listen to the piece whilst walking or sailing at Grafham and that, in combination with the contemporary landscape, it succeeds in putting across something of the strangeness of the place.

The project was supported by Year of the Artist, Cambridgeshire County Council, Grafham Water Centre, East England Arts and Commissions East.


Nina Pope Aug 2001


Background Image © Bill Herdman
Film Stills © Peter Thompson & Nina Pope