Update: Current Work at Porth Melgan, Pembrokeshire
18/03/17An update on The Words Come From the Land, and the Sea Takes Them spanning forty consecutive low tides at Porth Melgan, Pembrokeshire, as I approach the halfway point.
Since 11.30 am on 10 March I have walked from the Whitesands carpark to the beach of Porth Melgan at each low tide and have written the same words across the sand so that the tide can come in and wipe them clean. So far I have done this seventeen times, and twenty three remain.
The words are from the Mabinogion - a medieval collection of ancient Welsh tales - specifically from How Culhwch won Olwen. In this story the young hero Culhwch is set forty impossible tasks by the giant Ysbaddaden Bencawr which he must overcome in order to marry the giant’s daughter, Olwen. Their exchange features a repeating phrase — a challenge — that becomes a rhythmic and poetic chant:
‘It is easy for me to get that, though you may think it’s not easy.’
‘Though you may get that, there is something you will not get.’
In returning to the beach to write these words forty times I am mirroring the story with a call and response with - and challenge to - the sea. My own task to return and put the words back onto tthe sand each time they are erased.
I am posting a photo or video from each tide on instagram (and facebook and twitter) so please take a look if you would like to see what has already happened and keep up to date until the work finishes on 30 March.
If you would like to visit the beach to see the work you are very welcome to. To access the beach drive to the Whitesands Beach carpark from St Davids, Pembrokeshire, and follow the coastal path north towards St David's Head. Porth Melgan is the last beach before The Head about a mile along. For low tide times please see a tidal forecast for Whitesands or Ramsey Sound (I have been using magicseaweed.com.) The fortieth tide will be at 3.25pm on 30 March after which there will be nothing to see except for one of Britains most beautiful stretches of coastline.
(Please be aware that the Whitesands carpark charges £5 per car per day and that the coastal path to the beach is along clifftops and can be dangerous in high winds, and at times very muddy - please dress appropriately.)