Artist's Statement by Seán Vicary
I grew up with Garner's early novels. Looking back I can see how they suggested a framework for mapping my own childhood boundaries: defined by ditch, field and hedgerow. But the Owl Service was something else. Initially slightly too young for the book, my introduction in the 1970's was via the TV adaptation. I'm not sure I ever recovered.
This work explores the novel's idea of the valley as a charged 'reservoir' for unseen forces but also as a driver for Garner's (and consequentially my own) creative process; the immersion of oneself in a landscape/ place providing a conduit and the act of creation a channelling of those forces.
When filming I was frequently aware of the sight lines between locations, recalling Roger's experiments in photography and his lining up of the hole in the Stone of Gronw with the far hilltop; this line-of-sight enabling a direct path between transmitter and receiver, providing an eerie optic onto past events.
I've collected, photographed and animated objects from the valley, including horsehair & lime plaster, handmade nails and a witch bottle. Together these create a 'receiver' for tuning into residual wavelengths and decoding any hauntological transmissions.