Climate change is a massive issue and one which is constantly (and rightly) under discussion, but sometimes drama can make us more aware of the problem than lots of facts and figures, by exploring today’s land through our ancestors’ eyes.
So, it was a joy to attend Water, Earth, Fire at Hartland Parish Hall this weekend, a show which explains things differently and which was very thought-provoking.
In the past, tales were gathered and told in the oral tradition, through stories and music. Often, major climactic events were wrapped in epic journeys, regularly involving dragons and monsters, which may be a metaphor for a threat as they breathed fire and damaged crops/landscapes.
The event was created by the captivating north Devon storyteller and author, Lisa Schneidau, contemporary composer and musician Emma Welton (with her film recordings of birdsong, sea, wind and water turbines), and independent animator and film-maker, Matt Biggs, whose film was all shot in North Devon, including the aftermath of a fire at Baggy Point. It was directed by Paula Crutchlow, a cultural geographer). It’s worth checking out their links.
The stories included Beowulf, the Lambton Worm, George and the Dragon, and The Evil Bet, and it was hosted by the Resurgence Trust in Hartland’s Parish Hall.