Anthony Schrag

Mythologies and stories are woven into the forest, knit as tight as the bracken that grows at the base of giant trees. I am interested in how these tales are disseminated and so spent a week camping in the area, developing a site-responsive work which ask questions about the authority of these histories and mythologies – which are true, and which are constructed, and why were they developed.


The work developed into a tour-performance that looked at the history of the area, starting from the geographical fault-line that divides the park into two, and the ancient rocks that are layered and twisted, forming these beautiful hills; We looked at the ice-age scars left on the landscape; the Celts and Picts that lived in the area, and the cup-and-ring markings they etched onto slate; the secret distilleries and the site of rebellions and resistance; the clearances and the crofters and the Women’s Timber Corps. The tour finished at this woven outfit, which recent archaeological finds suggest is what the pre-roman settlers to the area wore. It is unknown if it was worn ceremoniously or as daily wear, but this recreation was most certainly unisex and woven from the reeds that still grow in the marshes of the valleys in the area.  


Except that it wasn’t. None of the tour was true – none except the truth about the rocks and stones below us being layered and twisted – like the stories and myths that are whispered around and echoed off the trees and exposed slate. Why do we believe certain things? Just because it reinforces our own identities, or because its easier, or even because its true? I have no answers, and neither does the land. But perhaps we should always be wary of believing, especially if it seems too good to be true.


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Interventions 2009