Land/Water and the Visual Arts Research Group
Wednesday 24 February 2021, University of Plymouth, UK
Land-Water-21-02-24-470Surveying the Laira
A presentation by artist film-maker, Kayla Parker, about her recent explorations with film-maker and sound artist Stuart Moore, on foot and by kayak, of the Laira, the upper tidal estuary of the River Plym, on the south west coast of Britain.

Over the centuries, discharges from the tin mining and china clay works on nearby Dartmoor to the north have silted up the estuarine channel so it is now only navigable by small boats at high tide. From the early part of the 19th century, successive reclamation projects have reduced the width of the Laira, with embankments along the east and west sides of the estuary shore removing the large tidal creeks at Lipson Lake, Tothill Bay and Chelson Creek, and the more recent creation of Blagdon’s Meadow, designated a Country Wildlife Site.

Parker and Moore have been making work in the area around the Laira’s southern shoreline since 2004, using 16mm and 35mm film and digital technologies, and will reflect on the precarity of this zone of land, whose existence and habitats are threatened by encroaching tidal waters and the impacts of increased human activity.

Image: iPhone documentation, the hulk of the Ocean Maid, southern shore of the Laira, Plymouth (17 December 2020)