Fern Thomas
25 July 2022

Walking with Light: the long-term thinking of the films of Peter Finnemore

Fern Thomas

25 July 2022 | Minute read

‘Walking with Light’ © Peter Finnemore

Ysgolion i’r nen
Tŷ gwydr
Dyn Gwyrdd
Llwybr Paill
Meddwl Cwantwm
Cynhaeaf Tatws
Byd Breuddwyd
Dyfnder Gofod
Dyfnderoedd Amser
Time Lord
Dyfod yn goeden
Cydweithredu rhyng-genedlaethol
Gweddnewid deunydd
Torri’r terfynnau
Eve of Destruction
Tŷ sy’n breuddwydio
Dillad yn sychu
Hen bryd
Myffin y Gath
Posibiliadau Gardd
Deialog rhyng-rywogaethol

Standing still and waiting. A pause, an aniticipation.

The scene opens on an island; a home, a garden, a site of action. Hedges and edges. All of the moments captured and those in between.

This is one way, it seems to say. A place for growth. Each film a map on how we could live.

Slowly moving through the garden in its abundance, in its shifting seasons.

Frame by frame and something beyond itself.

Fe welwn ddyn yn sefyll yn yr ardd, mae’n edrych ar yr awyr.

Well trodden paths, cyclical.
A pollen path. Twenty-one day life cycle of the bee.
The garden as support system, holding you as you walk the path.
Lleuad. The twenty-nine day cycle of the moon.

Mae’n ceisio cynnau tân, yn ceisio sawl gwaith. Cyffyrdda’r gwres ei ruddiau.

Smoke from a fire, tending the land. Last year’s growth transformed into heat.
Warmth work.

Smoke as slight of hand, a gateway, a portal. For this moment, here we are somewhere else.
Crossing boundaries, liminal space, being with the land out of time.
Each intentional action as beating the bounds.

A concrete slab, a foundation. The sunflower, tended, spoken with, takes centre stage.

Mae’n mynd at yr heulflodyn, yn ei gwpanu â’i law. Cyffyrddiad dyfyn-ysbryd.
Mae cath yn gadael i’r chwith.

And you don’t believe we’re on the Eve of Destruction.

Apples trees once planted as a seed. A shed that began life through an imagining of a shed. The yearly ritual of cracking open sunflower heads and saving seeds in an envelope.

A territory, cat-led. Cat as familiar, as magical companion. Cat as all-seeing, interspecies dialogue. An intimacy, a friendship, a curved greeting back.

Yma nawr, fe welwn ni grŵp o saith, yn eistedd o amgylch bwrdd. Y cynhaeaf tatws, llestri’n taro’r bwrdd, pob un ar lun ymrithiwr, yn arglwyddi amser. Maen nhw’n chwarae gitâr awyr.

A site for friendship and collaboration, ill-fitting camo, playing with power, throwing stones and smashing glass. There isn’t one way.

        They play air guitar.

Making the invisible visible.

Shaman, poet, fool, trickster, a remembering of our celtic green man. Becoming tree. An ancient myth unfolding again and again.

Of this soil. But only when it is the word for soil in Cymraeg.

Pridd, Pridd, Pridd, Pridd. Mae’r tŷ’n breuddwydio’r ardd, yr ardd yn breuddwydio’r tŷ. Y dyn – mae’n breuddwydio’r cyfan.

Because he was dreamt into being.

Worms and roots. Humour and play as mycelial, roots reaching outwards through time.

Arhoswn eto. Mae rhywbeth yn datblygu, yn gweddnewid.

Thirty years and more of this garden, these edges. Long-term thinking in a short-term world.

The lives are unfolding; the people, the cats, the birds, the sunflowers, the worms. Interbeing.

Mae’r dyn yn gweld y cyfan, yn gweld eu lle ym mhethau.

Ritualised domestic space, here things are slowed down, zoomed in on. The transformation of one state into another.

Maen nhw’n codi rhywbeth i’r nen, blanced o fwg, mae ysgol yn symud i ffwrdd i’r chwith.

Stillness now as we wait for the moment when. A bird may land onto the Sky Table. A calling space, an invitation.

Morning turns to night, clouds. And we may just witness the moon coming down to the garden, to sit on the sky table.

We wait again. A glimmer of alchemical light – a trick? Reflective light. Numinous. The sun is carried across a new path. It is heading towards us, we move towards the light.

✻ ✻ ✻

This piece is a response to the artist Peter Finnemore’s body of work Base Camp, a series of 31 short films made by Finnemore in and around his family home in the Gwendraeth Valley in west Wales. You can watch the films here.


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