Culturgest (online work)
Jones’ Mill is located in the Wiltshire region in the southeast of England, more precisely on the North Wessex Downs, half an hour from Stonehenge, near the village of Pewsey. Wiltshire is an area particularly known for its natural and mystical beauty ranging from mysterious “crop circles” to prehistoric legends. Jones’s Mill is called Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Site of Special Scientific Interest: these are important areas for science due to the rare species of fauna or flora that characterize, geological or physiological characteristics. The swampy, wet forest of the reserve is home to animals such as sea rats, dragonflies, woodpeckers, kingfishers, and herons, and is also the best-known example of a limestone valley in the Wiltshire area. But Jones’s Mill is not just an untouchable bubble, it shares its border with the 3600 inhabitants of the village of Pewsey and is hosted by a railway that runs across southern England linking London to Cornwall.
It was in this apparently balanced setting that Matilde Meireles collected vast sound material for her piece, recording a wildlife activity between the winter and spring seasons, as well as the direct human presence (through the existence of inhabitants and visitors, as well as rail transport) and indirect (through the creation and maintenance of the reserve itself). The starting point for this work occurred with her experience of Gabriela Albergaria’s retrospective exhibition at Culturgest. In “Nature hates straight lines”, an artist alludes to the transformation of the natural environment by human action, from the acceleration of progress to the deliberate intervention in the reconstruction of green systems, where processes of manipulation in nature are questioned and exposed. In “MILL ~ MMXXI” we listen to this refined reflection by Matilde Meireles, tangent to Gabriela Albergaria’s concerns, exposing an electroacoustic sound representation of an ecosystem defined by law, wild but close to human presence.