Shoreline : Swanage Bay

Dedicated to my father Peter Stevens for the wonderful times we spend exploring the shoreline together.

The Jurassic Coast of Dorset is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for the ancient fossils that lay within its complex geology. This shoreline of Swanage Bay forms part of that coastline, with its distinct geology of listric fault lines, Portland stone and Wealden clay sequence of strata of soft green deposits that once formed the bed of an ancient lake.

My father lives here, a geologist who intimately knows the formation of this landscape. We often walk the shoreline together, observing the unique colours and shapes of folded and eroded rocks and the bivalve, ammonite and other fossils embedded within them. This is a shoreline not just where the land meets the sea but of where time collapses as ancient rock and extinct creatures crumble and dissolve into the liquidity of the ocean.

Today, another extraordinary sight is visible from this shoreline. As an outcome of Covid-19, large empty cruise ships moor on the stretch of water between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. These vast relics look like floating ghost cites during the day and illuminated discarded spaceships at night. I wonder how long they will stay suspended before they once again make contact with the shoreline ? I ponder on this liminality and of how a shoreline must feel to the refugees who place their lives in the hulls of fragile boats that hold the promise of new lands, where a shoreline marks the point where you leave and the place where you arrive.
You need to be logged in to contribute.
Fay Stevens

Fay Stevens

United Kingdom

I am an archeologist (UCL) and award-winning lecturer and researcher and have worked in archeological projects in Armenia, Europe and the UK and travelled extensively on academic research including Syria, Jordan, USA and Japan. My work has a clear pedagogy...

Recitals

Near Swanage, Dorset, UK

One thought on “Shoreline : Swanage Bay

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Also check out

  • Shorelines

    Downstream, after Henry

    NG Bristow
    · 28 Sep, 2020
  • Walking Piece
    New

    Embodied Cartographies: Mineral Liquidities and Fluid Heritage in Bath (UK) and Guimarães (Portugal)

    Fay Stevens
    · DRIFTING BODIES / FLUENT SPACES · Since 2021
  • Walking Piece
    New

    Confluence

    Fay Stevens
    · Since 2019
  • Walking Piece
    New

    Shorelines

    Fay Stevens
    · Since 2020
  • Shorelines
    New

    Suffolk Coast

    · 3 Mar, 2021
  • Shorelines

    Breaking Apart

    · 28 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    There was an ominous light over River Zazere

    Tamsin Grainger
    · 30 Sep, 2020
  • Walking Piece SWS20

    Arboretum

    Elspeth Penfold
    Fay Stevens
    Joan Kelly
    Hira Sheikh
    · Arboretum members: Anne Versailles, Elspeth ’Billie’ Penfold, Fay Stevens, Hira Sheikh, Joan Kelly, Tracey Benson · Since 2020
  • Shorelines

    The Severn Bore by Kel Portman and read by Carolyn Black

    Kel
    · 30 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    Foraging

    · 30 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    A Crying Place

    Carolyn Black
    · 28 Sep, 2020
  • Shorelines

    NT603846

    · 1 Oct, 2020
Shorelines
Downstream, after Henry
Walking Piece
New
Embodied Cartographies: Mineral Liquidities and Fluid Heritage in Bath (UK) and Guimarães (Portugal)

DRIFTING BODIES / FLUENT SPACES

Somerset, UK

Walking Piece
New
Confluence
Walking Piece
New
Shorelines

Swanage Bay, Highcliffe Road, Swanage, Dorset, UK

Shorelines
New
Suffolk Coast
Shorelines
Breaking Apart
Shorelines
There was an ominous light over River Zazere
Walking Piece SWS20
Arboretum

Arboretum members: Anne Versailles, Elspeth ’Billie’ Penfold, Fay Stevens, Hira Sheikh, Joan Kelly, Tracey Benson

Shorelines
The Severn Bore by Kel Portman and read by Carolyn Black
Shorelines
Foraging
Shorelines
A Crying Place
Shorelines
NT603846