The River Parrett runs like a vein through this part of the Levels… it channels the flows of the landscape and brings life to it. Touching and listening to the water, we got to understand more in-depth this strong relationship of the land with the water. This river is like a thread linking the themes of the valley – it carries different types of water, different traces of history and therefore different meanings. This river contains the stories of the surroundings, its reflections show another angle on the landscape and how images can merge with its flow. It acts as a lens, and only being suspended, floating on the surface, can offer us this different perspective.
Many stories have been told about the floods and the river. The media, the locals, the experts translate into words what their actual relationship with the river is. However, the watery heritage of Somerset is more than that, and by being immersed in this research, looking at it from different views and different perspectives, already we begin to see the depth and complexity of this relationship between the land and the water, and how people have adjusted themselves to it, and it to them. We both have been looking at Somerset for few years as one of the interests in our research. However, by being in the river I could see all the points of view coming together in one drawing that so far is just a sketch, and will be many more sketches, during this project and future ones.
“Eyes can see widely: They can cross a river in full flood”. (Tswana proverb)