CHALK 10 Days Winchester [2015]
The Quintessential Chalk Stream:
An Investigation

Award Winning Project presented in the City Space in The Discovery Centre.

During a period of investigation into a stretch of the River Test near Stockbridge and Longstock, mixed media artists Penny Burnfield, Wendy Couchman and Susan Wood gathered sound recordings, projections, visual and text materials. This is part of the most famous trout fishing river in the world, which is special due to the surrounding chalk hills from which it originates. It is also the centre of the Houghton Fishing Club founded in 1822. The artists researched how fishing influenced the development of the river and valley. Entry to a reconstructed fishing hut immersed visitors in the evocative sights and sounds of one of Hampshire’s unique chalk streams. Fishing huts are scattered along the river bank as convenient refuges. The artists wrote, ‘Our hut has been taken over by an imaginary fisherman who has collected his memories over several decades.’ Inside were old and new photographs of the river; a radio interview with the former head keeper, Mick Lunn; a collection of fishing paraphernalia; sounds recorded by the river; films made by Sir Richard Fairey and his son John Fairey [ Bossington]; a file of information about the river, its environment and history and books about trout fishing in the area. Visitors wrote: ‘It transported one back in time and out to the riverside.’ ‘An atmosphere all of its own, you’d never think it was in a library’. ‘I love it! Could sit in that chair all day!’ ‘5 minutes of peace,tranquillity and beauty in a busy day’. ‘I like that fish on the wall.’