Avebury Stones

2019, Polaroid photograph series

We wanted to return to the circle and revisit the stones, retrace our steps in order to make sense of what had unfolded there on our last visit to the village of Avebury. It had been two years and we were beginning to question the accuracy of our memories. The day before setting off from Mersea Island in Essex across the country to Wiltshire we had the sudden compulsion to take an analogue film camera with us – the only issue being that we didn’t own one. With a strange confidence we walked down to the island’s two charity shops, the first had nothing, but to our ecstatic delight the second had a Polaroid 1000 plus two packets of expired but unopened film.

On arriving in Avebury we wandered the perimeter of the circle, looking at each stone carefully. Each one is different, like a person, each has a unique character, mood and expression. We feel we are beginning to get to know some of them. We scribbled notes in our field-book and selected a stone to photograph, the sheet ejected from the camera with a whirring clunk and was quickly buried in a pocket to enact its chemical magic. We repeated this action several times. Later when back at the tent we laid all the pictures out on the grass and looked over them – each one tinted blue green with speckled black spots and white ghosts floating about the sarsens. We noted down more memories, we added present tense observations. Later, when reading back through our notes, the past and present became indistinguishable, merging into a new reality. The mystery still holds and we know we must return to Avebury again.