The Brindley Village Project Background

Brindley Village is a place of intrigue on Cannock Chase; firstly used as a training camp and hospital in World War One and then as a village for miners working at the pit in Hednesford. Now totally overgrown, only the foundations and some areas of tarmac and brick remain there. The place has a real magnetism and the energy held there is an interesting one. Many people still make dedications to their loved ones by tying flowers or wreaths to the tree trunks. It is hard to distinguish what forms were man made and what have been created by nature; the trees gnarly and moss covered in place of the cottages and hospital building.

I am interested in how the function and landscape of the place has changed – when trying to research it the only images I came across were those above. The dedications made to the individual cottages numbers 3 and 9 were intriguing to read as I had never noticed these on our walks. Today we found number 3 which is so degraded by time it is just a blank frame.

Existing plaque at no. 3
Existing plaque at no. 3

The dedications that people have left to relatives also captivate your attention, they appear to have become a part of the growing tree in some cases, having been there for so long.

This place holds a magic that I think is going to feed my interest in making marks that are about our existence and interaction with our environment. It feels as though pieces of the puzzle are starting to converge; concrete surfaces, rust, weathering, moss, decay, derelict places, leaving work in public places. My first question is where to start? Synchronicity bought me back here- I was telling a colleague about rust printing and my coveted iron manhole cover when she remarked – ‘have you seen the one and only manhole cover on the Chase at Brindley Village’. Ping!

Manhole
Manhole

My dialogue with this place is just beginning. Finally I have found my way!!

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