About Owain Jones

I work at Bath Spa University as a Professor of Environmental Humanities, and I am Director of the University's Environmental Humanities Research Centre

Traces of individual wave edges, made by the waves themselves on hard sand; on an ebbing tide. Lovely delicate, intricate patterns. Tenby, Pembrokeshire, UK: Nov 13 2021

A falling tide on the hard sand of Tenby Norrth beach allows each wave to leave a trace of its own margin, made by a little outline trace of sand. Many of these lines interweave as following waves partially cover them. I love the delicate patterns this creates. I left my feet in a few of the images to give an idea of scale. Other marks give that away too! Of course, a rising tide washes all but the highest wave margins away.

A visit to Lydia Halcrow’s PhD with Practice Exhibition: Matter Maps (study area: theTaw Estuary, Devon, UK). Bath Spa University; 19 10 2021.

Lydia’s art practice for her PhD was an in-depth engagement with a tidal landscape known to her as a child, adult and parent: the Taw Estuary, Devon, UK. The art works explore various aspects of time, materiality, family, memory, climate crisis, and the agencies of collected material and weathering and tidal processes. Lydia’s uses of range of body and material/process practices to create these lovely, often fragile, works. Artist website here.

Severn Estuary mud marks for the Tidal TimeSpace Project

Somw sample mud marks for the Tidal Timespace: Imprints & Palimpsests project with Heather Green

I have been photographing mud marks at low tide in the Severn Estuary for the project I am doing with Heather Green. These include a lot of wader / wildfowl footprints and tracks. And other things. Here is a sample. It can become a bit compulsive. And, of course, most will be erased by the next high tide and new ones be in place after the next low tide.

Link to the Tide Mill Institute added to our link section

Tide Mill Institute

“Promoting Appreciation of Tide Mill History and Technology”

Where as large barrages and lagoons seems very poor choices to harness power from tides because of their very negetive, large scale, impacts on habitiats and ecologies, smaller tide mills, as have been used around the world in the past, seem a much better way of getting power at the local scale. This site is of great interest in that regard.

The Tidal Sense. A BBC Radio 3 programme based upon Signe Lidén’s art project commissioned by Lofoten International Art Festival in 2019.

BBC Radio 3 Sunday Feature

From the programme website

“What does the tide mean, and could it be trying to tell us something? Multimedia artist Signe Lidén reflects on both ancient and emerging knowledge across disciplines and cultures that understands the tide as more than just a mechanical phenomenon.

While recording sounds on the dunes of an island off Denmark, Lidén was surprised by the rapid rise in sea level without being able to see the change from moment to moment. She has since devoted herself to studying the tide, recording an entire tidal zone using a 28-metre canvas as a microphone, and noticing the different sense of time she gets through close and extended listening. Could a deeper connection to the tide offer new ways of sensing and relating to the world around us, and help us to grasp the scale of environmental change that is happening in it?

Recent research has begun to show us how the tide influences life at a cellular level. Coastal organisms from sea-lice to shore-dwelling sheep have body clocks that are synchronised to the tidal schedule on their home beach. Could there be a resonant echo in our own bodies of this ancient circatidal mechanism? Is this something we can reconnect with, and what might this mean for our relationship with the oceans?

Coastal landscapes are places of between-ness and flux, where remnants of the past – a piece of driftwood or a dialect word – lie alongside the chaos and renewal of the constant ebbing and flowing of the waves. What might this teach us about living in times of loss and radical change?

Many indigenous cultures believe that personhood extends beyond humans to other entities. If we were all to relate to water as a living being, might it change how we move through the world? And is it fantastical to imagine the tide as the thought process of the ocean, creating life on Earth through repetitive rhythms unfolding over billions of years?

Lidén loves the way that the medium of sound captures the ‘constant becoming of a place’. As she listens to the interlocking rhythms of her recordings, and the perspectives of other tidal thinkers, she notices how her sense of her place in the world is shifting.

With contributions from biologist and writer Arjen Mulder, neurobiologist Michael Hastings, Shetland poet Roseanne Watt, historian and kayaker David Gange, and Grace Dillon, a member of the Anishinaabe and professor in indigenous nations studies.

Produced by Chris Elcombe
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3.

Field recordings and concept based on Lidén´s project The Tidal Sense, commissioned by Lofoten International Art Festival in 2019.”

Hear the programme here

High Water: sharing our connections to the sea and the tides; Tuesday March 30, from 08.45 GM

Tuesday March 30, from 08.45 GMT/UTC      

This is a great looking intreractive project based upon the Exe Estuary, with an online collaborative event taking place on the day of the higest tide in the UK in 2021.

From the online details

“You are invited to share with us your story about the sea and in particular high tide.  It might be a reading, some factual information, an image or a recording. It might be something you’ve found on the beach (brought there by the tide), it might be a story from today or last week or many years ago. 

Tides are the constant ebb and flow of the planet, the stuff of myth and legend, artwork, folklore and personal history, scientific study and monitoring.  Spring tides occur twice each lunar month, around full moon and new moon. The height of the spring tide varies throughout the month (and year), depending on the distance between Earth and the Moon (and the Sun).  On March 30, in Exmouth, UK  we will experience our highest spring tide of 2021. Art.earthTidelines and Low Carbon Devon invite you to mark this equinoctial tide by sharing your tide story with us. You might be an expert or you might just visit the sea once a year – whatever your relationship to the sea we want to hear from you.

Do you visit a particular place to observe the tides? Do you have a seasonal connection to the tides? Does the tide directly affect you where you live? Have you observed wildlife behaviour relating to the tides? Are you aware of an emotional response to high tides? Have you noticed changes in the tides and do you believe they might be linked to climate change?  Does our knowledge of the tides, and our awareness of them become more important as the climate and sea levels change? 

The High Water event starts at 08.45 GMT on March 30 and continues to low tide, six hours later, and perhaps beyond.  Book a timeslot during the day to share your story. If you’d rather not join online there are other ways you can participate so please do drop us a line at high-water@art-earth.org.uk

Read more about how it will all work and what will happen afterwards

Source here

Sand/Mud Patterns. Severn river tidal reaches, Arlingham

We went to see the high tide at Sharpness Docks (pics to come) on the Severn Estuary, and then at low tide we walked out onto the river bed at Arlingham. As ever, amazing sand/mud patterns and trails of creatures were on display. And, again as ever, it was exciting and mysterious to be walking along the river where a few hours before, and after, the Severn bore (an incoming tide made wave) will run. These pictures are being shared with the US artist and professor Heather Green for the Tidal Timespace project. See here

Academic paper on tides and nature and culture, Bay of Fundy, Canada. ‘Encounters in the ebb and flood: knowing marine ecologies in the intertidal zone’ by Aurora Fredriksen, Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester, UK.

This is a very interesting paper about tides in the Bay of Fundy, Canada

Here is the abstract

“Shifting rhythmically between land and sea with the ebb and flood tides, shores are places where humans and nonhumans encounter one another in ambivalent relations of deep familiarity and enduring strangeness. Building on Pratt (1991, 2008), I use the space of the intertidal contact zone here to think through a series of uneven encounters between humans and marine wildlife that populate a dispute over tidal energy testing in the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Passage. I trace two contact zones through which knowledge about marine wildlife in the Bay of Fundy is generated: first, the contact zone continually (re-)assembled through the encounters of small-scale and traditional fisher with marine wildlife. Second, the contact zone staged in remote encounters between marine scientists and marine wildlife. The article reflects on the role of bodies in and out of encounter in the different ways of knowing about marine wildlife in this case and considers ethical possibilities and limits of knowing through, versus without, contact with nonhuman animals in the intertidal contact zone.”

The full paper can be accessed as a pdf here

It is to be publsihe in the Journal Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space