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Seadrift

Artist and film-maker Jane Darke reflects on the flotsam and jetsam of the shipping lanes that gets washed up at the bottom of her garden in north Cornwall.

Until his death in 2005, Jane shared her cove-side home with her playwright husband Nick. Together they scoured the tideline for 'wreck', that drift of wood, marker-buoys, lobsterpot tags, shoes and fishing nets, 'seabeans' - huge seedpods from the Amazon basin - and coal that the Gulf Stream regularly deposits on the Cornish coast in particular.

But for the Darkes, 'wreck' wasn't just common-or-garden driftwood; it was a seaborne crop to be harvested, stored and above all used. Their home is part-constructed from timber rescued from the sea-edge; bookshelves are crazed and seasoned planks from some freighter whose deck-cargo shifted catastrophically years ago, and the outside of the house is gaudy with floats and pennons, markers and half-legible noticeboards carried across the Atlantic from distant harbours and sea-reaches. Currents circulate such 'wreck' around the world, sometimes for years, before landfall brings these distantly transmitted 'messages' to their surprised recipients on the Cornish coast.

Nick Darke, actor, playwright and lobster-fisherman died suddenly in 2005 and since then his widow Jane has continued to add to their collection. In this programme, Jane reflects in her home on currents and the chance nature of what the tides of life bring to shore....

20 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Mar 2010 19:50
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