Which way is UP?

CCTVmapscropThe arrow on the weather vane is spinning, caught in a funnel of air it points to a gap in the cloud, the first for a while. We follow a finger carved in the stone wall as far as a gate that opens onto land bound by a felled oak. The grass is patchy, the ground wet with rotting leaves, the path broken by a line of funghi straddling the mossy hump of a root line. We stand on the oak trunk and point the camera towards the horizon, waiting for the sun to bathe it in colour and transform the landscape into something it is not, today. Today is grey. We put the camera away, walk back to the gate, turn along the lane and down the steps in front of the castle, watch rooks through bare branches – blethering silhouettes against the sky. We find unexpected views – ourselves on CCTV – in the map shop window. We check out the decorations: maps reconstructed as giant papier mâché baubles where nowhere is where you expect it to be.

Image © MJ Clements

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