Still still far wide

Still still far wide is a sequence of black and white photographs by Mal Woolford with an accompanying sound installation by Haresh Patel, shot and recorded at Shakespeare Cliff near Aycliffe. 

This sliver of the Kent cliffs presents an austere frozen landscape, undercut by the Eurotunnel. There are glimpses of the land of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear and back further to an ancient, almost alien, landscape. 

Shakespeare borrowed freely from his sources to speak to the political uncertainties of his time. In the same way, I have treated Lear lightly to find ours.

Nothing will come of nothing

There’s a clear resonance with today: a divided kingdom haunted by ghostly shadows, where a young woman is estranged from her elderly father. 

Instead of an old warrior king, here’s a plastic leader who forgets the value of his alliances and prefers old dreams and rhetoric to acting in an interconnected and nuanced reality. By cutting himself off from his daughter - his future - he is little more than a shadow, subsisting on a badger sett on top of his cliff, neglected in the same way that he has been neglectful.There is a dream-like attempt at reconciliation, reaching for something or someone who isn’t there. 

Winter’s promise of renewal

While winter paralyses the land, the shoreline remains a place of change: wave action and rain and gravity reveal fresh chalk. Tide in tide out, rock-pools emerge and disappear. Boundaries and borders are broken down. 

It’s an encouraging pattern of renewal for a time haunted with old ideas and forgetful of how to make and sustain peace and growth. 

The project started as a close observation of a pocket of landscape and became a search for signs of renewal. Winter reveals the greater power of a surging sea, tearing down and renewing itself. Renewing hopes for a young future that’s less strident. More attentive to detail. Open. Equal.

(Mal Woolford, September 2018)

Still still far wide celebrates its opening at 7pm on Saturday 15 September at community art-space MyGallery, 3 Waterloo Crescent, Dover CT16 1LA and continues on Saturdays and Sundays 11-6pm, with its final day on Sunday 30 September. 


Mal will also be hosting bring-and-share evening suppers at the gallery with local community groups on Sat 22 and Sat 29 September. 

Prints, hand-made books and postcards will be available to buy.

Photographs            Mal Woolford            www.malwoolford.com

Lear                Christopher Burke        

Cordelia            Rhianna Jacobs

Crown                Annette Flowers Morris

Sound design            Haresh Patel

Flutes                Paul Cheneour

Installation            Jonathan Taylor

                Haresh Patel

                Mal Woolford


Barry O’Brien            Dover Tales

Marie Kelly Thomas        Dover Youth Theatre

Dawn                Dover smART Project

Chris                 Fort Burgoyne, the Land Trust

Christine for the introductions