FORE MAIN MIZZEN by Hannah Dargavel-Leafe
12” Vinyl Record, Single Sided, Hand Printed Sleeves, Ed of 300, 2018.
“Fore Main Mizzen is made entirely from sound recordings taken on visits to Southend-on-Sea and Sheerness that are specifically focused on The SS Richard Montgomery, a ship that sank in the Thames estuary during World War
Two. It is lying on a sandbank packed full of the high explosives it was transporting. At low tide its masts are visible from Southend and Sheerness either side of the water. The ship is corroding in the salt water and it is unknown when it might explode, or how much of the Kent and Essex coastline would be affected.
Taking inspiration from this impending bang, Hannah Dargavel-Leafe is approaching the underwater architecture from both sides of the estuary on repeated excursions to record, re-record and re-experience the landscape. The work is driven by the impossible task of reaching the ship, its corrosion, slow entropy, potential for catastrophe and the lacuna before the '1 big 1' (as Russell Hoban's 'Riddley Walker' would call the explosion).
The vinyl features two locked grooves so that the process of listening reflects the unfinished intentions of the high explosives: repeated tides, getting stuck, starting again but never reaching the 'bang'.”