Janet Tryner Fine Artist

Fine artist and live graphics designer.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Surveilling Place 2

On April 29th I decided to explore the part of Tachbrook Country Park I didn’t last time and try to find the footpath from Bishops Tachbrook shown on this OS six-inch 1888-1913 map to compare where the path starts now. 

It was sunny, warm and slightly muggy so as the air quality felt poor I walked there away from the main road through the three year old housing development at Tachbrook Mallory.  I've decided to audio record all of my visits so I started recording as soon as I hit the boundary at the alley joining Landor Road and finished it an hour later by Tach Brook.  I don't quite know what I'm going to do with all this sound - but at least I shall have it!

I did find a footpath eventually but I think the route might have altered quite a bit which explains the DC comment on Facebook over whether to make a decision to reinstate it. Later on it joined with the country park path across a dyke where there was this dilapidated single iron girder 'bridge'. I dithered a bit before crossing it because it had rusted quite badly but it was strong enough to hold my weight.

On the other side I sat by the brook for a time and watched the midges and the sunlight glinting off the water for long enough I walked around and up the meadow I missed out last time. This is taken over with development from the road right down to the dyke, separated by a fence that splits in half a mysterious circle of blue posts, one of which had been decorated with a flowerpot. There is also a much less exciting culverted crossing over the dyke.

I walked up by the fence stopping to take a few photos of construction paraphanalia which I think looks almost sculptural. Including a group of digger buckets stored inside the development compound.
As soon as I left the border of the park to make my way home through the houses I came across this bin overloaded with poo bags. It's obvious to me that dog owners are making an attempt to be tidy but the council has not kept up with them. It would be nicer if they could take the poo home with them!

Damage to land and habitat would be much harder to repair than prevent. Transfer of property deeds between the developers and the District Council needs to happen soon so that better waste facilities can be installed otherwise this disgusting mess will spread, and ruin what is currently a fairly clean space.  

Monday, 2 May 2022

Radio Public - listening

Fourth week of meeting up with the Radio Public team at CoLab (2nd week in person for me) it felt like steps had been made and some ideas had hardened into intentions, although others were unsettled - only to be expected at this stage and that floaty openness that has characterised the project remains.  Bill and Helen have further exciting plans to create further opportunities for collaboration over the next couple of weeks by inviting new persons into the group and in arranging meetings at weekends.

I haven’t let ideas settle and you will have to forgive me for being slightly opaque in this post but I have several milling about that loosely revolve round the fabric of the high street and how to provoke attention to that. Some are partly formed of previous works that I think will perform well outside on Dudley High Street, while others may be compatible with other's ideas. 

I have deliberately prevented letting of these land to give them time to brew and warp, but I need to open them up so that process can happen in conjunction with others. By this I hope they will trigger a process of change that can evolve into work. 

I ended this week, or rather I begun the next, at 04:50 from the edge of a small wood nearby here, taking part in a world-wide collaborative art project, called Reveil9, created to stream a continuous dawn chorus over 24 hours from positions like mine around the world. Handily, Helen and Bill leant me a lavallier mic for Radio Public, so I was able to use that.

Setting up my ‘camp’ online initially seemed a bit tricky until I figured out that my Wi-Fi was blocking access to Soundtent. Once I figured that out the rest was very easy. Sitting in my cosy car by the wood watching my recording apparatus, while my head was in a too-early morning fuzz quite unpenetrable by hot coffee, and the occasional sparrow darted through the hedge, I listened to the rise and fall of birdsong over 40 minutes. This was a beautiful interlude to my usual bank holiday weekend which can be just a bit too indoors and screen-based - like most of life. 

There were times when all the songs of different birds repeatedly congealed into a single chord and then broke apart again, something I had never noticed before. I rarely make time to experience this liminal time, but now, having tested out how it works I am considering how to reposition and expand my contribution for Reveil10 next year.

Sketch of recording set up
Sketch of recording setup

Although I never did get to listen to my stream it was there in the listing right at the end of the stream. See pic for proof! However, searching for a recording led me to an enjoyable Female Pressure 97 mix on ResonanceFM by Crylighter: Link

If I find a link to Reveil 9 2022 I will update this post with it.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Radio Public - placing distance

Week 3

Week 1 and 2 blog Here

Sadly, attempts to join the group online in this week were undone by a combination of Easter school holidays, noise and lack of bandwidth. Instead I will proffer this image which I made inspired by our derive on Week 2. 

It is made on the iPad in Procreate by tracing over one thing from each of all the photographs I took, building these onto a deliberately flat single layer to create a snapshot of time. 

I think I always find exploring confusing although I enjoy doing it. There is so much to take in; synapses firing off from so much sensory input even over a small distance. Dudley High Street may be ordinary and unloved but it contains a huge variety of shapes and textures. Now placed over an accidentally blurred 'walking' photo, I hope the slightly arbitrary choices I made during this process go some way towards conveying those.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

surveilling place

Tachbrook Country Park

I'm starting a new project connected to my Silverhouses project from 2018-19 which grew from exploring housing development near my home in Whitnash, on the Southern edge of Leamington Spa. It's 2022 now, the 4,000 new houses promised have now mostly been built and, at last, a strip of low-lying land around the periphery will be handed over to the District Council and made into a country park called Tachbrook Country Park. Pretty plans for community gardens, paths, playgrounds and scattered orchards have been published and signs warning 'Private Land Do Not Enter Until Land Is Transferred' have been erected next to already worn footpaths.  

I'm interested in human impact on land, on changing land use, on sharing / not sharing land with non-human lives, territory, boundaries, entangled lives, waste, litter, traces of human inhabitation. Silverhouses was inspired by anger and incredulity over imposition of human global capitalism on green belt land, and of litter and construction waste infiltrating it, and in that light this new activity seems conciliatory and hopeful. I wonder what I will find over the next few years. 

I spent 2 hours wandering around. Orienting myself and getting a view of a space. The terrain currently varies between grass-land and bog by the spinny and stream. There are three soak-aways providing clay-banked ponds - one of which is large. As yet these seem to be the only areas that have experienced much intervention and planting. There are a couple of mainly hawthorne, elder and blackthorne copses that look ignored - I can tell this by the lack of litter. Overall, except from by the hedge between the houses and stream that catches litter in the wind and is on the main dog-walking stretch, there is little litter. By the copses the land is squashy, almost like a moor in parts, which shows it hasn't been trampled much. I hope pathways can help keep it this way as these parts are rich in diverse life.

The stream also is clean, and clear with collapsed mature willow trees that are creating pools I suspect these were originally planted for whithy growing. There are rodent holes in the muddy bank. I suspect these are rat holes but need to do more research to confirm that.

This is one of the first properly warm days of spring and therefore there are lots of newly hatched butterflies - I spotted brimstone, tortoiseshell and peacocks - and lots of bees.

I didn't come prepared to make a collection on this visit, instead I recorded all of my two hour walk - there is an excerpt on my Soundcloud - but I did rescue a 2m square bundle of HDPE caught in the hedge which may come in handy for a future work.

On my next visit I plan to carry out a square metre survey over a couple of different kinds of terrain.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Radio Public

Week 1, Beginnings

"Something is beginning to happen here at Radio Public, so exciting! Week 2 at @colabdudley #social #art #Dudley" @goodlifecic

This April, following an exciting exchange of ideas and backgrounds on zoom, I signed up for a new project based in CoLab, Dudley High Street. To be part of an emerging community of practice in Dudley, facilitated by social artists Helen Garbett and Bill Laybourne of Workshop24 culminating in a festival of art in the High Street on July 9th.

Focusing on ways to change Dudley High St for the better, Radio is the project's means of transmission and reception, with a wide and flexible intention of making the inaudible audible; explicitly opening up space.

I'm attracted by opportunities to explore somewhere strange to me in ways that are not fixed, with the idea that I might create some kind of art that is site-specific - and I welcome a public deadline as this often helps art to actually happen. It also feeds my will to experiment. There are seven of us in the group including Bill and Helen, with a wide range of practice; including playwriting, sound art, visual art and animation, which holds all kinds of possibilities for future collaborations.

I'm still recovering from Covid, which has pretty much wiped me out, therefore as I couldn't attend the first week's meeting at CoLab, I sat at the end of a zoom call and felt a bit out of things. About halfway through, subjects of dialogue, evesdropping and documentation came up in conversation, and I felt in the right place on the edge of things with this half-view in that I had, to play around with documenting our start as a group. So I ended up tearing up my notes and started making a tower of torn paper written with half-sentences and comments I could hear. Some funny, some portentious, some hopeful, some exciting, some surreal - 'Are we the deer or the little old lady?' It was a fun way to be involved. Next day I machine-sewed them together into the washing line that we are holding in the pic. This began my route into the project.

Week 2, Percolation over flow

By the time week 2 arrived I was well enough again to drive up from Leamington and meet everyone for real. This week was slated for a psychogeographic Derive (aka 'a pookle,' aka 'a pootle,' aka ' a wander about') of the High Street, which is just outside the door to CoLab. Helen primed us to look for water and the skies handily provided! 

We split up into small groups and Helen and I wandered off down an alley by the side of the Wetherspoon's Full Moon Pub. This is a smooth cobbled alleyway, a typical transitional space, meant to be always passed through and never dwelt in, however I find these spaces often reveal the character of places better than the polished up frontages, and typically, given Dudley's  abundant past it did display a magnificent wealth in architectural textures and objects from life being lived. 

As usual my Derives tend to be short and full of intense examination so we didn't get much further than the alley in the time we had, and I could easily have spent twice as long there. 

Now I have to admit that I totally forgot that our aim was supposed to be sound-based and captured instead a host of visual images and relatively few sounds - and those I have are mainly trickling, dripping water - attractive in itself. It makes me wonder if perhaps my input into our collaboration can be around visually conveying sound - how is listening signposted otherwise?

At the end of the alley at the back of the pub sat a small collection of shiny kegs and on the other side a piece of fenced verdant wasteground, full of plastic litter, cans, brightly coloured broken signs, several species of plant life, and snails; as we discovered back at CoLab when a tiny and perfect snail rode across my notebook. I'd unknowingly brought it in on a fragment of concrete I'd collected and brought back to show the others. It was duly returned to its High St home.

So there is another week to explore before we need to discuss ideas. So in the meantime, and to help me think through my ideas from this position of stranger/visitor, I've decided to continue with my route of documenting. I don't know where this will lead me, but it is a way of generating work and research can sometimes just continue in doing until it becomes something bigger - or it comes to a natural end and makes space for something else.

If you were to explore like a tiny snail


If you were to listen to the rhythms of the street


If you were to follow the flow of water


If you allowed splashes of pink paint


If you let keg tops become ponds


If abandoned corners became forests


If you straightened up like drainpipes

If your art deco bricks became museums


If you let drain covers became your television


If you used puddles to look up


If you were to listen like the High Street.

If you explored like a tiny snail

and followed the flow of water

If you allowed splashes of pink paint

let keg tops be ponds

and abandoned corners be forests

If you straightened up like drainpipes

Let your art deco bricks became museums

and drain covers became your television

If you let trickles of rainwater become necklaces

and used puddles to look up.

If your skin was brick and your feet sprayed with piss

and your eyes glowed yellow at night.

If you let in the ancient creature above your brow

and combed the moss between your teeth.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Calling Earth Stars

Calling Earth Stars, augmented reality installation at The Core Arts Centre, Solihull.

Web-based augmented reality designed around the discovery of four earthstar fungi in Theatre Square, and an idea within the theory of cosmic biology of life arriving from space via fungal spores. The purple foyer floor became outer space with the fungal mycealleum threads reaching out across it with visualisations in each of the four fungus island-worlds of augmented reality. 

Each is different; one is concentrated on the 3d form of an earthstar fungus, another imagines them taking off into space. Another is earth-bound and features the actual environment of the fungi surrounded with dead and burgeoning plant-life, as well as ever-present human litter, and the last one features some research stills of the variety of urban lives I found in Theatre Square in December.

I'm happy to say that The Core decided to keep the work in situ after the group show, so it will be there until the stickers become worn.

This work is part of Small is Beautiful series of commissions and I am grateful for this having been made possible by Parrabbola, Solihull Council and The Core Theatre.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Calling Earth Stars FAQs

I made Calling Earth Stars in augmented reality that works on phones and tablets via a normal internet browser. So you don't need to download an app. Below are a few anticipated FAQs.


Do I have to type in the whole address?

Not now. Here's a link: Calling Earth Stars

I'm being asked to 'Allow Camera'. Is it safe to do that?


Which phone & tablet browsers will Calling Earth Stars work on?

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer 11

I have an iPhone...

Make sure you are running iOS 11.0 on your iPhone or have the ARCore app installed from the Google Play Store. Newer device models will have AR software already integrated into your phone.

I have an Android phone...

You need Android 7.0 or later (some devices will need at least Android 8.0 in order for ARCore to work)

I have a supported browser and the right address but doesn't seem to work on my phone?

You probably need to enable your internet browser to access your camera.

You can do this in your phone settings. It should be within the browser app settings and might be called something like 'Settings for websites.' Set camera access to 'Ask' or 'Allow.' You can always change it back later.

I'm interested in making something like this..

You are in luck! The programming language AR.js is opensource, and so is Blender, the 3d design package I used. I learnt AR.js pretty much from scratch in four days, Blender about the same. To save you most of the internet searches, these websites were the most useful.


A very useful blogpost about using 'Markers'.

Glitch for programming

Imgur for storing images

Blender for all that fancy 3d design.