The impact of extreme storms and coastal erosion on the communities of Start Bay, in South Devon, has been brutally clear over recent years.
As the beaches have retreated, damage has been caused to the main road through the region – and its coastal defences – leaving villages, and those living within them, vulnerable to the elements.
A new project aims to give a voice to those local communities and landscapes, unlocking the stories of people and nature that currently calls the area home.
Waves is a sound installation developed by artistic director Kay Michael, of the international theatre company Empty Deck, and Gerd Masselink, Professor of Coastal Geomorphology at the University of Plymouth.
It features interviews with families who have lived in the villages of Start Bay through generations, and others for whom it provides a special holiday destination year after year.
It also explores how the communities of Start Bay are coming to terms with the threats posed by climate change, sea level rises and the shifts in nature seen at sea and on land.
Waves has been made possible through the Creative Associates scheme, funded by the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute and designed to uncover novel and innovative ways of communicating research.
People will be able to listen to the recordings during a free public event running from 12.30-4.30pm on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June in the Slapton Memorial Car Park, just off the A379 near Torcross.
Kay Michael said:
“We hope this project’s contemplation of the past and the present of Start Bay will spark conversations of what people’s hopes for the future may be, how those hopes can be manifested into a reality, and what it might mean to face the realities of a changing climate. Our hope is that stories of people and place only continue to be told, shared and documented, so that like a living memory bank, people today can actively participate in the stories that will endure into the future.”