Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Sunday 13th June 2021
The parish of Stone, just east of the Dartford crossing, and accessible from Stone Crossing station, has a rich industrial and social history. In Stone Place Stories, Beverley aims to generate an interest in this relatively unknown corner of Kent and to engage the interest and curiosity of local residents and visitors in unseen aspects of its past and present. Stone typifies the 19th and 20th century growth, and later decline, of the many ‘earth-based’ industries that lined the Thames Estuary. Quarried extensively for chalk for local cement works, Stone has been dubbed ‘the disappearing parish’. A layer of cement dust once covered roofs and vegetation and ten chalk pits dominated the landscape. Some pits were land-filled with unregulated waste in the 1980’s. Others are being restored for development land and open space using inert waste, including concrete, from London’s building sites.
What was once a local industry is now global. Much of our cement is imported and the environmental impact of this massive industry exported.
Stone Place Stories uses Google My Maps to bring together, in a digital format, images, stories and art that convey the unique social, economic and environmental history of this small parish. A childhood connection to Stone, drew Beverley back to this landscape. Her project researches the geology of chalk, the history of the cement industry, the companies restoring the pits and, through workshops and walks with local people organised with Stone Parish Council, the memories of local residents. The materials gathered – chalk, flints, maps, memories, news cuttings, photos – form the basis of a body of site-specific art work.
Stone Place Stories highlights about twenty locations in Stone on a Google My Map, each with a marker based on one of Beverley’s art works. Clicking on a marker connects the viewer to images and stories linked to that location. You can see Beverley’s art work about Stone on her website now. A link to the Stone Place Stories online map will be on her website and in the bio of @stoneplacestories on Instagram from the 22nd May 2021.
It is hoped that people will also explore Stone on foot. It is easily accessible from Stone Crossing station. The hashtag #stoneplacestories will encourage participants to add their own photos to Instagram.
About the artist
Collecting minerals, memories and motifs and using them to depict places, histories and environmental change is the bedrock of Beverley’s artistic practice. Her artwork explores our connections to the local, to what is on our doorstep, something that has become more important during the Covid pandemic. Even everyday landscapes hold histories, stories and memories. Using a variety of media - drawings, land-art, paintings, prints, glass, installations, photos – Beverley seeks to provoke an interest in ordinary places. Her hope is that observing, uncovering and understanding these deepens our connection to where we live and encourages us to place more value on our local, often changing, environments.