April 26, 2015 - Artangel - Katrina Palmer’s excavations of the Isle of Portland, presented with BBC Radio 4
April 26, 2015

Katrina Palmer’s excavations of the Isle of Portland, presented with BBC Radio 4

Katrina Palmer, The Loss Adjusters, 2015. An Artangel and BBC Radio 4 commission.

End Matter
26 April–28 June 2015

52 Easton Street 


Since winning a commission from Artangel and BBC Radio 4′s open call for emerging British artists, Katrina Palmer has based herself on the Isle of Portland in south Dorset to create a major new project on land and on air. 

Palmer has created a series of narratives set on Portland for listeners, readers and walkers: The Quarryman’s Daughters, a broadcast on BBC Radio 4; The Loss Adjusters, a site-specific audio walk on Portland; and the book, End Matter.

Portland has been shaped and hollowed out over centuries by convicts and quarrymen to provide stone for some of London’s best-known buildings; one million square feet of Portland stone is said to have been quarried for St Paul’s Cathedral.  Palmer has undertaken her own excavations into this elemental place, marked by unsettling absences, deviant goings-on and a writer who has gone missing.  

The Loss Adjusters begins in an empty office on the high street in Easton, Portland. Equipped with headsets, visitors head out past a cemetery and towards a quarry, where they hear narratives about the primal forces of the island’s geology, a young offender turned gravedigger, and the Horrocks sisters, eccentric daughters of a dead quarryman who live in two huts on the edge of the island. 
The Quarryman’s Daughters on BBC Radio 4 starts in the style of an intimate reading enhanced by a special soundtrack. The narration is interwoven with the voices of the Horrocks sisters and field recordings from Portland—the swell of the tide, the banging and cutting of quarry work—conveying an unsettling atmosphere that builds to a surprising conclusion.

A special feature has also been commissioned for Radio 4 to explore the historical riches of this unique place, examining the inspiration for Katrina’s artwork. The listener is transported to Portland to hear key chapters from the island’s past and to find out why it continues to capture the imagination as it does.
End Matter, a specially designed book of investigations, documents and stories is published by Artangel and Book Works to coincide with the public launch of the site-specific audio walk The Loss Adjusters on Portland on Sunday 26 April. 

The Quarryman’s Daughters will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 11:15pm on Tuesday, 5 May.

James Lingwood, Co-Director, Artangel says: “Artangel and BBC Radio 4 have challenged artists to explore the potential of place in bold and surprising ways, and Katrina Palmer has done precisely that. Portland is an extraordinary place, and Katrina Palmer has responded with an exceptional project.”
Tony Phillips, Commissioning Editor, Radio 4 says: “Katrina Palmer is a rare talent, and I’m delighted to be bringing this new and distinctive voice to Radio 4 listeners. She is the perfect artist to launch the next phase in Radio 4′s collaboration with Artangel.”

Artangel and BBC Radio 4′s collaboration continues in 2015 with new projects by artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers and writer Maria Fusco.

Artangel and BBC Radio 4 present Katrina Palmer’s excavations of the Isle of Portland
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