A.O.N.B. (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)

Cycle tour for Ah! Bike Club

Elephant and Castle > Box Hill, Surrey Hills

11/11/18

As part of Ah! Bike Club's Winter 2018 season I lead a tour from my studio to the top of Box Hill in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

In Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio (2012) Box Hill is featured as a film-within-a-film and used to signify the epitome of the bucolic English countryside idyl. Presented within a nature documentary seen within a dream, Box Hill becomes the imagined site of respite for the main character, an Englishman abroad who starts to loose his grip on reality when charged with producing the foley sounds for a violent Italian Giallo film

During the cycle and at various points around Box Hill I used this reference as a starting point to talk about the artificiality of the English countryside; how it is represented in music and film, its role within nationalist sentiments, and how the urbane city excursionist contributes to its construction, as well as Box Hill's own history.