Holes in the Landscape is a quest to locate the sites of dene holes across the Kent Downs AONB and to gather narratives about these forgotten chalk shafts to share through walks and a talk.
In particular, the project seeks to locate some of the enigmatic chalk shafts known as dene holes, using Harry Pearman’s 1966 survey as a reference.
Dene holes were vertical shafts dug through layers of soil, with chalk extracted from the chambers constructed at their base. The mined chalk was probably used as fertiliser or for lime, but there is still mystery and debate about this.
Whilst most of these dene holes have now been deliberately covered or become overgrown and concealed, Holes in the Landscape hopes to unearth local memories and histories of the sites and speculate further on why and how these chalk holes were originally constructed in the landscape.
References to the chalk pits in two works of fiction set in Kent, ‘Stig of the Dump’ and ‘Riddley Walker’, will also inform the artist’s investigation.
In this illustrated talk, Sara Trillo will talk about the accompanied walks she has taken to dene hole sites across the Kent Downs AONB and speculate on these vanished landscape features.