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Third Angel presents

Pleasant Land

Lead Artists, Devisers, Designers, Directors and Performers: Alexander Kelly & Rachael Walton

Video Performers: Paul @ The Fleapit, Peter Kennedy, Hilary Foster, Veejay Kaur, Sue Morton, Jon Spooner.

Lighting & Camera: Leon Lockley
Editor: Christopher Hall
Model People made by Philip Kelly
Gallery Installation by Rob, Mark & Andy
Press: Anita Morris Associates
Website Design / Implementation: DED Associates & Windmill
General Manager: Hilary Foster
Pleasant Land
commissioned by Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery and Studio Theatre, and funded by Arts Council England, Yorkshire.
is commissioned by Shooting Live Artists, and funded by The Culture Company, Arts Council England, The BBC and Studio of the North, with support from ERDF.

Between April 2003 and March 2004 we travelled around England, meeting people, asking them about their own Englands and asking what Englishness is these days. Every month we sent digital postcards from our travels.

In October 2003 Leeds Met University Gallery hosted a Gallery installation and performance, responding to the research and experience of Pleasant Land Online.

It began with the Census. There wasn’t a ‘Scottish’, ‘Welsh’ or ‘English’ box to tick. Only ‘British’ or ‘Irish’. People in and from Scotland and Wales wanted their own boxes. We noticed that Scottish and Welsh friends referred to themselves as, surprise, Scottish and Welsh.

We realised that when we were abroad, we would say we were from England, as if to locate ourselves more precisely. But when asked our Nationality at home, in Britain, we always said British, as if we thought this more inclusive. We began to wonder why.

We asked ourselves if we were ashamed of being English? We asked ourselves what ‘English’ meant, and what ‘Englishness’ was, anyway?

Someone said something about England having an identity that was a reaction to Not English - meaning, we think, that over the last century (or longer?) the Colonies, and now Wales and Scotland, have been breaking away from England, wanting independence. Not wanting to be English.

We asked people if they knew the difference between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Often, they didn’t. We asked ourselves what our England was, what we liked about our country, what we didn’t? We wondered if other people would recognise Our England, or we, theirs.

Someone said something about national identity causing wars. Someone said something about long baths and not touching one another.

We wondered if we could see England from another point of view. We wondered what England means to you. We wondered if we could have our minds changed.

Pleasant Land 
Travels Lightbox: Land’s End

Pleasant Land Travels Lightbox: Wells

Pleasant Land Travels Lightbox: Hackney

The England We Saw: Pleasant Land Travel Images

There's lots more information about making and touring Third Angel projects 2008-2017 on our original blog, and 2017-2023 on the blog on this site.