Monday, September 14, 2009

Tree Farm




















Some time ago, as I was travelling through Mid Wales, I stopped at a Forestry Commission place for a wee.

While I was there I noticed they had various walks and nature trails mapped out.

So, picking the easiest-looking one - I went for a walk.

I had a packet of Mini-Cheddars so I knew I was well prepared.

The path I chose was actually a wide, made-up road, with picnic benches and tables along the way.

Not very intrepid, I know ... but forests scare me so I wanted to stay as far away as possible.

Also along the way, were these various sculptures.

Animals also scare me, so seeing things like a hedgehog this size was a bit unnerving.

Anyway.

I got to thinking about art in public places, and what a good thing it is.

I thought it was great that the Forestry Commission had commissioned and installed these pieces.

They weren't very zeitgeisty, but someone had made an effort.

However.

Something wasn't feeling right.

It was all a bit bland, a bit sanitised. It didn't feel like I was in 'nature'.

It was a bit creepy, but not in a good way.

As I came to the top of an incline, and rounded a corner, I saw this.


Devastation for miles around.

I suddenly realised that I really wasn't in nature ...

I was walking through a factory farm for wood

... a slaughterhouse for trees.

It was genuinely upsetting.

I walked back past the picnic benches and the sculptures and the whole place suddenly seemed very bleak.

It's a place to avoid, not visit.


No matter how desperate I am for a wee.

Comments:
Frightening indeed. There are these places of amazing natural beauty in BC with huge clearcuts that, from a distance, look almost beautiful and sculptural. Not so up close.

BTW I am excited for your new work/projects. Once you start working in central London we'll want travelogues and journal-like entries. Having once lived there I have ALWAYS fantasized about having a studio in an empty building -- though maybe not in winter...

PS Buy yourself a catheter and bottle for future trips. :)
 
Ha ha, Andrea ... forget the catheter ... I'll find a bush.

I'll keep you posted on my new projects. Working in London could be fun! Whereabouts in London did you live?
 
Pretty much the whole place looks horrible. Creepy and upsetting indeed.
 
Jo ... the bits they've left alone are OK ... it's just when they try to improve "the nature experience" that it gets creepy.
 
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