Lost in Execution is about the importance of process and this exploration continues into 2017. A plan is just one element of a process: a movement from an idea sketched on paper to that which is physical. However, the item produced from the plan is never final or finished. It changes over time as it is extended, altered or decays.
I am working on an idea for some sculptural work in Highwoods, a local woodland. A woodland is a dynamic, natural, system with a human process imposed upon it. It is neither natural nor wild in its wider sense – it is man-made. This woodland is the product of earlier pre-industrial use. The form and shape of the woodland are managed by human intervention and with determined outcomes for that intervention, such as coppicing for wood. It is our use of the landscape that creates our idea of a `natural’ environment. Current management of the woodland is to support and encourage biodiversity
A recurring theme in my work in the woodland has been `lines in the landscape’: the lines that mark the edge of the woodland, the paths through the wood, the power lines that force a clearing through the wood. In 2016 I produced work that involved making marks in the landscape that had both a functional and artistic purpose.
Time is a recurring theme in my work. As I reflect upon the growth cycles of the different trees, all of which have to been coppiced at different times for best yield, I think about how different pieces I could produce will have different time frames – hours, weeks, months, seasons. Seasons seem to be most apt when thinking of this growing and changing environment.
My previous intervention in the ecosystem of the woodland has been part of woodland management to encourage biodiversity. The trampling of the bracken to form a spiral was part of an essential cutting back of the bracken to allow a wider diversity of plant life to take hold in an area that was being overwhelmed. However, the spiral mark was consumed by the natural environment as the seasons changed.
In this new work, I want to involve material and processes that form an integral part of managing the woodland. I want to do this in such a way that the work itself integrates into the natural processes of the woodland. Some of the artwork may only last for hours, others may last for weeks, months or seasons.