Into the Outwoods residency…Day 4

March 8th..Walking into the woods without a clear idea of what I was going to make, but open to ideas. After the wind there were a lot of fallen branches and twigs, many of them had been turned a beautiful green by lichen. The vivid green caught my eye, and that became my starting point. Back to where I had been working before, and I started on a larger clock without hands…time un-fragmented, allowing stillness to descend, everything that wasn’t in the woods forgotten.

I like the way ‘time’ emerges from the forest floor, a little bit of order, something is maybe lost when it is complete, but also something is gained….and with time it will all be returned to nature, no trace left.

Found some burned wood from the remains of a small fire close by, I like the idea of using these charred remains, but it seemed the time wasn’t right for this idea, but something to work on in the future.

Far more interesting were the rotten pieces of wood, with their fragmenting texture, and a huge variety of colours. I was surprised by just how different the colours were when placed together…a reminder of each trees different history leading to this point.

Finding lots of thin twigs that are symbolically like roots, a very different texture. I’d like to do more with them.

On an earlier walk in the woods I found a deflated helium ballon, a gold star. I am collecting things I find, but also getting ideas from them. I had some ideas of ways to use stars as part of the Sculpture trail, again another thing that doesn’t feel right to develop just at the moment. I cut out a green star from a rhododendron leaf, it was too green, too un-natural just as their trees are in this mostly native woodland.

Pieces of rhododendron leaf made into a circle, an interesting material, but just not in these woods, I cut out circles, again interesting……

Sawdust from cutting branches, cut leaves on a beautiful piece of bark. I had a real sense of wanting to only use the materials of the Outwoods, with as little change being made by me as possible. I will be making work for the trail using willow, but I will continue making ephemeral work and hopefully some pieces that will last longer that become part of the Sculpture Trail.

Walking in the woods and becoming increasingly aware of the tree roots, how they really are holding the Earth together, of just how important woodlands are.

I found a mossy, hollowed out tree stump, the remains of a tree, fragile now, and not long before it becomes earth again. Made me realise how the woods are continually changing, how different it would have been 10, 20 or 50 years ago……

I had to leave the woods as I was meeting friends to watch DVDs of ceramic artists. Lee Kang-Hyo is an onggi master, a creator of huge storage containers….making and glazing them was a very powerful process, a meditative ritual and incredible to watch.

I certainly had a lot to think about…….

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