I had this idea of creating another installation in the Copse. Away from the main path there’s a small ‘clearing’ atop a low hillock. Someone created a swing there sometime in the past – a hunk of rope from a tree branch tied around a large piece of wood and, during last year (2016), a tepee ‘structure’ appeared off to one side, sometimes partially covered by some old faded green cloth/tarpaulin. Towards the end of that year, a somewhat dilapidated garden seat appeared in front of the tepee. Quite often I’d see the remains of a fire, empty drink cans, bits of paper and such scattered around. I never saw any people, though I’m guessing it’s some youngsters who occasionally gather together there.
The garden seat was slowly breaking down so, in July, I decided the seat needed to be rejuvenated in some way and decided to do this with wool – weaving different colours on its back. My usual question – “Am I creating litter?” – well there was litter there already (which I’ve occasionally cleared away) and whatever I created would be temporary and removed at an appropriate point.
Friday 14th – red and green wool bought from Sue Ryder Charity shop.
Saturday 15th – announced my intention at TV group
Sunday 16th – off to the Copse with wool, camera, and scissors. Made my first ‘mark’. Posted on Instagram.
Tuesday 18th – Copse – The second stage needs wool strands not from the skein because the skein won’t fit through the slats. I cut a long piece and placed scissors and skein back in my backpack. Just as I was making my first new knot I turned round – there was Digby chasing off with the skein – wool streaming behind it. I got it back, a bit bedraggled, unravelled and with bits of leaves sticking into it. Put it back ‘safely’ I thought. Next thing I know is that both dogs have the unravelled skein on the ground and are playing with it. Rescued – back in bag, do I leave the leaves in the wool now? New weaving done so 2 strands now. Created a beginnings video as well.
It then rained seemingly endlessly for days and there was too much mud to go on the Copse.
Friday 11th and Sunday 13th – six sets of strands now but knew I wouldn’t be able to do more for a while due to a forthcoming operation then having an extra dog to care for.
Monday 4th – Feeling stronger although not quite so sure about the amount of bending needed to weave the wool. Wondering what had happened on the Copse though so picked a brighter spell of weather to have a look. All seemed fine.
Saturday 9th – Oh No! I couldn’t believe what had happened. The ‘swing’ had been dismantled with a rope swung up to another tree, with the block of wood dangling, plus a pallet contraption. Seemed like another version of Stig of the Dump . Found the bench, even more decrepit, at the top of an incline overlooking the clearing with just a few strands of red wool hanging from it.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/234493861″>Weftwood 9th September 2017</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/cblearninglog”>Catherine Banks</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Sunday 17th – all change again – just bits of wood left now and sad, red wool strands.
Reflecting further on this experience I think that I was seeking a response – from these unknown strangers and maybe from other people who walk the Copse with their dogs. I have occasionally seen people with young children there and the children utilising the ‘swing’ – even my own grandchildren have had a go. It was mainly the ones I was imagining as youngsters hanging out I was interested in though. Would they notice? Well, did they notice or was there some kind of unconscious transference that led them to create their own strange installation. I’m writing ‘strange’ but why should their actions be more strange than my own efforts and why would I think of my own project as more creative? Maybe it was that my intention was to interact with the landscape in a different less destructive way and leave a transient ‘mark’ rather than upend everything.
Part way through the project I had thought of ‘Interrupted Landscape” and decided that this would be a good name for an overall theme I could follow in different ways. The work I’ve been doing with the poppy field will also fit this theme as there have been changes there too this year (another post to follow).
I intend to continue with my theme and see where it takes me. There’s some wool left …..