I came over all Andy Galsworthy this week and thought I’d show you the results. I’ve been eyeing up the autumn leaves around the Island for some time now, a few years in fact, and thinking that I’d like to make an installation with them.
Why? You may well ask. I have no idea. I just liked the idea of it and I’d seen similar things in photographs and thought “I could do that.”
So I happened to find myself in the woods at Fort Victoria the other day and there were lots of lovely bright yellow leaves on the ground and I absent-mindedly began to pick them up, much to the amusement of my companion. And then I found some red leaves and that was the deciding factor.
Next I needed the base of a tree and I found an actual throne! The woods there have a few odd things carved into the wood – there’s even a soldier and someone had given him a poppy to wear and a snake, carved out of a fallen tree branch.
Anyway this was my first attempt. My friend did the berries on the back of the throne – a joint effort.
The following day I set off on a more ambitious adventure to Borthwood Copse to decorate the base of one of the huge beech trees in the clearing there. And ambitious was the word for it – I was two hours decorating just one tree!
To be fair I was also walking my dog, and I underestimated the number of leaves I’d need so I had to keep wandering off to find more. Plus there were people about and I wanted to be the Banksy of Borthwood Copse and not be found out. So every time someone came walking down towards the clearing I pretended I was just wandering around with my dog.
I cleared the base of the tree, and then began overlapping the leaves, with the palest next to the trunk, graduating out to browner ones. Then I brushed the brown leaves back around the edges of the yellow ones. It’s quite a lot of work when you’ve got a huge tree. I had intended on doing a few trees, but clearly I wasn’t going to have time.
At last it was finished, and I sat down on a tree trunk to wait for someone to wander past and notice my handiwork. Not one person appeared of course, even though there had been droves of them when I was trying to be surreptitious – typical!
On the way out of the woods I found a few red leaves and a branch of green oak leaves, and I stopped to do a little red, gold and green installation on a tree I’d noticed on the way down. I thought of it as a kind of ‘Welcome to the Woods’ marker for people coming down the pathway.
So if you go down to the woods today, you might just find something a bit weird…or you could have a go at one yourself if you feel so inclined.
10 December 2018