EMPTY

EMPTY SPACE

space

While reading the new ‘LandArt book’ Expeditie Land Art it occurred to me that magical word empty, in Land Art.
On page 89 you find the start of a description of the writers visit to Lightning Field from Walter de Maria.
What Walter achieved with this piece of Land Art is to create the experience of an empty field, a field which will stay empty for many generations to come.
Most fields will not achieve that, that immense feeling of emptiness.

alone

alone

A filed is never truly empty, bare, blank, deserted there is something always something. YET, it can give you that feeling of being purposeless, meaningless never unfinished.
Walter de Maria made sure to preserve that feeling in the whole of the creation and preservation of his work The Lighting Field.

People will say and did say this is no art but than was it his purpose to create art or was it to preserve a landscape on the brink of disappearing of this planet.
Due to his planting of metal rods you now can visit this place with just 5 others alone without; phone, tv, radio, books, magazines, internet for at least 24 hours to experience empty, silence, idle, clear vision.

Everything in our lives has some kind of monetary value yet the most important aspects of life appears to us free of any charge. It will not be for long and than when it is gone perhaps than we realise what we have sold.

i can see you

can you see

 

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Leaving details

As a part of an exhibition in 2010 with the title ‘GreenbloodRedblood’ i created some images.

GreenbloodandRedblood 2010

veins

bloodblad

red blood in green

The amazing veins in a leaf searching for that river trail.

How does it flow.

For only a moment.

 

leaf labyrinth

from green to

 

it never stays

it goes

leaf remains

slowly

half digested by time

one step

and

its gone into crumbles

patience

leaf white bones

bones

 

of it goes

into soil

to spread the wings of

new leaf on the wind

leafveinklimop

In a forest lays the hidden reality, de verborgen werkelijkheid, realidade occult, Realiti cudd, versteckte Realität and so much more.
These photos are experiments with filters and framing the coming months there will be many more experiments.

The camera is fantastic in macro photos and has several possibilities for filters like: fisheye, sparkle, reflection, fragmented, pop art, soft focus, pale light colour, grainy film, pin hole, diorama, dramatic tone.
Not sure by any of them, it can give a mixed reality which i like to achieve in some way. Let the photos be in such a way that people look and wonder what is……….

There will be several series, several stories to tell and one will be the story of a leaf.

The way to show? Perhaps as a collage. Perhaps as a leaf. Not sure, i have plenty ideas.
The roaming balls, the hidden holes, the forgotten tunnel just to mention 3.

The dead leafs are on the path for just a few more weeks so no time for experiment more time for that one moment of seeing.

 

 

 

 

 

What is in the name of a TREE

Hedge Clegyr Boia

Hedge above a hedge

So many people said you can’t grow trees here, so many times they said you can’t grow that tree, but the trees did.
There is still a general notion in Pembrokeshire that you can’t grow trees there. It is even used as an argument in planning regulations of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Yet, you will find trees growing all over Pembrokeshire, even right on the coast.

Beech and Pine Clegyr Boia

who said i can’t grow here

The list of trees you can grow in such an exposed area should be limited. After reading lots of books about the subject and looking at the landscape, certain tree came definitely on the list.
Others were a pure tryout. The above photo shows a Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) with an old christmas tree. Both trees planted as a tryout.
The Beech was planted in 2003 but it did little to nothing. The X tree was planted in 2005 and suffered but started to grow after just one year.
In 2010 the Beech decided to follow and this photo is taken on 11 May 2012 showing both trees healthy and with lots of new growth. The top of the Beech is a bit weak and hangs down, perhaps it was a bit too greedy.

Flowering Apple Tree

yes Apple can

So many of the other trees proven them all wrong as well. This Apple tree was planted within a shelter facing south and still today provides lovely Apples.
By an old house, which once served as a small country pub, stand some very old Apple trees in the shelter of some Ash trees and Privet (Ligustrum vulgare).
The privets were not cut for a long time and became open trees, still providing enough shelter for the Apple trees.
Learning from the old the new was planted to grow the same way.
On the northern part of the globe it is handy to have the trees sheltered from north and east and facing south. On the southern part you best provide shelter from south, the heath and not the cold.
Make a kind of horse shoe shelter with shrubs and trees.

bramble and young tree

Bramble letting through a young tree

So started a new forest thinking which went well beyond the planting of some trees.
Maintaining 16 acres of land while involved with other Land Art projects and not to forget bringing up a child is a challenge.
Parts of the land had to defend for herself, with some surprising results.
Whenever you go to a blog or website about forestry, you will read about the ‘nasty’ Bramble. A very invasive plant by the looks of it. It literally walks over the land as new shoots grow up at first, then bend down and make new roots for the next step onto the land.
You can cut and pull as much as you want but they keep on going on. In the end just a path was kept free by bending the Brambles back.
One day while doing a routine check i came across a young tree pushing through the Brambles. The tree was never planted it came on its own and was grown over by the Bramble but this seems to help rather than hinder.

Native with NONnative

Native with NONnative

There are many trees and plants for that matter which can be called invasive no matter what their nationality is.
It is a discussion held on many levels in many places about native and nonnative.
An other blogger is giving lots of information about this discussion to prevent the cutting down of a wonderful forest in the name of nonnative tree forest must be replaced.
At times i looked at this issue but did as with all the rest went on and let the trees decide.
The native can live and do live happily next to the nonnative when you give them a change. It is my opinion that diversity is more important in a forest than the native only.
Perhaps the monoculture has created this issue more than we let on.
The Eucalyptus you see here come from that part of Australia which has a similar climate as Pembrokeshire. There are over 700 different Eucalyptus all having their own strength and way to grow. The Eucalyptus on the land are all small Mallee trees, there are even Eucals who don’t grow much bigger than 2 metres (7 feet).
This experience will not stop the discussion but the trees have changed my mind about the native nonnative issue.

treessunrise

All these lessons have taught me one thing look at the trees in the forests to learn and be surprised.
The trees of Land Art Forest will be many of many different kind benefitting the forest each in their own way. Some will be there for fruits and nuts others for their flowers and nectar and other for their amazing looks and some for their wood.
This forest you will see because of the trees as they will not be planted in lines of one variety. All forest are made by trees, Land Art Forest will be trees.

 

 

 

juggle Forestry

how old farmland became new

The land art projects on the land at Clegyr Boia, Wales enact an illustration, model for The Land Art Forest.
On 25 November 2002 me, doggy Stamper and my chickens moved from The Pumpkin Shed Walled Garden to 6 hectare (16 acres) of land at the foot of Clegyr Boia.
Clegyr Boia is a rock which was one of the first settlements in Wales.
Farmers had used the land for centuries and the last years in a very intensive way, leaving the soil bare and tired. The above photo shows the land under plastic covering for the growing of early potatoes. Some of that plastic, most likely, is floating around somewhere in the plastic soups of the oceans.

just the beginning

The idea behind this project was to create a balance between nature and culture, with Land Art.
The best way to describe it would be: ‘recreating nature with culture’.
So many people express their doubts, giving me advice, but i had my own ideas. On the small field (photo above) i would experiment with my own ideas. On the other fields i worked together with conservationists.
The first year i thought many times, this is never going to work as i discovered how sad the soil was.
The land lays on a peninsula exposed to the salty coastal-winds which dried the land out in the summer and in the winter the land stood exposed to rain which washed lots of soil down the drain.

TREES

I started by creating circles, one large circle in the middle surrounded by 9 smaller circles. Each circle told a story with plants about the surrounding landscape.
The whole had an embracing hedge which i planted with bare root shrubs and trees.
Many different trees and shrubs were planted to see which one would perform the best under these circumstances.
Well, except for one they all survived.

gossammer

The above shows the progress in one circle called Gossamer. In the first year the poor wild roses just hanged in there, 2 years later the lovely driftwood stick had to be placed onto  a log to stick her head above the roses.
The stones in the middle came all from the land, bucket by bucket i got them while seeding.
In 2008 the rocks had to be placed on a high pile to make space for the roses and 4 years later i had to prune the roses to make space for the rocks.

seeding heather

If you look closely on the photo you see a small green wheelbarrow filled with heather cuttings.
Next to it i stand with a lovely job to chuck the cuttings in the air for random landing.

 

the result

 

 

The top field has lots and lots of stones, large and small, all over the soil and in the soil.
The farmers used to remove the rocks with a machine before seeding, only to plough more up a season later.
The field lays on a slope which did help the rain to wash a lot of soil down.
Therefore we chose this field to be returned into a heather field.
Yes, it was hard work but the result made it all good.
This field was created together with the help of conservationists.

It shows that we can give back to nature what others took/take away from nature. It is so wonderful to see how a site recovers and how nature enters where it once was forced out.
The chemical residue was high, intensive agriculture does not tolerate nature at all and use a large selection of chemicals to spray it out of existence.
Yet, it returned in all her glory in not a long time scale and with limited costs.

heather nectar

back

I can tell you so much more about this and i will, the message i want to give here is how nature does recover and how trees grow against all odds.

 

 

PRIMEVAL FOREST

 

River Edge

Primeval Forest on our planet is perhaps not existing anymore as we humans have touched every bit of forest.
Yet, new primeval forest starts to appear there where humans leave nature alone.
A wonderful example is Broadbalk Field by Rothamsted Experimental Station, South England.
In 1882 the farmer left a winter wheat field, not even harvested the wheat, alone. The field had to look after itself without any help from humans. Four years later the wheat plants, except for 4, made room for other plants, 40 different plants had moved in, 21 years later 57 ‘wild’ plants were counted.
This experiment shows us how nature moves into an area which is just 0.2 hectare. The field had been farmed since 1664 and perhaps even longer and all around are agricultural fields.

regenerate

In 1915 a grove had developed on the land with mainly Oaks, Hazels and Brambles, slowly but certainly the land converted to forest. It became an example for many other areas. Close to where i live, there is a small new primeval river forest. The area has been left alone, meaning has not been managed, people walk and talk here all the time. It is right along the shores of one of the most busy rivers called ‘De Lek’ one of the main routes from the big harbours from Rotterdam to Germany.
The forest takes no notice of all the passing boats and just moves in while writing this.

rooting in

It is a damp place to be and all trees need to deal with wet feet, they grow amidst Reed and other water-edge plants.
The young trees are all self-seeded and some fall over or are eaten to feed the rest of the trees who still stand.
Only a very few trees are old trees all the rest moved in on their own, it is not an ancient forest. Most old forest was gone by 1300 in the Netherlands only a few bits were spared, mainly along the rivers or places harder to make into farmland.

dead feeding the living

Now at many places we turn back time as we move towards an other future by leaving areas to defend for themselves.

It  shows how nature can recover even after a long time of cultivation. Most of the rivers here were almost dead rivers due to pollution coming not only from own ground but also flowing down stream from Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and further afield.
The environmentalists made a great difference and the rivers are recovering from the pollution for centuries. There are now strict environmental laws in place preventing pollution as much as it can.

making ways

We can give back to nature what we once took away.
We can speed up the time it takes to recover by playing wind and bird by spreading seeds and planting sticks.
All it takes is time and patience.

oeps what is this

It is wonderful to experience them little surprises.

Centenary Tree

 

Centenary Pine Tree of Mazagon

Centenary Pine Tree of Mazagon

When you want to create an edible landscape you start with an edible kern, which you seed instead of eat.
During this festive season we eat plenty of edible nuts inclusief the Pine-nut.
In Europe and the middle east the most used pine nuts come from the Stone Pine also called Umbrella Pine. Some of the old tribes used to plant these trees for their edible nuts.

Stone pine

Crown

The above two photos are from the same tree found in Donana National Park in South West of Spain.
It shows you how a little pine nut can grow. One of the most spectacle trees around in this park,  yet the trunk is only 50 centimetres tall but the crown is 23 metres in diameter. The way this beauty grows prove some courage worth celebrating.
Sadly this beautiful area had a heatwave fuelling a big fire, consuming many edible seeds. The trees are known to have adapted for fire by creating a thick bark protecting the living centre of the trunk.
The fire might create a new spurge of life in this area, time will tell.

ice in the sunset

icicle

The time seems right to think about them trees we took inside to celebrate, what to do with them. A cut tree can only provide a short moment of pleasure, the best option than is to put it in a wood chipper to be used as ground cover.
Them trees in pots can be planted but many of them will not survive due to the wrong procedure.
They need to be harden of to get used to the cold outdoor again before we plant them.

xmas tree planting

hardening of

Just put them outdoors during the day and indoors in a cool room during the night. You can also put them on a balcony or even in an open window.
Next to this you need to keep them moist with a plant-sprayer filled with soft water.
After a few days you can repot it in a larger pot which you put outside or dig in partly in your garden, this way you don’t need to water it.
Next year you can dig it out again to celebrate again, after few years you should plant the tree in soil and let it grow big and strong.
When you replant it carefully loosen the roots all around so they can grow again. A very pot grown tree can’t be repotted but should be planted direct in the soil.

After this order some seeds of the Stone Pine so the next generation of Centenary Trees can start, year after year again.
Many seeds will create a forest.
Here you find some tips how to grow them.
Next year, i will visit this Centenary Tree in the hope it survived the fire and with me come some baby trees to be planted.

tear dream

deal

 

 

PLANTBLINDNESS

 

the bigger drop

projection

Non orientable surface concept closely related to projection is the casting of shadows.
If the wire frame from a cube is lit from above the resulting shadow is a square within a square, with the corresponding corners connected.

shadows

Black reflection of a forest

it is a tree

Our vision is limited, we only see a small area of our vision, what we can’t see is there.
Our focusing ability is limited, however our brains fill in what we don’t see.
When you observe physical entities with your observation, they are changing their character.

there are shadows

tree in water or the sky

focus

Our reality could be a simulation off ……….  It helps us to deal with our own incapacity to see what is before the beginning and what is behind the end.
The Greeks called it Horror Vacui; fear for empty, nothing exist, there is no driver.
Progress in our intelligence to do so, development of our technologie to do so.

hidden for our eyes

hidden

fear

Representing inner reality, feeling combined with thinking, silent memories, silent moment.
Simulation done by others is easy to believe and to explain as it doesn’t focus on our inability to see certain things.
We detect movement more than stillness, contrasting colours.

leaf in mid air leaving

leaving

contrast

As our minds fill in, who fills in our minds, the camera, the microscope, the movie or the person behind, a book or the writer, the newspaper or the journalist, the frame or the picture.

being in a bubble

the forest

FOREST

Thanks to a book i realise why we don’t always want to see what there is to see. It put our own vision in a question with several answers.
We don’t see the plants in the details, we can see them, they form a green blur in the passing. We focus on animals, humans, we focus on the centre, contrast.

Plants are all around us under our feet, above our head, left, right, middle, small, big.
Plants fill our air, our water, our soil. Plants live on plants in plants under plants.

Making art with plants you need to learn to see them.

 

tree flag

Tree Flag

While thinking about the Land Art Forests i have not forgotten about the exhibition and how to show feelings within thinking.
While doing so, the path is filled with new perspectives even in the new sciences of plants. A new way to see nature a way to create nature a way to give nature.