From December’s Oak Moon to February’s Storm Moon throughout Queen’s Woods, you will find fingerposts with poetry, instructions, quotations, history, observations.
Would it be interesting to know you are walking through an ancient plague pit, or you are sharing this wood with more than one hundred species of spiders? What if, there were also signs that stole lines of poetry, or told you to let yourself get lost? What if you knew that all those holly trees were planted to frighten evil fairies and protect you from lightning? Grace’s work makes a quiet intervention asking visitors to stroll, to notice, to laugh and to go off at a tangent.
Grace’s intervention is in Queen's Wood, an ancient woodland, in north London. The woods are thought to be the direct descendants of the original ‘wildwood’ that covered most of Britain about 5000 years ago. A cut through, a quiet commuter route to access buses and tubes, it is populated with dozens of species of trees and wildlife.
Out of the Woods is part of an ongoing investigation into our public spaces by Grace. How we use them, what they are for, whether they are fit for purpose for humans in the 21st century. These spaces are democratic, in that they are free and accessible but they are increasingly under threat from developers squeezing every inch of potential profit out of our cities. We overlook them and lose them at our cost. Many people don’t go to galleries but they walk to work, they walk their dogs, they walk with their children to school or walk to exercise or meet up with friends. So, why not put art along these routes?
We are used to placing ourselves at the centre of every experience. We bring up GPS to guide us. We look down, not up or around us. We have to behave differently if we use signs. We have to engage, read and then negotiate the place we are in with the information in that location.
Wander, wonder, decide, get lost. Out of the Woods.