“One of my first memories of the wood was on a family walk.
At one point while playing with my sister I decided to run ahead.
I came into a clearing and then quickly slowed down and stopped as I approached an entrance.
Despite the daylight it was dark at the edge of the clearing where the path continued into the wood.
Fear gripped me for a moment with a vivid thought.
Then we all continued in .”
The term liminality stems from Latin limen meaning boundary or threshold. Concepts of boundaries exist in all aspects of humanity and have been the study of many ethnologists, folklorists and philosophers. In particular, Plato considered the boundary between a reality and a heightened reality or altered state of mind.
My practice involves extensive observation and explorative research of a landscape, built environment or interior space. The work examines past experiences and memories in the context of a new, technologically developing and globally linked society and the psychological effects that permeate. The experience is solitary, raw and elemental and reaches deep into the psyche.
Penn Wood is a 500 acre area of woodland bordering the village where I spent most of my childhood. It is an ancient wood with mixtures of evergreen and deciduous trees, open planes and dense foliage. It also contains over a dozen trees that are uncommon in the county. Records of the wood go as far back as the Domesday survey in 1086. A book written by Miles Green in 1995 details the history of it and also helped in winning the fight against turning it into a golf course. The wood served as a source for the county’s famous chair industry, in fact in 1938 Europe’s largest chair factory was located in the local village of Penn Street next to the wood. During the second world war it’s resources were diverted to the manufacture of Mosquito wings. Upon entering England for the first time after WW2, my grandfather moved into a Nissen hut on the borders of the wood with a returning US army regiment. There he met and married my grandmother. The most important thing for me as child were the various dells that still existed from left over bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe. Combined with the trees, overgrown rhododendrons, swamps and abundance of bracken they provided the perfect background for family walks, bikes rides, games, stories and aimless wandering. My fears and fantasies were manifested.
The project is in collaboration with music producer Deepsea and artist Greg Haynes