Continuing my account of the Land Art Course with Dan Lobb at West Dean College:
The walk from the bench, to gather the cut grass, took just over 5 minutes each way. The walking and the raking became a beautifully satisfying daily practice, allowing my body to be well exercised and fully part of the installation.
Dan remarked that seeing me raking and trundling backwards and forwards with my wheelbarrow, reminded him of people raking in Japanese gardens. I realised that the same thought had been at the back of my mind and I was so pleased that he had brought it to the forefront.
As you may know, I love most things Japanese and was lucky enough to spend 15 glorious days on a textile tour in 2015. This photograph from that trip came to mind. (If you type ‘Japan’ into the SEARCH box you can see lots of posts about my trip, but here is a link to the first post about it. )
I found I would take one route to the hay and a different route back. Each day and each time of day, offering new things to notice in the garden
There seemed to be an unusual amount of feathers on the ground.
Were the birds moulting in the heat, or were the feathers more noticeable because the grass was so parched, yellow and short? A couple of us began collecting them.
Walking back past this clump of Annabelle Hydrangeas, I couldn’t resist popping a black feather into a few of the white frothy balls.
A little breeze was blowing and the birds who had gifted the feathers were calling in the trees above:
At the time, this was my favourite ‘installation’, if installation it was.
It felt very Japanese – Dan had pressed the Japan button, and I was off!
The video feels to me like a visual haiku. I went to Google translate.
Seeing the words written and hearing how they are spoken, the title
‘Black Feathers, White Flowers’
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