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The Sower/ Aleppo Pine (2017)

A box of Aleppo Pine needles sent from the Sierra Maria, Andalucia, Spain, scattered in the Million woods in Enville, the West Midlands, England. 

A third iteration of pine needles from Joya 

 

The Sower/ Aleppo Pine (2017)

A box of Aleppo Pine needles sent from the Sierra Maria, Andalucia, Spain, scattered in the Million woods in Enville, the West Midlands, England. 

 

In a third performance involving Aleppo pine needles from the Sierra Maria, I wanted to find a location in the UK in which to scatter them. From my research conducted at Joya I found that Aleppo Pine self seeded, the trees thrive in drought as a result of the lowering water table, the tree is now deemed the apex predator of the local plant life,  the needles of which, I sent back to England. The decision to do this was in part in exploring the idea of scent in Spain, memory connected to scent, after having visited Spain for many years I discovered that it was in fact the scent given off by the Aleppo pine needles drying in the sun, the dust that is inhaled as you interact with the needles.

 

The Million woods contains many different deciduous tree species, it is contested as to when it was established, some of the broadleaf trees are said to date back to an ancient royal forest, many trees were planted here after the second world war in efforts to grow lumber quickly for rebuilding. 

 

During the performance the needles begin to be scattered as one would sew seeds or scatter ashes, in the end the action devolves into a more hasty ejection of the needles from the box, something closer to fly tipping. The piece has a humour and a sadness. I am interested in the catharsis these two cultural relationships share, the one being a cultural exchange, that resulted in an abundance of a certain species and the other an effort to rebuild from the disasters of war. Both sites are stages where different conflicts and borders are changed. 

Installation view (2017) Artist Workhouse, Studley, UK