Permanent work installed on 12th November 2010 at the Leyton Crescent recreation ground, Broxtowe A commission for Hinterland, Curator Jennie Syson
Notes for the Mayor of Broxtowe, Cllr. Pat Lally
In 2009, artist John Newling collected and copied key documents relating to the different history of spaces adjacent to the River Trent and the industrial wastelands of Nottingham. These documents and images had an emphasis on changing values and shifting architectural or ground use. This collection of documents were shredded and transformed into soil.
Using a laboratory provided by BioCity, the artist then conducted a number of experiments. In this first phase of the project, the laboratory housed a hydroponics system that nourished and grew 9 Beech trees. Newling’s hopes for this installation were to open up the ‘historic situation’ of material culture, evolving his project through a series of vital conversations between nature, environment and society. Part II of The Clearing project is the final planting of 9 beech trees. Each of these trees were temporarily grown and studied in a hydroponic installation entitled ‘The Clearing’ part 1. The trees are planted in a geometric configuration whereby each tree is separated by 40 degrees and rests in a position at the edge of a circular ground plan. Each tree will have the soil, constructed in a laboratory installation at BioCity Nottingham that is composed of histories, images and names of people form the area where they are planted.
In this manner the future growth, carbon, formed by each beech tree will be both metaphysically and actually conjoined with events and people from the area where the final work is planted. …The Clearing is a space defined by nine Beech trees growing in a soil that both metaphorically and actually is constructed through the histories of its hinterland. As the trees grow it will become a mature work that speaks of the timeless need for our species to continuously cross the thresholds of knowledge disclosing the hidden to all of us. The Clearing is a permanently sited work that becomes a place. It is envisaged that an annual talk and reading will happen in this space as part of being established as a place. Each year a leading poet will be invited to make this annual work…
“My hope is that the clearing will be happened upon by many and that the site will become a poetic convergence of material and meaning; a place of peace and illumination; a sited work that becomes a place.” (John Newling)