Weymouth RR

environmental thoughts

A new road through a traditional English rural landscape presents a number of problems which can be solved responsibly. Approaching this from an artist's point of view will give unexpected results.

Weymouth Relief Road, an experience

on the way to Sheerness

It happened long ago, in the seventies, while driving towards Sheerness on a typical English country road (the one you see above is in Holland, in Dirksland, where I relived the effect I explain below).

I was on my way back to Holland, after visiting the studio of Henry Moore, when the road passed through a quite large orchard. Somehow the farmer must have insisted that as few trees as possible should make way for the road, because the closest ones were very near to the asphalt. The trees had been planted in a grid - as they usually are. But what struck me most was that the road traversed the orchard at a very sharp angle to the parallel rows of trees. This gave a very interesting effect:

I could see that the rows of trees were relatively close to each other - as close as they are in an orchard. But the acute angle in which I moved through the orchard, together with the proximity of the trees to the road, gave a conflicting experience: you know that when you drive through an orchard at fifty miles an hour, the rows of trees should follow each other in rapid succession. But the sharp angle multiplies the actual distance between the rows - and your expectation conflicts with your actual experience. At that time I did not yet realise that one day I would use this effect in one of my site specific environments.

That is why I called the above environmental project time lapse. See more on the projects realised page.





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