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 from an artist's point of view
Thank you for inviting me to apply for this major opportunity for art, but also for the rural landscape. And thank you for having an open mind to what an artist can contribute to a project like this.
Too often the infrastructure surrounding a projected new road creates a new, additional environment which, when implemented in a new town or existing urban situation, can be a logical solution - or even be an improvement. But in a characteristic natural or cultural landscape like the English countryside a large scale imposing can be worse than superfluous. A delicate and thus vulnerable environment, which has taken shape over a period of hundreds of years, must be respected. Up to the last century large scale excavation was non-existent; and the human hand had to work with, and conform to nature and its laws, naturally giving a result which was balanced. Working on a human scale formed an awareness of our environment. Every obstacle had to be taken into account and studied. Improvisations, like going around a large rock or a steep hill, resulted in a voyage which is like caressing the landscape. In our time 'time' is the factor which is decisive in building roads. This is not good for our relationship with our environment.
On these pages I will give you some examples of my own work in comparable situations.
For me it would be a great challenge to be given the opportunity to make a study of the plans and give you my views and proposals for implementing artistic suggestions and alternatives to conventional solutions. I expect that will be beneficial to the travelers as well as to the the people who have been living in this area for a long time. It should be possible to respect and complement the existing landscape through an artistic approach.
Lucien den Arend
web design © Lucien den Arend