Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Forest of Sutton Bulletin 1

Those who know the London Borough of Sutton may be surprised by my title.

I am stretching the meaning of the word forest a little. The part of Sutton I live in was chalk downland until the beginning of the last century. It is really part of the S E conurbation.

Some delude themselves, perhaps a mental continuity from the sheep who used to be here, and have been known to call the newsagent, barber's, nail studio, fish and chip shop and various restaurants at the bottom of the hill I live on, “the village”.

But there is an article on Wikipedia which makes an associative connection: “As with cities, depending on various cultural definitions, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have different classifications according to how and what of the forest is composed.

I propose here, as part of my larger FOREST project to consider the diversity of objects and processes that we find in the unacknowledged Forest of Sutton.

No drunk moose wandering but plenty of dangerous motor cars. It's a dangerous area over all. (See references in my Wire Sculptures (1995, 2003).

It's a nasty area (see references in my Next door (2010)). And getting nastier.

I propose to examine the management of this forest, management policies and so on.

How long I shall have the enthusiasm for this is another matter; it's something most of us try to forget and only a few bleat; but whatever I get done will be background reading at least for the larger project.

I welcome comments, especially from anyone who knows this area.

As Wikipedia tells us: “A typical forest is composed of the overstory and the understory.” I shall consider both to some extent. (I have made a start on the understory with Next Door.

No comments: