Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Box Nests

A couple of months ago, just days before Spring finally sprang, I saw this lovely piece of bird architecture in Kings Wood in Kent. It is the most engaging of three animal/bird residences in a small enclave in the woods called Super Kingdom, by artists Londonfieldworks. They describe the project as 'a sculptural installation of animal 'show homes'... inspired by reports of anomalous animal behaviour in nature as a response to a shifting environment'. They talk about an interesting web of ideas to do with urban encroachment and displaced ecologies, and the purposeful reintroduction of species (re-wilding) and assisted migration - all considered in the context of Kings Wood, a working woodland managed for timber production, recreation and conservation, and the wider environment of nearby Ashford and its ever multiplying Barratt Homes. Slightly puzzlingly the artists also mention being inspired by despots palaces, this particular structure is called the Mussolini Bird House (adjacent are the Caecescu and Stalin bird houses), an unnecessary connection - there seems to be plenty to think about already.

So there are lots of ideas behind it, but they are not the reason that I stopped and took a photo as I read about them afterwards. Here are my reasons:

1. I like the way the tree looks as if it is wearing a jumper.
2. I like that some of the boxes are really tiny, more insect sized than bird sized.
3. I like the way that lots of rectilinear boxes have been put together to form something extremely un-rectilinear.
4. I like imagining that it is fully occupied, tweeting and rustling.

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