Houghton festival, houghton hall, Norfolk 2018
Wheat, tree guard, fired sheet metal, feeding troughs
300 x 250 x 100 cm
Houghton Festival is an art and music festival curated by DJ and artist Craig Richards, taking place annually at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England. Parachute was made in the 10 days leading up to the event, camping on site with the festival team, and created out of materials from the Houghton estate and wheat grown on the land to feed livestock. It followed on from a series of four visits made from spring through to late summer. Cycling from King’s Lynn to the Hall allowed time for observing the surrounding countryside and how the land was used.
Starting from nothing but the experience of the land and space, the initial visit sought to find the right space in the grounds, speaking to the energy needed to make the piece. Each journey and experience revealed a further detail and understanding of the landscape. From witnessing the growth of the fields to the materials discarded at the farm, searching for the materials was an education in how we work with the environment: the tree guard around the base of the piece, talks of nurture, protection and the desire to control, our need to create boundaries that protect ourselves and our desires. Fence or no fence.
The chosen forest location sat between the historic, wooded landscape of the English countryside and its agricultural present. The view up to to the trees was a key reason for selecting the spot. The piece served as a vehicle to bring people into the space and spend time in the wooded environment whilst also contemplating the use of the surrounding land. Celebrating the present, the wheat grown in such circumstances lives only a few days, representative of the energy of the festival and the moments and memories created during the 3 day event.
“wheat domesticated us” Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens
Parachute in process
Thank you to the awesome team at Houghton Festival, David Lewis at the Houghton Estate and Gwenan Spearing for her assistance in realising the piece.
Photography - Image 1 by Khris Cowley, image 7 by Jake Davis and image 8 by Wisdom Makubile. @wearehereandnow