Urban Arcadia.

Haystack, Nursery Row Park. 2008-

The first part of this project was cutting and stacking the hay from the recently planted flower meadow in Nursery Row Park, a small area threatened by developers in the centre of London. On Friday and Saturday the 24th and 25th of October 2008 I cut the flower meadow, using a traditional scythe and stacked the hay, with the help of volenteers, to build a large haystack in the park. This project will now be repeated annually.

Urban Arcadia juxtaposes an ancient rural tradition with the city, the slow rythem of season and groweth, sharpening the sythe, cutting, and stacking the hay juxtaposed with the pace of the surrounding city, the carpark, social housing and market.   It places an image of arcadian nostalgia in the context of a modern urban space aswell as involving and empowering the local community in their public spaces.

The haystack also provided a brief architectural intervention in this urban environemnt, against the backdrop of another utopia, the Heygate Estate, a massive housing estate built in the seventies and used since repeatedly as a location in films and cop dramas as a scene of urban disintergration. It is scheduled for demolition and is the subject of another project of mine, ‘In Memory of the Future’.

> The Haystack, annual event.