The painted library. 'Intelligent' graffiti ... an invitation to name a book. The view across to the mountains. A need to open the window. Lean out. That cold fresh air... I’m here to make work. I close the window. It feels noisy in here and challenging. Not the calm I expected. I'll go away and come back again later bringing the rest of my materials, see how I feel then.
The noise is still here, but I ignore it and start to unroll the paper. Cover the window. Make the first marks, more follow. Unroll more paper. Slowly I become aware that the noise has gone. Just in my head. Doubts. Not from the walls, or the view or clear roof, with the glimpse of sunlight and birds, or that crack. Or the frequent visitors who’ve followed the wooden path, shaking the building as they venture onto the bridge. I feel like an animal in my lair. Observed and disturbed. I lock the door. Lock myself in. They still come, knocking, and speculating and chattering. I could make a noise to frighten them, but that would only make things worse, so I stay quiet and still till they are gone.
The work flows, for days, the subtle effects of moving and thinking and drawing the space. It is suddenly complete. Time to explore now, and rest. Time to pack up. Retreat. Lock the door. Go down.
A place to work, a place to think, a place to go to. The repeated journey has taught me something. The difference between the wild and the tamed. The Peat Track isn’t really that wild, but it is challenging every time, requiring fitness and observation, intention and consciousness; the wooden pavement that leads you to Outlandia tames the wild, regulating the natural terrain to allow you to walk upright. The journey through the wilderness to arrive at the start of the board walk, that floats there, like an idea of society.
"What has fallen will be righted" (detail)
L Donkers 2013
lichen ink, pastel, graphite, Arches water colour paper
1000cm x 150cm
photo Hélène Baril