History behind the Park
The park has a rich history spanning back to the late 16th century where Highgate was first founded. The highgate area offered the attractions of the beautiful views over London as well as having clean air. Many came to the area to build upon the valued land, much to be housing to manors and gardens.
King Charles II
One of the homes were that of the notorious Earl and later Duke of Lauderdale in the 17th century. the Lauderdale house had many valued guests. It is noted that King Charles II stayed within the house, with the added guest of his mistress Nell Gwyn. The Lauderdale House dates back from the 16th century alongside it's beautiful gardens. Which brings in great interest from garden historians. As it is a very early example in Britain of a terraced garden.
Another historically interesting point of the park is the house called 'Andrew Marvell's". This house is to beloved to be the house of the poet who lived in the 17th century. One of his verses has been recorded upon a bronze plaque within the park. Which is served as a reminder to the much loved past poet. Further in the park is the home of Sir James Pennethorne who resided there for 20years. He was a prolific architect and park designer who left his mark upon the gardens.
Lauderdale house and Terraced Garden.
From 1856, Sydney Waterlow had been living at the house within the park as well as acquiring neighbouring properties. In doing so he created his own mini estate and he lat out he Lauderdale House as a convalescent home.
However he did not stay long at the estate, it remained derelict and empty due to this. Due to this he made the decision to present the estate to the London County Council as a public park and a 'Garden For The Gardenless.' This was mainly due to the fact that he failed to find a potential buyer in 1889 where the donation was made. In his decision, the estate was then converted to a public park in the hand of the Camden Council. They made specific steps to ensure that all historically important aspects of the estate was kept in its form.
Use and Current state.
During the First and the Second Word War, the park was used a shelter for the public from any bombings. The shelters are still buried within the grounds. Despite the hardships of the war, the park maintenance was still upkeep at a high standard. Yet, after the 20th century the park's state of the park has declined and is in poor health. Donations and the help of visitors keep the park going at this present time.
After studying the history around Waterloo Park I became interested in the surrounding areas and who the main park users were. In the previous diagram there was a survey conducted to see the primary users, these were mainly made up of visitors who wanted to enjoy the parks scenery and walk their dogs. Many come with children, as the park provides a playground it is suitable for families. So after reading the survey it came across to be a place to relax and enjoy the nature that surrounds many. An escape from the city life almost. Looking further into the people who visit the park and the wider community, I found that the hospital that is situated just down the road from the park had a connection to the park. Many patients came to the park to visit the grounds. They found the park to be a form of safe heaven/escape from their realities almost.
(This is something I was keen to work with and to use. As the thought that people use this space as a sort of escapism inspired me. So to create a piece that would have a sense of purpose for the main park users and has a element of utility. Having a functon that is appropriate to its surroundings as well as being art was something I felt to be extremely important.)
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers an open air collection of long and short term loans of site specific commissions. They're always 80sculptures displayed in the park which attract a vast range of people to the site.
Iron Tree is sited in the historic Chapel courtyard, as the legacy of the artist’s 2014 exhibition.
Iron Tree is the largest and most complex sculpture to date in the artist’s tree series, which he began in 2009. Inspired by the wood sold by street vendors in Jingdezhen, southern China, Iron Tree comprise of 97 tree elements cast in iron and interlocked using a classic – and here exaggerated – Chinese method of joining. Iron Tree expresses Ai’s interest in fragments and the importance of the individual, without which the whole would not exist.
(The complexity of the tree draws my attention. Really love the vivid colours that was resulted in the iron cast. The history and context behind it is so rich that it has influence my thinking in regards to the brief. I would like to respond in this style, to create something that may celebrate tradition whilst looking at nature and how we use our environment.)
(The theme of natural and crafted is another region I would like to explore. To investigate how we use our natural elements around us and manipulate it into something that it then "crafted". Our use of the surrounding environment and how we interact within it. Maybe look into the contrast between manmade and natural. Another development from this is looking at how we integrate nature into our city life. Relating it back to the Waterloo park and where it is situated within such a urban environment. Another aspect to take from this is the material that has been used. The rust of the iron is an element of the sculpture that forces the viewer to think in a wider context. However, thinking to use this material may be ill suiting for this project. As Waterloo Park is situated inn a place where rain can be common, rust will be seen. Despite this, the exhibition will not last so long that rust may not develop to such a stage that it can cause hard to either wildlife, visitors nor the environment. So the material used for my sculpture needs to have carful consideration and if it is appropriate to use. )
David Nash created two new works made December 2013 to overlook the Park’s historic lakes.
Black Mound, which overlooks the Park’s historic lakes and references the natural cycle of wood, was created by Nash in December 2013. The work is made from coal and oak charred black, through carefully controlled burning.
“With wood sculpture one tends to see ‘wood’, a warm familiar material, before reading the form: wood first, form second. Charring radically changes this experience. The surface is transformed from a vegetable to a mineral – carbon – and one sees the form before the material.”
(really enjoyed the idea and how this piece was executed. The controlled burning to create something new is an interesting aspect. The idea almost mimics the birth of a Phoenix. How life is reborn after something so destructive. "Vegetable to a mineral carbon", reminds me how forests are reborn after a forest fire. The cleansing of the forest floor to path way to new habitats. Again brings ideas to develop from how we use our environment around us. How we see and interact between our environment. Also brings ideas on developing the thought on how we use the materials that we are given. Manmade/natural.)
Bike racks made by R L Barnum Sculptures.
Simple bold colour creates a successful and engaging sculpture. A prime example of how a piece or art can be used in a useful context as well as fitting into its surrounded use. A piece that will be used continuously over time without fault. Material is useful as it will withstand the elements and not spoil.
TANIA BRUGUERA: IMMIGRANT MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL
"Tania Bruguera takes up residence in The Tanks with her ongoing art project, Immigrant Movement International – an artist-initiated socio-political movement that aims to explore who is defined as an immigrant and the values they share, focusing on the question of what it means to be a citizen of the world.
Bruguera is a key player within the fields of performance, interdisciplinary practice and activism. Her work is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ – she calls this ‘behaviour art’ – and her aim is to create art that doesn’t merely describe itself as dealing with politics or society, but that is actually a form of political or social currency, actively addressing cultural power structures rather than representing them. Bruguera is also extremely interested in the role of the museum as an active forum and the role of ‘useful art’ in society at large today.
Tania Bruguera (born in Havana, Cuba, 1968) currently lives and works in Queens, New York. Bruguera’s work is multifaceted and spans performance, event, action, film, installation, writing and teaching, alongside site-specific works including Untitled (Kassel, 2002) for Documenta 11and Tatlin’s Whisper #5 (2008) at Tate Modern, alongside long-term projects such as the Cátedra Arte de Conducta (Behaviour Art School), an institution that existed from 2002 to 2009 in Havana, Cuba.
Immigrant Movement International was originally presented by Creative Time in collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art. The project is expected to run until 2015. Since then, Bruguera has developed a manifesto, launched an Immigrant Respect Awareness Campaign and instigated a day of actions by other artists around the world on 18 December 2011 (which the UN has designated International Migrants Day). In 2012, the project will add a new section in Mexico City, presented by Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, to work with the subject of migration during the Mexican presidential elections."
Visiting the Park
After visiting the park myself, the images I took did not truly capture the beauty of the park. It was truly a lovely park. The visit also helped my research into the places I may want to situate my sculpture.