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The Watchtower/Riots and Ruins

The WatchTowers

Hurstwood Watchtower

Hagwood Watchtower

A few months ago I built two watchtowers. They were built to show my interpretation on the current culture that has been adopted in England. This of course is the Big Brother effect our country has over its people. I felt the symbol of the watchtower was quite fitting and the images worked well.
I wanted to see how the public reacted to my work. These odd authoritative figures appearing in the country side would surely create a reaction? I was very focused on the actions I was doing as a Land Artist at this point and very interested in the reactions too. I was focused on seeing whether or not people would walk on by the looming authoratitve structures, adopting the Big Brother 'keep on walking' and leave well alone approach. Or would the public interact with my pieces, perhaps be quite destructive?
In fact both were the case. The 'Hagwood Watchtower' was left alone, where as the 'Hurstwood Watchtower' had been pushed over. So i did indeed get some results, but what did it prove? The destroyed watchtower could have been knocked over by an aggrivated farmer. What does it mean that the other was left alone? I became confused by my own study. At this point I left the watchtowers to be rediscovered by myself for future development.

The Ruins

After approximately half a year I came back to discover the states of both watchtowers. 'Hurstwood Watchtower' was still in rubbles where as the watchtower in Hagwood had been blown over and badly weathered. Time had taken an interesting toll on this watchtower and I enjoyed the resulting product. The grass had grown over the structure and had become embedded in the ground. After retrieving the fallen tower from Hagwoods boggy grounds, up came the earth, the plants and the creatures that now inhabited it. My own theories and studies no longer mattered as I had new ideas and plans to work with for this watchtower.

Riots And Ruins

I initially built a watchtower to represent the Big Brother mentality of the nation we live in. Time took its toll and the watchtower became ruins. A Big Brother symbol in ruins (Just like the city of London) reminded me of the current situation. To replicate the fight of the common man to protect and save our Big Brother capital I salvaged the ruins and attached rope to steady and keep the structure up. I felt this addition symbolised these factors well.

The evidence of revival is still evident on the watchtower. The earth and grass that came up from ground remains, along with the creatures which made it their home. In London, after the riots the 'creatures' of that city remain too, amongst the rubble and damage, supporting their fallen Big Brother city.
Above is a video of the piece, so that you can get a feel of viewing the piece yourself. The piece is filmed to resemble the deserted aftermath in which the riots took place.

A Shadow Puppet Show

Posted by: CSHoldsworth

Tagged in: video , the , story , shadow , puppet , photography , myth , medieval , light , knight , folklore , film , fable , dragon , dexter , culture , chinese , art , and


Shadow Puppets

Dexter And The Dragon

A couple of years ago, I collaborated with another student named Ben Boothman to create a shadow puppet show. I decided to make this shadow puppet story after listening to a song called 'Mykonos' by The Fleet Foxes. In my head I felt it could fit perfectly with the story I had in mind and began to make a story fitting to the song. Almost like a music video for said song. I created the puppets and moved them for the story whilst Ben recorded. We edited together, although his graphic skills played a big part and he put the clips together very well. 

There was a few things we had hoped to do during editing which we were unsuccessful in. For example, when the priest raises his hand a bolt of lightening should miss the dragon and strike the dead knight, which would explain that scene better. Ignoring these small factors I feel it was successful and in the short amount of time we had to make this video it turned out better than I could have expected.

Examining Locations

Posted by: CSHoldsworth

Tagged in: study , photography , location , landscape , hagwood , fantasy , burnley , animism


Examining Locations - 'Hagwood'/ (A Hagwood Study)

Already in my blog posts, there is evidence of the influence this wood has over me. It was the insperation of the forest within 'The Travelling Man'. Every line and every image I had put into the story was plucked from the thoughts I've had whilst passing through the wood itself. In one of the images I drew for 'The Travelling Man', I even used an image of one of the trees that exists in the wood to depict the line 'Deeper and further trudged The Travelling Man into the forest of old, the twisted faces of the trees made his blood run cold'. This was the first line I wrote for the story, even though it appears in the middle of the poem. This occured due to passing this tree myself and being taken back by the trees striking and horrific, twisted face. I thought for a while about this tree and it became the source of my inspiration for the story I told.

Within Hagwood is countless dead and twisted trees. Although only a small wood it bares it own cliff side, rivers and bogs that can consume the largest of animals. It's a place that exudes an aura of death, loneliness  and menace, yet can be quite enchanting and peaceful too.
A usual occurrence is seeing a sheep one day, wandering in the wood and the next day it will be dead in a ditch. Almost as if the animal resorted to Hagwood as a place to die.
Thinking of this place as a grave yard would be a good resemblance. Not only because of the animals that get consumed by the forest, but due to anything that gets left behind seems to get swallowed by this place. In the summer the plants and grass thrive and raise up. In the winter they die and pull down through the boggy ground whatever laid there previously.
Example of the forest swallowing whatever is placed inside. In this case barbed wire.

As is the case with all old forests, there is a sense that the wood is always staring back at you. I often sculpt this wood or leave sculptures in it too. However, Hagwood has seemed to have crafted it's own sculptures/inhabitants of its own. A while ago I made a study of this entitled 'A Hagwood Study' and I documented Hagwoods inhabitants through the use of photography which can be seen below:

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Dragon'

As you enter the wood, you are first greeted by 'Hagwood Dragon' after this you are met with many others.
'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Parrot'

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Demonic Trident'

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Happy Man'

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Rutting Stag'

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood (Night)-Mare'

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Rhinoceros'

'A Hagwood Study: Hagwood Totem-pole'

You may not see what I see depicted in the photographs. My imagination was influenced by this forest to see what I saw. Other walkers may feel differently, experience and see other things, but Hagwood will take hold of you not like many other woods can. This place will remain a site I visit regularly, a constant home for my art and inspiration.


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