This year I have been in search of where the wild things lie. I have arrived at the conclusion that wilderness no long exists as an isolated, human-less landscape – but as a fragment of time, a perceptual mishap, a moment of discovery. It is something that can be fabricated and instigated by the user.

My would be wild-scapes are to be staged in the bleak, bucolic Essex landscape of Wallasea Island. As a way to revise a landscape into my new wilderness I have employed the help of Humphry Repton – a seventeenth century landscape artist – who was notorious for mucking with the soils and water ways of this topographically bland European off-shore island. He had the ability to suspend belief, distort time, place size and dimension. He did this through the before-and-after demonstrations in his Redbook, which we are lucky enough to hold a copy in our library. Repton carried out his experiment on the visitor through a set of highly orchestrated rules – which I propose to revise.

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Rewilded Essex

The underground of London is being 3D printed to create the surface of Wallasea Island, from the soil excavated from the Cross Rail project. Intervening in that process, before the soil is deposited, the subsurface of the island is salted with chromothermic pigment, that will come to the surface as the traveler wears away the surface.


Sub-surfaces of Wallsea marsh

The would be wild-scapes are to be staged in the bleak, bucolic Essex landscape.

Site Plan of Bath Procession

A six hour container of escape, proceeds down a three hundred meter track cantilevered from the edge of Wallasea Island

Marsh Underfloor Heating

The marsh includes underfloor heating, which would begin to change the growth pattern of the surrounding plants.

Bath Zone

The procession into the bath blends from the marsh surface to the dipping. The bath itself would being to change the behaviour of the surrounding inhabitants by creating pockets of temporary heat.

Into the Bath

A moving mirror across the landscape.

Maglev Bath

A low friction track is created due to magnetic levitation.

Desire Paths

Unofficial pathways are formed across the marsh surface from the footfall carved from bathing use. Observation has shown that people make the same decision at the same point to cross a surface, the benefit is you end up with a path. So the path shows the desire of all those that have trodden it.

Robot Fish

One robot fish is introduced into a school of fish within the marsh to 'hack' their collective behaviour. The leader fish is drawn to the pigment released into the marsh by the bather. The fish begin to collect around the bath, where the colour is strongest. The consequence of their action is they changing the behaviour of the birds above, making them dance as they feed - providing amusement for the eye of the bather.

Post Bath Flutter Dry

As the bath returns to the shore, the wilderness slowly deactivates. Descending into the drained channel, spoonbills are perched on the side. As they ruffle their feathers, the bather proceeds through a flutter dry.