Crystal Palace Park
I am already in love with this place from the moment I step out of the train. It felt old, abandoned and yet there are still people visiting, not much but not too little. It's like it was intended to leave it half rusting and let the nature take over the place that was once artificial. The station, the open-air theatre, the Terrance. According to the official site, it says 'The Crystal Palace itself was destroyed by fire in 1936. This was followed by a period of dereliction and decay at the park. Although soon after there followed a number of plans for rebuilding the Palace and redeveloping the park, none were fully implemented.' I feel like as if I am having my adventure in an ancient heritage, just like I'm Link in the temples and forests in the game of Zelda.
Richmond Park, Bushy Park and Tower of London
I went to a a guided walk in Richmond Park which was run by the Friends of Richmond Park. I learn many things about the nature during the walk. I find out the fallen trees and logs was left in the Park by purpose. When a tree falls down, if half of the root plates are not broken and still in the soil, the tree may keep growing. If the tree is dead, the decaying wood will become the habitat and a source of food for small animals, fungi or insects. In this case, the tree is living in another life form. This makes me think about relationship of life and death.
I also learn that the deer weren’t not here until King Charles II brought them here in 1630s. The growth of the trees in the park is controlled by the deer as they will eat the branches and suckers of the tree, which prevent them growing into new trees. Richmond park is more wild comparing to Bushy Park. The deer in Richmond Park always keep a distance from people while those in Bushy Park seem to get used to people. In Bushy Park, the deer look as if they are in a human dominated place. This is a bit sad and absurd like either the deer are being misplaced or the setting is all wrong.
This also makes me think about the relationship between the history and the things existed in the site at this present. I recall the trees surrounded the Tower Green where three queens are executed. These trees look like they are grasping something, yearning for help or just simply weeping.
I have been to Hyde Park and Kew Garden before but trees in Richmond Park impressed me most. I went to Richmond Park in Early January. It looks like a forest with winter trees without leaves and I can see various forms of trees. There are many cut trees lying on the ground and they look like living creatures with strong gestures. This inspires me to combine hair roots (subject of my painting) with trees in painting.
Festive Trip to Brussels
I went to the school trip to Brussels held by UAL Social in December. I was surprised by the look of Brussels when we walked to the hostel. Everywhere is like under construction and the streets look old. We have to walk on the sand and there are many puddles of water. It reminds me the sample writing of contextual practice on UAL moodle, the one that talks about the beauty of wasteland by Steven Ingman. I do think the decadent scenes of Brussels are beautiful and have a sense of wilderness.
I like to look at the bone of trees in Brussels, and how the buildings appear in between the branches. I feel the energy and life of the trees. They are like children dancing in the middle of the plaza. When I back to London, I started to go to different parks and take pictures of trees.
I also went to the Magritte Museum in Royal Museums of Fine Arts. This is the first time I saw his real works. What I learnt was a painting doesn’t necessarily have to be big or very detailed and can still be a good painting. It is interesting to know that Magritte prefers just to paint how the object looks like rather than altering them with imagination after he left the surrealist group in Paris. It’s fascinating of how he plays with the placement of the objects and the context between images and texts.