Cocoon Viewfinder

The viewfinder which looks out onto the old Salvation Army jetty was designed and created by Flisan Beard.

An overview to the art work

This Art project looks at the relationship of its “Utopian” location and the history of William Booth’s social reform scheme for Hadleigh Land and the farm colony.

The concept for my design developed through research into the history of this place, from talking to people and reading the book A Vision Reborn. (Parkhill, Cook 2008). Further inspiration was found through observing the conservation work, construction work and walking the grounds, in the context of William Booth’s legacy of redeeming both “Land and Lives.”

On my first visit to Hadleigh Park, I was impressed with the boundless view of the Thames Estuary, and the beautiful wild life nature of the park. I weaved in and out of fields and woodland for hours without directions until I found that I was lost. I looked for the park to provide, directions, safe boundaries and pathways to find my way back. When reflecting on my experience of being lost, I began exploring metaphors from William Booth’s manifesto of recovery pathways. I found an overall theme of salvation in this project, as it seeks to connect to the work of Site Specific.

Following my Land Art workshops, I linked both the external and internal work that took place at this site through examining the human relationship to nature, our response to a specific site, as well as our feelings and ideas in regard to our environment and history to the place.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The construction work of the Visitor’s Centre inspired me to further the metaphors of “salvation as internal and conservation as external”, as both the Salvation Army and the Hadleigh Park team work will link together at the hub.

The significance of the hub and the waiting time for it to be built has inspired me to create a metaphor around the hub as a Cocoon that holds both practical and transcendent opportunities. These imprints I found to be Hadleigh’s natural history and its vision today of restoration and enhancement.

With the Viewfinder I hope to transform a field of narratives through zooming in on a history where transportation of change and exchange took place to uphold the Hadleigh Land and industrial Colony.

History

The jetty was used around the late 1900’s to off-load and load goods including bricks produced by the Salvation Army brickwork’s at the bottom of Chapel Lane. These were transported by rail down to the jetty via the bridge over the main LMS line.

The Salvation Army also brought waste material and manure from London on the barges. The manure was used on the farm whilst the litter that could be burnt was used to fire the brick-kilns. What rubbish could not be burnt was used as ‘hard core’ for various works including the building of the ramparts either side of the bridge that took the Salvation Army’s railway over the LTSR, as well as some of the paths that were laid on the farm for the colonists. Evidence of this was found on the farm as recently as 2012 when works to improve the paths in the Rare Breeds Centre was started and some of the original paths were uncovered. (Neville Andrews, 8.2.2015)

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The viewfinder is located in the country park on the bike park boundary and can be found just above the Blue Trail’s Bermy Loop section.

Below are some additional photos of the Cocoon: