Summer 2020

In the pilot year of Indirect Signs of Presence we are looking forward to working with artists Ed Carter, Hermeet Gill, Eiko Soga and Joe Wilson. Each artist has a varied interdisciplinary practice that encompasses design, engineering, composition, video and poetry.

Since the beginning of 2020, the four artists have visited Wytham, each drawn to a specific woodland site or connected area of research. Early preparations are now underway to create a series of new, temporary installations to be on display in 2021.

The Laboratory with Leaves has many histories. As part of a global network of research, the consistently recorded events of individual experiences and interactions in the woods, comprise a manifold of conceptual connections.

Changes in soil surface, leaf development and leaf fall are intertwined with the regular visits of researchers, joggers and school children. Each leave a trace, signifying the varied measures of connectedness: a discreet re-shuffle of leaves; flags planted to mark the edges of a survey grid; or the unseen habits of a diversity of forms that rely on the vital decay stages of dead wood.

The creative practice of each artist looks to respect such ecological complexities by interpreting the dynamic systems of an ever-changing woodland and drawing an attentive awareness to the inter-speciality communication of a restored and maintained habitat, marking a relationship between what is known and what is not.

We are grateful to Researcher in Wildlife Conservation Tanesha Allen, Researcher in Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics Emma Dale, Fenland Researcher Curt Lambeth, and Researcher in Behavioural Ecology Keith McMahon, for giving their time to inspire the next stages of the project.


- Sara Lowes