Return Journey – Installation of tree trunks into Projectspace gallery.


An Inuit custom offers an angry person release by walking the emotion out of his or her system in a straight line across the landscape; the point at which the anger is conquered is marked with a stick, bearing witness to the strength or length of the rage.”

― Lucy R. LippardOverlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory


The dissipation of emotion through the motion of walking in a straight line, into isolation from those you love, into possible danger, illustrating that emotion is a choice, making that which overwhelms us become small and insignificant in the face of the tests of life love and death.

Is the return walk harder than the angry walk out into the void?

My initial engagement with sticks was in response to the phrase ‘spears become boomerangs” from Darian Leaders book The New Black. The phrase refers metaphorically to a mode of melancholic behaviour.  The practice with the sticks has evolved throughout the course of my research and finding the quote from Lippard above, was a crucial moment in my understanding of my attachment to them. The sticks had become new objects I had invested myself in. They are embodiments of me, but also the length of the journey I am travelling and the scale of the emotion I have conquered. And so to enlarge them to fit the space they need to inhabit seems both logical and beautiful.


April 13th 2014

After emailing several local woods I have had two return emails offering help with acquiring the large stick/branch/trunk which I want to attempt to wedge into Projectspaceplus.

The stick will need to be over 7metres in length and will need transporting and storing.

The logistics and planning begins!

Meeting with one of our city’s park rangers next Thursday, and offer of help from the Beat Forester at a local rural forestry commission woods.


The park where I regularly walk offered for me to take any wind fallen trees I wanted.

However, Ruth the park ranger asked if I would cut down some trees to help them out. The park doesn’t get enough funding to maintain the woodlands as they would like and so cutting down side shooting trunks which literally sap the life out of the main tree is doing the tree a favour.


Ruth and I identified a couple of contenders.  I went away to consider the implications of cutting down a tree to use in a piece rather than using a wind fallen trunk.

wind fall

The wind fallen birch trunk.

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