RESIDENCY: Knepp Wildland

What if we went out at 5am in Spring to be met with silence? No glorious dawn chorus. A silent spring. A truly chilling thought.

Thorny scrubland at dawn at Knepp Estate
Prized thorny scrubland at Knepp

But there is a story of hope that I want to tell during my new residency here. The Knepp project is now a leading light for conservation in the UK, demonstrating how giving nature space and opportunity to express itself can restore the land and its wildlife in a dramatically short space of time, reversing the cataclysmic declines that have affected most species elsewhere in Britain over the past 50 years. In her inspiring book ‘Wilding’, Isabella Tree takes you through this pioneering rewilding journey she and husband Charlie Burrell are on.


So what will I be doing?

My trusty audio recorder out amongst the scrubland
My trusty audio recorder out amongst the scrubland

Through soundscapes, film, photographs and drawings, I will be documenting Knepp Wildlands across the seasons from an artist’s perspective

Inspired by soundscape ecology, I will be recording birdscapes and transporting this birdsong into urban spaces, in effect bringing to the city Knepp’s audio story of hope. This continues my work funded by the Arts Council England in 2020

Time for experimentation and responding to Knepp Wildlands. I have already started sculptural play with the clay and mud here that made arable farming impossible – in Sussex dialect there are 30 terms for mud!

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to follow my progress across the year. Also see my citizen science audio contributions to xeno-canto and dawn-chorus.

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