Haldon Programmes

May-June 2007

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Wood Culture programme

In May 2007 CCANW launched Wood Culture; an ambitious year-long festival celebrating the beauty, usefulness and sustainability of wood and exploring its many uses in contemporary architecture and design. Over the year, five different exhibitions were accompanied by a series of events and activities designed to be engaging to everyone, from those with a professional interest to our youngest visitors.

Introduction to the Wood Culture programme

The programme was researched by Elly Deacon, Adriana Robert and Craig White of White Design Associates, Juliet Bidgood and Carl Middleton of NEAT and Oliver Lowenstein of Fourth Door Research.


5 May-1 July 2007

Wood Wisdom: Tradition, Innovation and Sustainability


Wood Wisdom, the first exhibition in the Wood Culture series, sought to connect us with the rich history of timber construction from Neolithic trackways, medieval building, to ship and aeroplane construction.

It also identified how timber growing, new technologies – such as glulam and computer-aided design – and the use of wood in construction and as fuel can provide considerable environmental benefits, particularly in helping to reduce global warming.

General view of Wood Wisdom exhibition. Photo Chris Lewis.

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University of the Trees launched

University of the Trees was launched at a second public event on World Environment Day 5 June and continued on 19 June. Shelley Sacks described how the project was both a creative framework for exploring our relationship with trees and the natural world, and for connecting intuitive forms of experience with our reasoned understandings. Participants experimented in the forest with the prototype ‘instruments’ under development.

Shelley demonstrating the use of the prototype Sling. Photo Chris Lewis.

Using a kit developed by Shelley, that she described as ‘instruments of consciousness’ instead of ‘objects of attention’, the event enabled participants to explore new ways of perceiving and acting that emerge from a deepened understanding of our relationship with trees, forests and the natural world. Following this event, which involved a participatory process in the Main Forum of the UOT – an arena created with ‘tree partners’ for gathering and using imaginal modes of perceiving – a core group was established which met regularly at CCANW during 2008. It was open at all meetings to newcomers interested in the project. (See University of the Trees).

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Matthew Pontin residency

From an open submission, the photographer Matthew Pontin was chosen to make a series of time-lapse photographs which followed the journey of newly felled timber from Haldon to the sawmill, and then to explore the different uses to which it was put. He called the series Temporarily Permanent and it was displayed in a loop on a video monitor.

Temporarily Permanent time-lapse photographs by Matthew Pontin

Sean Hellman residency

Craftsman Sean Hellman worked with sections of the different tree species grown at Haldon to reveal the qualities of the wood within. Sean designed a wooden block construction set made from seven different species of tree found in the forest and also started to work on developing a ‘timber trail’.

Touch Wood: Construction play. Photo Chris Lewis.

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Nicky Coutts commission

The FC introduced grazing animals to help manage an area identified for both heathland restoration and recreation – a new cycle trail ran through the area. CCANW were asked to advise over one or more artist commissions which would explore our feelings towards cattle, tell the story of heathland restoration and give general information. In this photograph, Nicky Coutts has replaced the eyes of the cattle with her own. The work was installed on the trail at the end of 2007.

Nicky Coutts commission. Photo Clive Adams.

Geodesic dome commission

An eight metre diameter geodesic dome construction kit was commissioned. Comprised of a series of wooden struts, the dome was popular with visiting groups as a team building activity.

Johanna Korndorfer helping to assemble the geodesic dome. Photo Chris Lewis.


Timber in Construction yurt assembly demonstration. Photo Chris Lewis.
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July-September 2007

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