Estover for the Imagination

Reinhild and I have now finished the research stage of our residency in the New Forest. We presented our findings and ran a workshop at spudWorks in Sway last week. Really looking forward to taking this project further in the new year. Many thanks to all those who came on the day, and everyone we met during our time in the New Forest. It is such a fascinating place, so fertile for the imagination. As for ‘estover’, an ancient right of the local ‘commoners’ to collect firewood from the Forest.


It is the unexpected beauty at the heart of technology’s ability to transform the everyday into the exceptional that keeps me going. Here, for example, is the horseshoe print I posted earlier, this time as an undulating landscape.

Mushroom point cloud

This image of some mushrooms near to Stonyford Pond on the heath at Hilltop is made up of individual dots in 3Dspace, each one coloured. So once placed inside a virtual world it would be possible to go and explore, pass beneath the mushrooms, explore the spaces between the pine needles. This is the direction I am going with the research I have been doing up on Hilltop.

On another planet

Sometimes out on the heath it does feel as if you are on another planet, in this case with hoof prints embedded in the surface mud.

Waterlogged beauty

Speaking of beauty, I saw the dark bottom of one pond sprinkled with white seeds like a delicate patterned tablecloth; and then there were these plants, rising through the peat-tinted waters of lapwing mire.

In the land of Lilliput

Out on the heath the action happens well below you, at ground level. The close-cropped growth of grasses; the slow bonsai-like growth of the woody plants; the sinking of the bogs – all the action is on a Lilliputian scale. So I’ve been keeping my nose close to the ground and imagining the small to be large. That’s where this micro-mountain with mushroom trees came in. There is a beauty in everything.

Horse tale

Yes, its a rather graining photo of the back end of a horse! But checkout the tail: it’s cut in a pattern that tells where that pony came from. Each Agister is responsible for a section of the Forest, and this one comes from Agister Robert Maton’s area.