Wilderness black, light. 2016-2018


Project funded by University of Sheffield to create garden-scaled plantations of paired tree wildernesses of 100 saplings at Crewe Halls of Residence.

Birches (Betula pendula) (light) are planted in grid formation in a circle. Small-leaved limes (Tilia cordata) (black), are cultivated in square form.

The plantations are experiments to study the viability of dense tree plantations of year old saplings over time, and to test how trees grown in this way–comprising both wild and formal garden character–aligned to 17th century notions of wilderness-may be a good cultural fit for contemporary landscapes.




May 2018 Birches one year on from planting; now a miniature wilderness circle. Corner of Lime black square grid plantation shown in foreground, with two escapee birches.




Drawing for a white circle of birches: Part of: Wilderness black, light 2016-2018.





Wilderness black, light. Detail of circle birch plantation. 2016-2017. Crewe Halls of Residence, University of Sheffield. With Catherine Higham. (Photo Catherine Higham)


Wilderness black, light. Setting out black square: small leaved limes. 2016-2018. Crewe Halls of Residence, University of Sheffield. With Catherine Higham. (Photo Catherine Higham)


Mark