Woodlands have always been places of mystery and magic. Dark and beautiful worlds inhabited by satyrs, dryads, elves and spirits. Woods feature heavily in myth, legend and stories and are often focal points for narratives. Woodlands were viewed as dangerous and wild places, to be avoided at night and where you could wonder and easily get lost. Today our natural woodland is all but gone but what remains (even though it is no longer wild but carefully managed) continues to exert a mysterious pull on us. As well as recreational use our woodlands provide a sanctuary from urbanisation and industrialisation. They also provide a secluded and secret place for clandestine meetings, trysts and youthful experimentation.
The wick wood, formally 'Wick Field', was historically an expanse of marshland. It was later laid out with football pitches. A period of uncertainty and development threats followed before the 12-hectare Community Woodland was planted - next to what is now the olympic park - with about 30,000 trees, as compensation for the M11 link road. Today Wick Woodland is maintained and managed by Hackney Parks and volunteers from Hackney Marshes User Group and Tree Musketeers.
This strange and almost surreal island triangle of woodland in an otherwise urban area enclosed on two sides by roads and the third by the canal is easily overlooked and ignored. The strange juxtaposition of the pleasant greens and browns of the trees and plants providing a rural idyll and the continuous roar of the ever present A12 create an eerie sense of isolation and proximity.
This ongoing series of images is a personal exploration of the wickwood and marks the traces of narrative left by human interaction with the environment as well as being a reflection of my interaction with the area.