utopia

During the summer of 2016 I spent a month in Berlin, a city that I had visited many times and slowly grown to love, from its history to the burgeoning contemporary art scene. Living in a city is a very different experience to a typical weekend stay, and once the tourist goggles fell off I began to see the city in a new light. I had always thought that this new start enabled a greener, kinder city in contrast to the heaving crowds and dirt of London. Instead I found myself cycling over lanes of broken glass and walking on rusting bottle caps. This bright new city no longer represented my Utopia and this installation, placed at the entrance of a park, hopefully interrupted the the cycle of disregard for the people's park.

Our artist collaboration was encouraged to use the number 500 as a starting point, utilising the natural resources available in situ​ and then documenting the process and outcome via the mediums of photography, text and maps. The term utopia was coined by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean.​​ The Greek words οὐ ('not') and τόπος ('place') merge to create 'no-place', and describing any non-existent society. However utopia is derived from the Greek words εὖ ('good' or 'well') and τόπος ('place'), to create 'good place', and is strictly speaking the correct term to describe a positive utopia.

 

This piece was inspired by land-art: where the landscape and work of art itself are inextricably linked, created in nature using the natural materials of utopian visions to capture space and shape it in accordance with a utopian design​​.

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