Woodland: French & Mottershead

Woodland is an audio work that describes your body’s fade into the leaf litter of a forest floor. This work connects you deeply to your body, and tells the story of the biological and chemical processes that continue long after you are conscious, as you are slowly and gently subsumed by the earth over thousands of years. Though very graphic at times, the overall effect is moving and uplifting, with the story ending with your body merging with the molecular environments that support life. Siting Woodland in Chalkwell Park follows the artists’ participation in a Metal Lab in 2016, and establishes the work’s first long term installation of it in the UK. About French & Mottershead The App’s been developed by French & Mottershead with Alex Peckham, and with the support of NetPark and Metal. French & Mottershead are a London-based artist duo (Rebecca French & Andrew Mottershead) whose multidisciplinary practice invites participants to think again about who they are and their ties to place and one another. With a longstanding interest in placing the audience at the centre of their works, they have elaborated on themes such as individual and group behaviour, and how we connect with nature or urban life. Working across media from video, performance, photography, sound and interactive apps, their works are borne from rigorous research, often working with experts from a variety of fields. Woodland is one of four audio works from French & Mottershead’s Afterlife project. The project is advised by Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Carolyn Rando (UCL) and supported by The Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts. HOW TO EXPERIENCE WOODLAND: Pick up a pair of headphones connected to a tablet from Chalkwell Hall, then walk into a designated wooded area in the Chalkwell Park. The map on the screen guides you into the designated listening area, follow the on-screen prompts to find a spot, lie down on the ground and listen to the audio recording that tells the story of your body’s decomposition. After listening, the app will ask you to share a recording of your thoughts and a photo of your site with others via a website. The experience lasts approximately 30 minutes. Waterproof mats and blankets can be provided on request.   PLEASE NOTE: This work is currently only available to experience during NetPark Open Days, and other events during the year. Contact Metal for details on chalkwell@metalculture.com or 01702 470700.