Circle 1 – Roots across the World, 2006
Paris Summer Festival
La Défense, Paris, France

James Darling & Lesley Forwood, Circle 1 – Roots across the World, 2006, 12 tonnes Mallee roots, at the Paris Summer Festival 2006, La Défense, Paris, France

Artist Statement

We mean to make a work that has never been seen before - with mallee roots (eucalyptus diversifolia & its hybrids) - an eminently feasible task. To make an installation which is both practical and enhancing to its space is integral to the job. And then the building must exceed itself, become more than its many parts, and, if we’ve got the basics right, defy categorisation and extend into the realms of the unthinkable, beyond planning, into art.

It’s not guaranteed. Art is not easily achieved. A lot of what is ordinary must underpin art. For us, as for any builders, it’s the plan that defines the process and the end product. But with mallee roots - as opposed to contemporary standardisation - it’s how we make the most of each individual root that defines our work. Each root must be employed to maximum purpose and value within the whole.

The elemental fact is that no two roots are the same and that no shape is predictable. The dense chaos of spikes and knots and gnarls are welcome, indeed essential. These random, organic forms speak of the endurance and tenacity of mallee roots and make a metaphor for the future of the globe, this planet we inhabit.

Diversity being strength - diversity within the whole. There is no way of escaping it. The structural strength of a mallee root installation is delivered by the weight of abrasion and difference and an interlocking unity of purpose. The cycle of nature and the circle of the world within the interplanetary song and dance of the universe. The poetic concentration we mean. The power of simple statement.