Even on a grey day it took a while for my eyes to adjust to the low light.  The path leading into this hidden forest winds round away from the entrance so no natural light penetrates the sheltered, internal island.  The air is still, dry and slightly dusty.  The quiet space smells rather like a secondhand bookshop but fresher and more woodsy. Welcome to the Cardboard Forest.

 

 

It takes a while to register the complexity of this low key sculpture.  The tree trunks show different bark patterns, ferns, grasses and twigs cover the forest floor, roots cling to rocky outcrops and branches interlock.  The detail is meticulous, impressive and beautiful, the overall effect is peaceful but sad.  Like a dense pine plantation, overdue for thinning, no daylight reaches in to bring life to this strange place.  Perhaps I’m too much of a gardener but I can’t help imagining how the forest would look if the outer structure had vertical ribbons of glass set into it, letting light filter in between the tree trunks.  But that would be telling a different story.