Saturday, 27 June 2009


Reiach & Hall's New Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow is set within
an apparently random planting of silver birch. Inside the building,
open courtyards are planted with larch and surfaced with natural
larch boarding.

Thomas A Clark proposed that the building be considered as
'a grove of larch in a forest of birch'. Short texts on a woodland
theme occur around the building in a context of art installations
by Kenneth Dingwall, Olwen Shone, Andreas Karl Schulze, and
Donald Urquhart.

The latin names of trees are sandblasted onto windows,
the names of grasses scroll across an led sign, the names
of butterflies appear on waiting room windows, as if an
orange tip or pale clouded yellow might flutter past.

Olwen Shone with Andreas Karl Schulze

Kenneth Dingwall

Thomas A Clark with Kenneth Dingwall

Donald Urquhart with Thomas A Clark

Thomas A Clark

Thomas A Clark

Spiritual Care centre designed by Donald Urquhart
with a text by Thomas A Clark

Thomas A Clark with Andreas Karl Schulze

Thomas A Clark

Thomas A Clark

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Four Benches

To convert an anonymous or undefined area into
a place, it may be enough to place something in it,
to direct attention to it.

As an invitation to linger, four benches were situated
around the Falkland estate in Fife, each bench inscribed
with a 'one-word poem'. (This is a form invented by Ian
Hamilton Finlay - the poem should have only one word
but the title can be of any length !)

The benches were made by Dave McKeen at his workshop
in Falkland and the letters were carved by Roger Hall.

Two Poems

an island that dances away
from every approach towards it
an island of sedge and lyme-grass
bright like an open face
an island or glimpse of something
significant but misted over
an island with a boat
pulled up on the shore
an island to which singing voices
come at night over the water
an island of yellow ragwort
rippling in the sunlight

collected on a bright day
from cliffs above the sea
wild honey of the whin
eat it and hunger for it
look for it and find it
for honey of bell heather
take the hives to the moor
or to sheltered tidal margins
to gather from the sea pink
gather pollen from the willow
the sycamore's early nectar
nectar of bramble and clover

from The Threadbare Coat
Moschatel Press 2009 £5

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Byre Theatre

During the Stanza poetry festival, in March 2008, short texts
on the theme of trees and bird song were installed throughout
the Byre theatre in St Andrews, converting the bar and dining
areas into a shaded grove.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Dysart Artworks

The wall in the photographs was designed by Donald Urquhart
with a text by Thomas A Clark, in collaboration with City Design
landscape architects. It was part of a regeneration project by Fife
Council in the old mining village of Dysart.

Aurora and Flora were the names of coal barges working out
of Dysart harbour in the early 20th century. The work was
intended as a reminder of the village's mining history as well
as a message of hope and regrowth for the future.

Before completion of the project, in April 2008, the wall was
demolished on 'safety' grounds and in response to 'public demand'.

Photographs by Liane Bauer

Monday, 15 June 2009

Four Delays

on a wide bend of the river
there is a leisurely turning of water
that flows so profoundly it can
relax into ever gesture

a mist rising from water
drifts grey over green
a slow mist of willows
pale green over green

on the edge of a wood
a moment's hesitation
how will you conduct yourself
in the company of trees

willow branches spread and fall
around a space that holds the air
or detains it while it comes and goes
within a room whose walls are leaves

from Of Woods & Water
Moschatel Press 2009 £8.50