Artist Kerry Morrison has written some reflections on her week spent in Manchester’s Whitworth Park as part of the Changing Treescapes AHRC project


A time to explore and soak up the essence of the park

The movement within and in and around

Human and more than human

Us interacting

Observing

Senses open and heighten

Tuning in to voices and dialogues

Sounds of many languages; most unknown to our ears

A black African man, wearing a long white robe and a pillar cap, sits on a bench

He talks on his phone in his own language, in the shade of an ash tree

It’s Eid

The park is alive with people celebrating

Salwar chemise

Bright colours

Picnics on blankets on the ground

Families, together

Eating and chuntering

Children playing around them

In the playground, picnics lain across picnic benches

Children playing on rustic equipment

A group of black women gather around a picnic table laden with food and snacks

Reggae music plays, they sing along and sway in time to the tunes

During our first two days we were inconspicuous: non-differentiated from others in the park

We blended and melded in with office workers on their lunch break, sunbathers and tree bathers, individuals sitting on the grass and on the benches, reading, texting, talking

Kerry Morrison taking a bark rubbing

The couples

The groups of friends

People with clear plastic, dome lidded, cups with paper straws

Sucking cold drinks from Nero’s and Hortons across the Oxford Road

Stepping outside of the park parameter to buy refreshments, the heat of the sun and the city and the tarmac stifle

The air is heavy and hot

How different in the park

With mature trees giving shade and breeze

Ash and London Plane lined avenues

The air noticeably, palpably, different

Fresher

Cooler – by far

Sweeter

Our last two days we were twinned in matching outfits

Green dungarees

Yellow tops

Our actions and explorations more visible

We drew an ash under an ash, across the path

Over there

Leaning against a broad ash trunk

Two men, with a wayfarer appearance about them, drinking beer

The men confab and laugh whilst their dog, laid on its back, tummy to the canopy and sky, kicks her legs excitedly in the air – for ages

An action she repeats.

They beckoned and said don’t mind her, come closer

I did

We chatted about the joys a dog brings

Connecting with people as a human act: not research, but casual encounters

Connecting with the more than human

Sharings of joy

Being in the park

Whitworth Park

Is much more than a research process

It’s about being

Being here

Hanging out 

Deep hanging out

Nongkrong

An exhibition of branches
Tagged on: