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


From afar, loud music booms

Getting louder

A black guy cycles past

An amplifier attached to his bike rack

Pumping bass

Bystanders clap and cheer as he passes by

Pumping bass

Waning

As he disappears

Around the central bed and out of the opposite entrance

Those minutes of booming beats

And cycling spectacle

Generate joy

Whitworth Park feels like a free and easy space

A place where diverse activities happen

Jasmine wanted to move her body in rhythm to the trees

Free movement

Connecting her to the ash trees about

Picking up branches

Picking up bows

Extended limbs of timber

Touching the earth

Touching paper

Making marks with wetted soil

Paper

Branch

Human

Tree

Earth

Embodied movement in the park

Of the park

Not seeming out of place

Just another happening in a happening space

He watches discretely in the shade of a nearby ash

Then he too starts to move

Stretching

Downward dog

Lifting arms to the canopy

Part yoga

Part gym

Two bodies now moving

One oblivious of the other

I sit and observe

I sit and draw her movements

The paper on the grass

Moves

As the branches touch

Beginning in a symmetrical formation

Ending scattered about

An older white woman approaches

Curious to know more

Are we dancers?

She was a dancer back in the day

Performing at music halls and in variety shows

Chorus lines around the country

Tap and ballet

She tells us there is another park down the road

A much nicer park

With a boating lake

Plattfield Park

Whitworth Park is more of a pocket park

A local community green space

Access to urban nature

Respite for the community dwelling in terraced houses with small back yards

Students in adjacent six-story student accommodation

Students and Lecturers from Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Museum and the Whitworth Gallery staff and visitors

Manchester infirmary patients and staff

Visitors from diverse social, ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds

In

One

Small

Green

Space

With a central flower bed

From which Ash and London Plane lined avenues radiate outwards

To entrances around the park

Entrances into and across

Short cuts for some

Open access

Everyone welcome

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