To help develop our installation we carried out a series of informal interviews with our friends and colleagues. We asked them to recall their memories of being in forests and to talk to us about the places, events and people they remembered:
"The things I remember more than anything are the sense of quietness and stillness ... and the ground being squashy underfoot and the smells, the smell of damp bark, wood ... and temperature again, that seems to keep coming back to me, a kind of shift in - It's kind of a different space, a shift into a different space."
"You had to cross through a few fields to get to these woods and as children my brother and my sister we used to go off and build camps and build bridges across the stream and all those kinds of things that were really exciting times!"
"Yeah I remember walking through. It was very dark and really quiet. Everything was quite heightened, the noises of birds or of - there were a lot of water features, waterfalls and little rivers and you'd hear the water really clearly - much more than you normally would."
"... in the middle of the wood there was this house - a haunted house. I think once upon a time there would’ve been a guard or an assistant, there would’ve been a visitor centre - but it was derelict ... anyway that was quite exciting, you’d want to go in and it made it very, you know, like a fairy-tale where something's in the middle of the forest and you sort of pretend to be scared. I remember peeling the paint off the windowsill that was all rotten away and getting it under your nail."
"I can remember looking back and then running and just being disorientated inside the woods. But not much else, it's quite vague. I'm sure it didn't last for long - as I said the woods are probably tiny! But the trees were surrounding us ... the memory is of just green and quite dense trees, and not being able to see the top or to see a path or anything, just trees surrounding us, that's the impression that sticks to my mind."
"Whenever we went into the woods it was always to play a war game - games of war. There were always two sides and it always had to involve fighting. So we'd go into the trees and maybe there'd be two teams and it was a war. And that was how you did masculinity - that was how you did being a boy - you know, playing out the most stereotypical, aggressive, male roles that you could. So the woods became a sort of backdrop to a fantasy of masculinity. I think that's the purpose they served."
La Garrotxa (detail), Michaela Nettell, 2009