Backwoods and Boulders is a creative writing project culminating in a live performance event. Taking a line of flight from Lucy Skaer’s work Sticks and Stones – which in part derived from the artist’s interest in synonyms – Backwoods and Boulders moves from evocative descriptions, to poetry, folk stories, press releases, comedy sketches and legal case studies. While in Sticks and Stones the first mahogany elements of the sculpture were translated into tiles, then (with reference to only the most recent piece in the chain) into marble, aluminium, wood, paper pulp, slate and jesmonite – so this event extends a process of rumours to different forms of writing, exploring what happens to meaning within a context of translation and transition.
‘The thing about being lost in the woods, immersed in a great outdoors that purportedly no longer exists, is that one must circumnavigate according to principles of return and difference. In short, we must be able to make meaning from echoes. On the face of it, this sounds absurd; what sort of kinship could a simple echo have with the complexity of the mark, the word; in short, of language and meaning … I have never seen ‘Sticks and Stones’. I never promised to do so. I can only read the signs and listen for the echo of a mahogany log hitting the floor of a Belizean forest and begin to move in response, as the artist has before me. ‘Sticks and Stones’, even distant from me, makes this movement possible, daring to translate this event for me without any claim for origins or destinations…’
Richard Baxstrom, Backwoods and Boulders, an introduction written without access the writings or Lucy Skaer’s Sticks and Stones.
All of the new creative writing projects have been commissioned in the context of Lucy Skaer’s ‘The Green Man’, and we extend our sincere thanks to all of the artists and academics who have participated: Tim Craven, Katy Hastie, Moira Jeffrey, Ewan John, Catriona Kelly, Kate Keohane, Smita Kheria, Kate McAllister