Do It In Public … Thomas Clark

Introducing the wasteland collective … Tommy Clark.

What are wastelands?

I believe that a wasteland is an area of land that at one time had a specific purpose. The purpose has been removed and a new use for the area has not been established. The piece of land can no longer be defined. It was something, it may possibly be something in the future, but for now, it is nothing.

By my definition the signs of wasted space are simple. They are physical elements that were constructed for a purpose and are now no longer used. Houses that are not lived in, shops that are no longer open, industries that produce nothing.

For me the challenge is not necessarily to physically change wastelands, but simply to redefine them. A former industrial/ residential/ commercial site will always be considered a waste land if the public see it as being so.

What can wastelands be?

I would like to show that there is incredible ecological potential within wastelands, and it simply needs to be exposed. The extreme nature and singular function of these sites often creates unique conditions, diminishing common competitor species and allowing rare and unique habitats to grow.

I already had an interest in this particular topic after completing my dissertation on a similar subject. However, it became personally much more interesting when recently assisting an ecologist of a site survey in Perth. The ecologist noticed and recorded a huge range of plants and animals. By the end of the visit I realised that the road side we were studying was teeming with life and activity, and that it will almost always go unnoticed by the average person.

To take an ecologist onto an extreme post industrial site and survey what plants and animals are there. I will collect any evidence of interesting / rare / unusual species. I proposed to visit an extreme ‘wasteland’ with an ecologist and survey the range of species that live there. I will then collect the most interesting and rare examples and preserve them. I will compare the image of the run down site with the exuberant colour and life which is underneath the surface.The project aims to explore the existing potential of wastelands.

One comment

  1. anna macaulay

    A really interesting and deeply along my streams of thought and intrest, be good to chat one day im going to wastland show friday be good to meet you if your there, thanks very much for thought provoking peace.anna +

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