Miles Davies, 1988
“The shape of the structure was conceived both of feelings evoked in me by the forest itself and as a result of the preoccupations I had been exploring in previous work - the nature of the individual in relation to the surrounding environment, and the position of the personal within the structures of society. These were ideas that I had previously worked on and they seemed to `fit’ what I had in mind for the forest.” Miles Davis
House is almost invisible unless you are looking for it. A tall, elongated structure, it echoes both the trees which surround it and the mine shafts which plunge below. It is capped by a simple house shape, a metaphor for the shelter and security provided by the forest.
Miles Davis already knew the site well when he was commissioned to create a sculpture for the Sculpture Trail, having assisted with Magdalena Jetelová’s Place the previous year. He wanted to capture the area’s comforting and timeless sense of solitude, which is quite different from that of an urban environment or a mountainous landscape.
The sculpture is cut from steel, an appropriate material reflecting the forest’s history of iron-ore mining. The steel was cut using oxy-propane cutting gear, and was clamped into position in the artist’s studio. The steel has been allowed to rust, giving the structure a colour in-keeping with the surrounding environment and echoing the hidden industrial workings which still remain in the forest.
In the artist’s words: “During the summer months the structure would be almost totally hidden by the dense foliage; it would not be wholly seen until one entered the clearing, giving the sculpture an element of surprise. Throughout the winter the abstract shape of the sculpture could be seen through the trees, and this shape would take different forms depending on the light, distance and direction, giving approaching walkers a visual puzzle.”