Being in contact with real nature seems to be nearly impossible in our busy city lives. Finding a natural place where humans haven’t intervened is not possible, in fact it is known that the only places on earth where it is untouched by humans are some parts at the bottom of the ocean. This came as a shock to me due to our short presence on this planet. My passion for life is our natural world and the living systems we are sharing these moments with. It made me wonder if I would ever be in contact with untouched nature, so I began my search for a sacred place where I can feel myself and nature, nothing else. My trip to Hut 136 came as a good surprise when my body felt the unexpected connection with our natural world. I believe that we need to be working with our natural world rather than against it, being kind to her as she is kind to us, it sounds obvious but we are not doing so.
When People United told me they had a Hut in Herne Bay which I could use to reflect upon my work while being connected to nature I had to go and experience it myself. As I first arrived at Herne Bay for the first time, I had a big smile on my face as I saw the ocean. I was planning on staying in Hut 136 for a whole day and perhaps paint or draw so I carried with me the following materials; sketchbook and pen, acrylic paint and brushes, water, a sweater and my camera. The sun was hiding behind clouds and the strong winds blowing forced me to shelter inside the hut, sitting comfortably I waited for inspiration…waited and waited and nothing came but comfort making me fall asleep.
Half an hour passed, I opened my eyes and saw a small sun ray shining down, too small to sunbathe but enough to encourage me to come out and explore. Walking along the empty beach I found myself attracted by the rocks, beautiful rocks that have gone through many years of evolution and unexplained processes to end up right there for me to touch. Finding the strangest and most beautiful rocks was my priority, with the object of leaving them behind in the hut for the next visitor to enjoy, or be challenged to go and find their favourites and add them to the collection. I then thought of collecting the whitest rocks on the beach and used them to decorate the front steps of the hut. After a couple of hours of picking rocks I went back inside the hut organized the rocks and sat in my chair.
The amplified sounds of the waves against the rocks was very calming, as I closed my eyes I found real nature present through the sound of the wind and the ocean, manifesting on the rocks. Their unique forms were shaped by the ocean through natural processes. I am hoping the display of rocks left in the hut will inspire the next user to appreciate the beauty that our natural world shares with us; therefore we can admire and be kind to her.
Thank you People United for this experience!