Timber, oxblood, corrugated iron, lights, solar panel
20 x 20 x 6 m
‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Commissioned by dertien hectare for the exhibition The Woods That See and Hear, 2010
Saint John sits at the centre of dertien hectare, a newly planted recreational woodland on the site of a former intensive pig farm. The structure draws upon the vernacular form of the illegal two-up gambling stadiums of Australia, taking their double ring form to create a frame around an area of woodland and to form an enclosed meeting place. The corrugated iron cladding that forms the walls is taken also from the tradional cladding of these stadiums, though here it also references the agricultural buildings that once sat on the site, as do the long industrial flouescent tubes that rise up from the structure. The timber framing is finishing in a more local vernacular tradition of using ox blood as a timber finish, one that has all but died out in the country.
The structure itself was built using labour drawn from the itinerant population of eastern european workers that reside in a trailer park that sits at the edge of the local town, the Polish workers Adam Owczarz, Piotr Wlodovczyk and Waldemar Wozny. The form of the structure itself is tailored towards the social habits and traditions of this portion of the population of the town. To that end it is a meeting place, most particularly a night time one, as suggested by its lights which turn on at dusk and off again in the early morning. It offers a place in the woods to congregate, talk and to drink beer.