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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Why don't we have a gallery? Why don't we have a gallery?

Caroline Wendling

Oaks & Amity

2014 – 2015

Between birth and death, human beings have collective
work to do on earth.
Joseph Beuys
The White Wood

Caroline Wendling, originally from the Lorraine in France, joined us in winter of 2014/15. Her project responded to the centenary of the beginning of the First World War and culminated in the planting of the White Wood, a living monument to peace. 

In 2014, Britain prepared to commemorate one hundred years since the beginning of WW1. While we have shared relative peace in Europe since the end of WW2, over 40 countries and regions across the globe remain in conflict today. For most Europeans the horrors of war seem distant both in time and geographic terms. Huntly has a strong military history through its affiliation with the Gordon Highlanders. This has had a lasting impact on our town and has arguably influenced our perception of war and peace, with the lesser known stories of pacifists and survivors often going unheard. With this in mind, how can we think about a sustainable, peaceful future, while respectfully remembering our past? 


Caroline researched local connections to WW1, unearthing stories of local conscientious objectors who faced tribunals and work camps. Through conversations, consultations and participatory events, this dialogue culminated in the planting of the White Wood, a living monument to peace, with over 150 members of the Huntly community. The wood symbolically unites nations once at war, by bringing together oaks, grown from acorns from Joseph Beuys 7000 Oaks in Kassel/Germany, stones from the French battlefields, planted in British soil. The planting of this Peace Wood in the Bin Forrest consists of 49 Beuys oaks along with 700 native trees and 1000 other native wild flowers, all of a white nature. However, both the artwork and the wood will only be fully visible in 300 years, when the oaks reach maturity, and their roots push up the French stone now buried in the soil. This makes us wonder, how we can think more long-term, providing a sustainable future for generations with peace, ecology and respect for others in mind?

The White Wood was planted in March 2015. Oak trees grown in the Brander building garden have since been planted at Timespan, Helmsdale Spazio Thetis, Venice, and Murs-à-pêches Paris. The site continues as a community space for reflection with artists from all genres.

Bin forest/Hummel Stone:  off the B9022  O.S. grid reference is NJ 512421

Shadow CuratorLotte Juul Petersen

Creative Scotland Lottery Funded     Aberdeenshire Council     Forestry Commission  Grow Wild

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