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Log Lookout

Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley, 1996

A shelter made from untreated larch logs.

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Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley worked through the winter of 1996-7 to create Log Lookout on a high point overlooking The Forks in the Lewisburn valley. The structure was constructed using untreated larch logs with their sawn ends exposed. Set out as two intersecting ramp shaped walls, Log Lookout had small benches formed from longer protruding logs and a turfed roof formed over a seat in one of its inner corners. 

Jim Partridge said:

"People are on the defensive against sculpture, frightened of not understanding it, while they can react straightforwardly and unselfconsciously to functional work like this that invites our participation and tells us more this way than we would learn just by looking or touching."

"The Kielder lookout reminds us via the material that this is a commercial forest (even alluding to the uses to which the timber is put - the cut surfaces of the logs, seen end-on with their gradually detaching rind of bark and concentric circles of growth rings, look like scrolls of papyrus or rolls of paper in some ancient library or archive), while simuntaneously recalling via its structure the former sheep walks that the forest replaced." 

The lookout also directly referenced the timber stacks seen by roadsides around Kielder as the harvested crop awaits collection and transportation to sawmills across the north of England.

Log Lookout was eventually dismantled in 2004 when natural deterioration of its untreated wood led to the structure being no longer suitable for public use.


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