Anna Heinrich & Leon Palmer

Estuary Associated Programme: ‘The Reveal’ in Hadleigh Country Park 

The Reveal, a camera obscura embedded into the landscape at Hadleigh Country Park, developed in 2015 by artists Anna Heinrich & Leon Palmer of Heinrichpalmer, encourages moments of quiet contemplation with nature. Visitors to the country park can sit and view the dramatic vista this area of Essex offers over the Thames Estuary, observing the natural environment from the changes in weather to the migration of birds. Whether coming on a one-off trip or a regular visitor to the park, each experience within the buried chamber will be unique as the seasonal changes in the surrounding countryside is reflected.

The structure was inspired by the forms found in the park, nature and the heritage of the area. Located near to where World War II gun placements are situated, the hidden from reflects the area’s past as a lookout point across the estuary, although the focus is now on nature. Exposing the soil and creating banks during the installation of the piece was also designed to developed new habitat for insects such as the Shrill Carder bee.

The Reveal is a result of funding from the RSPB’s Nature Improvement Area (NIA) programme and Arts Council of England funding. The NIA is an innovative programme designed to encourage people to engage with the natural environment. The RSPS appointed Place Services as Essex County Council Public Art team to develop and manage the project.

All images: Copyright Anna Heinrich & Leon Palmer.

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