Towards the Sound of Wilderness

Cristina Iglesias’s architectural intervention on the ramparts of Martello 4 offers the illusion of an entrance into another world. Iglesias’s sculpture allows visitors a chance to view this historic monument for the first time in many years. Visitors will need to negotiate a path cut through shrubs and trees to a mirrored walk-in structure clad with resin foliage. A window at the end of this passageway opens up a view of the overgrown tower and moat with its extraordinary wildlife.

The Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias has long been fascinated by mazes, labyrinths and mirrors and therefore with locations that encourage tricks of perception, losing your way and making serendipitous discoveries. For the Folkestone Triennial in 2011 she uncovered a long lost secret garden.  As you approach this site at the end of the leas, you will have spotted a dense cluster of foliage of what looks like an overgrown shrub or tree protruding above the surrounding buildings. Hidden beneath this abundance of foliage is one of Folkestone’s Martello towers, built in 1806 to protect a feared invasion from Napoleonic France which never materialized. The tower has been in inaccessible for many years thanks to the dense vegetation that has engulfed the walls, ramparts and surrounding moat. Nature appears to have stealthily conquered a structure that was built for manmade defence. But Iglesias has reinserted a subtle human intrusion into this microcosm of untamed wildlife. She has designed a platform that allows visitors to peer into this secret world whilst the structure itself remains hidden amongst the surrounding foliage due to its reflective coating of stainless steel.

 

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