The Reveal, a camera obscura embedded into the landscape at Hadleigh Country Park, developed by artists Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer of Heinrichpalmer, encourages moments of quiet contemplation with nature. Visitors to the Hadleigh 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.
During the development process artists Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer worked with local organisations in the development of the piece, and mentored artist Flisan Beard as part of the project. Their work with local organisations facilitated creative conversations and explorations of the park using the medium of photography, land art and creative writing. An exhibition ‘Scene and Sensed’ of the photographs and creative writing produced by participants from Open Arts and Rethink Recovery celebrated the engagement and the positive effect that creativity and the outdoors can have on our sense of well-being. Flisan Beard has also produced an artwork inspired by the surrounding landscape and is located within the park.