Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon Village, London 6-8 May 2005
Every hour, on the hour during park opening times, regardless of audience or weather.

My hair was tied up and I wore jeans, yellow trainers and a blue t-shirt that read: ‘Head Gardener’. I walked along a path that curved left from amongst bushes. Leaving the path, I walked up a grassy incline positioning myself between two large trees . Trees of varying sizes stood around me. Turning to face the path from which I had come, I pulled a small scrap of white paper from my back pocket. I unfolded the paper, held it in front of me and began to read:

The tree was brilliantly lighted by a multitude of little tapers; and everywhere sparkled and glittered with bright objects. There were rosy-cheeked dolls, hiding behind the green leaves; and there were real watches dangling from innumerable twigs; there were French-polished tables, chairs, bedsteads, wardrobes, eight-day clocks, and various other articles of domestic furniture (wonderfully made, in tin, at Wolverhampton), perched among the boughs, as if in preparation for some fairy housekeeping; there were jolly, broad-faced little men, much more agreeable in appearance than many real men ­ and no wonder, for their heads took off, and showed them to be full of sugar-plums; there were fiddles and drums; there were tambourines, books, workboxes, paint-boxes, peep-show boxes, and all kinds of boxes; there were trinkets for the elder girls, far brighter than any grown-up gold and jewels; there were baskets and pincushions in all devices; there were guns, swords, and banners; there were witches standing in enchanted rings of pasteboard, to tell fortunes; there were teetotums, humming-tops, needle-cases, pen-wipers, smelling-bottles, conversation-cards, bouquet-holders; real fruit, made artificially dazzling with gold leaf; imitation apples, pears, and walnuts, crammed with surprises. This motley collection of odd objects, clustered on the tree like magic fruit, flashing back the bright looks directed towards it from every side.*

Through the wind and birdsong words were only clear to those who came close. I emphasised underlined words. The reading lasted about three minutes. I folded the paper along its creases and put it back in my pocket. I made my way down the slope, walking this time to the right. I walked down a path parallel to the one I had entered by. I could be seen walking away for some time, then took a turn out of sight. Overall my route was circular. Between readings I walked or sat within the park.

* An excerpt from A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens published in 1850

Readings every hour

for the show Sculpcha, Cannizaro Park, May 2005

Documentation of Festoon.