Artwork by Fiona Glen
Welcome to the Best Park Ever...
Fantasy map in pencil made on invitation for HORRID Covid!, an online zine exploring the cultural repercussions of the 2020 COVID-19 crisis in the United Kingdom. This piece was created in May 2020 for Issue Four: The Park. In response to our renewed emotional and imaginative investment in park life during lockdown, I asked what the park can provide when our scenery cannot change. What is the ideal park, and how can it be more welcoming than the ones we walk through today?
I wrote playful descriptions that are mapped in a childlike voice across this bubbling landscapes, soft yet somehow expanding and slightly menacing. The park’s form seems to imitate a group of living cells – enclosures with the capacity to expand, exchange, and move. It is an organism, containing and exchanging dreamlike possibilities, some real, others unattainable.
The text below was also published in Issue Four of HORRID Covid!. It creates a simple mantra of simple desires to hold and be with friends and family in public space. In early June 2020, none of these activities were possible under necessary regulations – and many of them are still not permitted. ‘some day soon’ acts as a small prayer for those basic pleasures of living together to return.
some day soon
we pick up pastries, on the way home from church, at the Sunday market in the park
we decide to meet again, after all these months, and you take my hand in the park
we regroup between sets to refill water our bottles from the fountain in the park
we drink two hot chocolates each after our weekly swim at the lido in the park
we all cuddle up together on the grass at the open-air cinema in the park
we meet our granddaughter and we all link arms as we walk in the park
we have a huge reunion picnic with all our college friends in the park
we collect our exam results and celebrate with our class in the park
we near the finish line and see friends cheering us on in the park
we lie down, side by side, to watch the stars in the park
we sweat in front of a huge sound system in the park
we throw a birthday party for our twins in the park
we spin and spin on the roundabout in the park
we rent a Pedalo to tour the lake in the park
we swing high on the swings in the park
we pet all the friendly dogs in the park
we share an ice cream in the park
we meet with a hug in the park
we forget our cares in the park