Hemali Bhuta: Speed Breakers

Hemali Bhuta often creates works in response to particular places. Whilst Visiting Artist at YSP in 2012 she initially felt intimidated by the vast landscape of the Park, and so spent time walking to get to know the site. During this time she was especially drawn to the history of the man-made estate, to the trees, their related narratives and stories.

Drawing inspiration from Indian folklore around forests, she began researching English stories about trees and became inspired by an area in Oxley Bank wood that is surrounded by Beech trees, which were traditionally thought to ward off snakes. Speed Breakers are the roots of a fallen beech tree, cast in bronze and reintegrated into the route through the wood.

Bhuta developed the work as a subtle intervention within the landscape, intended to catch the eye rather than dominate the space it occupies. In this way it also references the roadside shrines commonly found in India that can often go unnoticed by passers-by.