Simulacrum, an installation in the wilds of Northumberland, was built of over 8,000 obsolete books. The structure echoed the precision and geometry of the Roman defensive structures found along Hadrian’s Wall in contrast to the subsuming natural environment. As designed, the sculpture began to decay almost immediately – the rain permeated the pages, the sun cracked the covers and insects and spores began to colonise the books. This mirrored the act of ruination of the ancient monuments themselves, be it at an accelerated pace. Along with the notions of impermanence and preservation, the work explores the ideas of language, migration and the materialisation of knowledge and experience through the written word.
This project was commissioned by Hadrian Arts Trust and funded by the Arts Council England and Northumberland National Parks.