Lewes: Local Nature Reserve, Sussex
You can discern the sinuous pattern – a double vortex – of Chris Drury’s Heart of Reeds installation that emerges from the landscape when you stand on the project’s boardwalk, or look upon the artwork from the viewing mound. Drury likens the design to a “cross section through a human heart, reflecting the interconnections between man and environment.”
On his web site, Drury includes the Lewes land art project in the category: Growing Works
rather than a Commissioned, Permanent or Temporary Site-Specific Installation, or a Cloud Chamber.
You need walk only a few minutes from the center of town to take in the wetland’s sights and sounds, as a break from the gentle hubbub that Lewes offers residents and travelers.
Designed for the local Nature Reserve in collaboration with the Railway Wildlife Trust and the town council, the work purposefully aims to increase biodiversity in an area along old railway sidings. Designed by Drury in 2004, the artist expected a time-frame of three years would be necessary for the plantings to become established as a reed bed. Visiting in May, 2011, I found a lush, serene landscape filled with bird song.
An in-depth record of the construction, design, and the site’s development can be found on the
Visit the National Trail South Downs web site for information on beautiful walking paths, wildlife, and villages in this area of great natural beauty.
A view of Lewes from the balcony of my Bed & Breakfast lodgings. And below, looking across the wetlands to the Chalk Cliff; a heavy grey sky overhead.