I don’t relish the thought of Swansea. My toxic-addictive identity, however, does undoubtedly.
The landscape of Swansea is drawn from the prelude as the sea, with its stretching fields and woodlands that reach towards Brecon and Gower and with its ever-transmuting features that are being expedited by man more often than afore.
Kilvey Hill, a notable landscape feature to the east of the city had been denuded of vegetation by fumes between 1770 and 1900, during the heavy metal smelting period of Swansea’s history. Kilvey Hill became a place of ritualistic practices. In his essay “Of Other Spaces”, Foucault explored utopias and heterotopias. Living within and studying a society made of the relationships between rituals, space, identity, and time he laid a substructure for the philosophical and sociological interventions.
In November 2019, my companion and I ascended on the hill with conceptions of marking the seasons and eluding the city. There was something intrinsically captivating about getting high above sea level and the return to the horizontal perspective, experiencing tarmac as a comedown.
Our assignment was to accumulate a tree, somewhere between four and eight years of age, to place in my own garden as a sanctuary to nature. Considering the contamination of soils on Kilvey Hill and the virtually negative prosperity growth rate of trees planted and trees surviving, the accumulated tree would be given a new home.