Bryan Carman - We Need Space
During my high school years I found some disused land at the base of the Adelaide hills - the size of about two football fields. My friends and I claimed it as our own and we had it for about 6 years. Though most considered lazy by the standards of the outside world, here things were different. We collectively levelled ground with shovels and picks - work now days always left to machinery.
We harvested olive wood using hand saws, scavenged and dragged corrugated iron from neighbouring properties. We built a humble shelter to protect ourselves from the rain. The land had a range of species growing but we did not want to harvest native species. We saw that pine wood rotted rapidly yet dead olive wood remained strong. No power tools meant no screws, and the density of the wood also ruled out using nails. So we developed our own system of interlocking timber and then lashing corrugated iron sheets on with fencing wire.
This space became our own world where we could build whatever we wanted and be whatever we wanted. The threat of the outside world meddling with us was always present, and a few years in our treehouse was discovered as a tangled mess with chainsaw marks through the main structural supports - then the police came and threatened us.
A year later we rebuilt. We constructed a 3 level treehouse, crude but structurally sound. We opened it up once a year for a huge party.
Hundreds of people would make the trek - though just 25min out of the city, it felt like you were deep in some mystical forest far from anything. Eventually the outside world came in and destroyed that one also.
This artwork is a homage to a formative time of my life. The lessons I learnt from those years I’m still trying to grapple with, experiment with, and communicate to the world.