‘The Reveal’

Client: Hadleigh Country Park Olympic Legacy Team, Essex County
Council and RSPB with funding from their Nature Improvement Area
(NIA) programme and Arts Council of England.
Artists: Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer of Heinrichpalmer

Highlighting the important salt marsh habitat along the Thames Estuary The Reveal, a camera obscura embedded into the landscape, encourages moments of quiet contemplation with nature. Visitors to the Hadleigh Park can sit and view the dramatic vista this area of Essex offers over the Thames Estuary, observing the natural environment from the changes in the weather, the seasons and the migration of birds.

Located near to former World War II gun placements, the hidden form reflects the area’s past as a lookout point across the estuary, the focus now on nature. The exposure of soil around the form being designed to create new insect habitat.

Heinrichpalmer worked with local organisations, schools and near-by residents, facilitating creative conversations and explorations of the park using photography, land art and creative writing. An exhibition ‘Scene and Sensed’ of the photographs and creative writing produced by participants from Open Arts and Rethink Recovery, two local organisations assisting people experiencing mental ill-health. The exhibition celebrated the engagement and the positive effect that creativity and the outdoors can have on our sense of well-being.

Management of the project involved accommodating a key concern voiced by the community to maintain unobstructed views to the sea alongside obtaining approvals from English Heritage and Natural England due to areas of the park being designated SSSI, AONB and the site of an Ancient Scheduled Monument.