Key to Isla Penibla

Having reached a certain age and still contemplating the direction I want my life to go in, I suddenly became aware of an activity that is essentially much more important than all the other activities I have undertaken during my lifetime (including my artistic life). The activity in question has been going on for the past 35 years on an island, a charming plot of peat moor that is gradually, but irreversibly, sinking into the mud. On this occasion, I have called the plot of land (and the activities going there) ‘Isla Penibla’. The location is unimportant and a closely guarded secret for numerous reasons. It’s a too-good-to-be-true land, a paradise on earth, the smallest kingdom, a fanciful hiding place, my counterpoint and a statement to the world. It’s a place where I tire myself out and find time to draw breath, where I can laugh at other people and more importantly, at myself, and where I sometimes saw off the very branch I am sitting on. Quite simply, it’s taken me 35 years to realise how important this activity has always been to me, and still is. I have taken it so much for granted that I never actually noticed the results of what I was doing. Without any prior planning, tree after tree has been planted and replanted, until after all this drudgery and toiling, a work of art was created that far surpasses the fruits of any of my other labours (including as an artist). A simple field has been transformed into a fantastic biotope, an enclave for romantics, a place of refuge for my soul. Isla Penibla is a work of incredible, pure beauty, totally unrivalled by any other work.... A considerable slap in the face for any self-respecting photographer/artist. This heavenly body has been years in the making, and will survive as an oasis where you can relax and spend time long after we have ‘crossed’ to the other side.   On show:1. An inventory (key) of all the trees we have planted, and a short account of what these trees mean to me (depicted on Daisy’s wood as if on stone tablets).   2. The photographic panorama: a crash on ‘Isla Penibla’…. 3. Manifesto: Do tree yourself! Create your own Isla Penibla (plant foliage for the world wherever you can and create a work of incredible beauty, unrivalled by any other work of art....) With thanks to Daisy.

Paul Gofferjé