A Walk in Hyde Park

It was a beautiful autumnal day – bright blue cloudless skies and a golden setting sun glowing through the orange dying leaves. In autumn I am always struck by the process of death and regeneration happening so immediately before our eyes as leaves fall and unite with the ground, becoming one with the soil and morphing into energy to nourish new life and growth in the following spring. Hyde Park is the perfect stage on which to witness this performance. 

We met at the Albert memorial and walked together to the Serpentine Gallery where we visited ‘Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015’ which exhibited ginormous sculptures of abstract figures each made out of an entire tree. A member of the group commented on the human need to make everything look human and that it could be better and more interesting to just look at a tree. Another commented how nice it was to see a whole tree be used for sculpture rather than just taking some parts and wasting the rest. 

Our next stop was ‘Queen Caroline’s Temple’ where we asked the group to imagine and write down the story of the temple. After walking around the long water and past the Italian gardens we stopped in a small hut and shared our stories, I have transcribed some below:

“At night when the park is closed, monsters and magical creatures that hide during the daytime come to this building to eat, party and fornicate. Sometimes they steal and eat humans who have snuck to the park after dark. The creatures built the temple themselves and it remains a mystery to all humans.”

“In 1816 children learnt Macbeth with their governess and performed it for their father at the dinner party. The father then built a stoned pavilion so that the children would have somewhere to perform and hold shows for their servants.”

For our final stop we visited The Arch by Henry Moore which beautifully frames the Long Water and park landscape. The sun was now setting so the sky was pink and orange. A heron sat on top of the sculpture like a performer on a stage. Not far away a stranger with a bag of nuts sat on the ground feeding squirrels, they were crawling all over her eating out of the palm of her hand. 

We parted ways after walking around the Serpentine Lake in the setting sun, conversation bubbling out as it often does when walking. The movement of walking seems to unsettle the psyche and trigger deeper thoughts to surface. This is the joy of a collective stroll in the park!