Lost in the Woods, The Adventure of Arthur.
Arthur gets lost in a wood and is guided in a vision quest by woodland animals. He sees how mankind has become separated from nature in this green adventure and becomes resolved to do something about it. The book contains hand-drawn images of Arthur’s Adventure along with the accompanying story. Ideal for younger readers who like a nature story!
A brief history of how this book came about. A sculptor and community activist called Jamie McCullough had a vision in 1976 which resulted in the building of Meanwhile Gardens in North Paddington in London. His vision involved turning a piece of derelict urban decay into a useful park for residents. The project was turned over into the hands of the locals for completion. Jamie McCullough went in search of a rural base for his next vision, which turned out to be Beginner’s Way, also known locally as The Magic Walk, built into Haldon Woods near Exeter in the early 1980’s.
It was here I met Jamie as I was a student of David Harding studying Art and Design in a Social Context at Dartington College of Arts. I was making stuff out of dry stone walls and once I had finished the course, went to work in the woods to help him build this walk. We raised funds from The Elmgrant Trust at Dartington, The Arts Council, the Carnegie Foundation and a couple of others to build this story about the creative process. The Forestry Commission at Kennford were also very helpful. The walk used places, such as a maze, bridges, sculptures, walkways, tunnels, steps and so on, built through the wood to form a story. I was appointed Deputy Director, which was a bit of a joke since there were only two of us who were funded. I worked in the woods with Jamie for a year.
The walk caught on and became so popular that the Forestry Commission had to lay down gravel paths. In its short life of seven years it attracted over half a million visitors just by word of mouth since it was never promoted. People still walk the trail now even though the features have gone.
‘The Adventure of Arthur‘ was a story which I wrote and illustrated, inspired by the experience of making this walk with Jamie.
I have now called it Lost in the Woods. I have published it as a black and white paperback book for £5.99 and it is also available for the Kindle reader in colour for £4.56