Le bois de Sharewood, la Cuisine, Nègrepelisse
“In 2011, la Cuisine (a contemporary art centre) invited matali crasset to think about a layout project for the Montrosiès forest. Located in the heart of a new area under construction, this municipal forest didn’t attract many people and had very basic facilities. The forest housed three beehives, undertaken by some inhabitants of Nègrepelisse including Francis Marty (town councillor and presently President of the Pollen Association). Throughout these meetings and working closely alongside City Hall, the designer developed a reflection based on debates regarding the question of cleanliness but also relationships between individual and group interest where the forest eventually became a conveyor of micro-utopias. This project thus took form as a cooperative beehive as well as a platform for exchanges and gatherings. Today it’s propelled by the Pollen Association.
The Sharewood Forest project is part of a more global approach developed by La Cuisine. This Art and Design Centre is dedicated to contemporary art creation. It considers the possible interactions between creation and the city. Whether it’s about design addressing notably the question of community involvement or even artistic practices relating to the city and its housing, we’re looking for a dialogue between councillors, inhabitants and artists for projects, questioning our way of life within society and particularly focusing on land management. By asserting our political awareness, this artistic commitment in regards to the community is looking to entertain a common and contextual project where everyone plays an active role. The city of Nègrepelisse therefore agrees to be a living experimental workshop. By thus participating in renewing a public space, La Cuisine wants to make creation a drive for social cohesion” Stéphanie Sagot
The Sharewood Forest is a planning project within the Montrosiès forest of Nègrepelisse: the creation of an apiary along with a tasting and discussion area within the forest itself. It also lays down the basis for a participative system to create a collective apiary like an association.
Alongside this apiary, the project continues with a structure inviting visitors to sit down and familiarize themselves with the forest – it’s a platform to invent traditions and have discussions about honey all year long. It’s designed as a meeting point, located in a clearing a few steps away from the beehives to ensure the bees are left alone.
This platform is original as it resembles two large pine branches which have fallen on the ground and which face each other, creating an area with benches and tables ... an area as if between parentheses.
This platform must be able to welcome people for honey-tasting moments, friendly get-togethers, school outings …
This area is ideal for practical explanations to be given after visiting the apiary.
Thanks to the signs hung all around the structure, visitors can understand the role bees play within biodiversity...
This platform should be able to manage a small seed market of honey plants so that all neighbours who were involved in this project can come and choose them.
Once the structure exists, it will facilitate scheduling various meetings and get-togethers throughout the year, depending on the seasons...
- Yohann Gozard, courtesy la Cuisine