The Field Tent: relational aesthetics in a canvas room
For mobile research, gatherings, and as a temporary home and workspace in the landscape, the Field Tent was pitched in many locations during Session Five. The Tent was the venue for a series of Annual Picnics and other events in Hampshire and the Isle for Wight, most notably an immersive research installation with artist Jane Wildgoose in 2008.
The Field Tent, originally an army marquee, also related to the two War Shrines, themselves inspired by military tent design, and which were used as fixed stations during Session Five.
Design sketch for the War Shrines by C. H. Turnor, c. 1917.
A further precedent was the 'canvas room' erected at a 'splendid fête' held eccentrically on New Year's Eve in 1819, during the construction of Stoneham House. The diarist Melesina Trench wrote:
'Mr Fleming intends to be our County Member [of Parliament] and gave a very fine and expensive ball ... But as something more than expense is necessary to make an entertainment of this kind, the failure was considerable on the side of comfort. He gave supper in a canvas room on the 31st of Dec when the thermometer on the day had been at 22 [-5ºC] and you may guess what it was on the night. Lady Clanricard, the great Lady of the Ball, rose from supper before the ices came in — and this solecism has been as much talked of as the Retreat of the 10,000.'