Into The Woods
Overseas Magazine, Issue 731
September - November 2022
Woodlands have long been associated with the virtues of freedom, mystery, wisdom and even rebellion, and in an age of digital extroversion, the sanctity of these enigmatic habitats offer a rare chance for introspection. Whether ‘forest bathing’ (a Japanese term to describe the act of absorbing the forest’s atmosphere) or simply taking a walk in the woods, these spaces invite us to reconnect to the mysteries of the natural world and discover the gifts hidden among the trees. So as the season changes, this edition is dedicated to the magic of wooded landscapes.
In ‘Treasures of the forest’ on page 6, I’ll be learning from four experts across the world about what makes the forests of their native homeland uniquely beautiful, from the gorgeous blazes of colour that characterise a Massachusetts fall, to the tree-covered hills that claim home to the sought-after truffle of Piedmont. On page 12 nature writer and artist Tiffany Francis-Baker uncovers the fascinating secrets of the ‘Wood Wide Web’ a system of communication between trees, fungi and other organisms that is completely transforming the ways in which scientists understand woods and their fascinating inhabitants. Elsewhere, on page 15 we hear about a life-affirming project (due to debut at ROSL in January) in which the whisperings of Hiroshima’s survivor trees are giving a voice back to survivors of laryngeal cancer; and Olly Fathers explains how he’s reshaping wood offcuts to create some unique artwork for the Brabourne Room on page 22.
On what would have been the 150th anniversary of his birth, Abi Millar celebrates the talents of Vaughan Williams, discovering how the composer’s fascination with English folk tunes inspired his music on page 16. And on page 26 we talk to Director of the iconic London Library Philip Marshall to talk all things literary. There’s much more to discover too, and we hope you enjoy this issue in which we invite you to sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the magic of the wild.
- Rosie Allen, Overseas Editor