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In the last 22 years Judy Kravis and Peter Morgan have planted 30,000 deciduous trees on a hill above the River Lee in County Cork, Ireland. They have transformed agricultural land into woodland, pond and meadow, creating habitats that sustain wildlife alongside the artist's life.

The development of the land happened organically, like the books. The longer you stay in a place the more you learn how to inhabit it, the more it absorbs you. The main connection between the work of the land and the work of books is the absorption; they sit sweetly side by side and feed each other.

The first woodland was planted in 1998, the second in 2014, and the most recent in 2020. The more recent woodlands are all native species—oak, birch, rowan, hawthorn, spindle, hazel, aspen, crabapple, cherry and holly. Gradually the field has reverted to something like a field on a hill in County Cork before agriculture: dense with mixed wild grasses and rich in plantains, sorrel, vetches and yellow rattle.

Visitors began to use words like oasis and paradise. The instinct to close the gate and be inside was gradually replaced by the idea of a quasi-public space, and in the summer of 2016 they invited people to come for a wander on the land.

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—There’s so much everywhere.
—So many contemplative spaces, both indoors and out.
—Sitting up at the pond, you can feel it all slip away.
—The way the garden and the field and woods are one.
—I haven't walked in a field like this since I was a child.


 At the end of 2018 work began on a timber-frame cabin between the garden and the woodland, and the following summer the Cabin at Road Books opened as an artist residency. In the past 18 months, artists, writers and musicians have spent time here and participated in the work of the land alongside their own creative practice.


Come for a wander, an open invitation, summer 2016
Equinox Dinner, pop-up restaurant by Comida/Glutglut (Ciarán Meade and Wayne Dunlea), September 2016
Young Scientists Projects (Colaiste Choilm, Ballincollig), on soil fertility and water run-off, December 2016
Palaeoecology students from Department of Archaeology, UCC, with Ben Gearey, March 2017
Second Year sculpture students from Limerick School of Art and Design, with Róisín Lewis, 2017,  2018
MA students from Crawford School of Art and Design, with Lucy Dawe-Lane, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022
Permaculture students from Kinsale College, Cork, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Students from the MA in Sustainable Planning, UCC, 2019, 2020, 2022
A Meadow Full of Music, a live performance with 9 stringed instruments, created by Isobel O'Donovan, hosted by Road Books, supported by the Arts Council, Ireland, July 2021
All the way from Slovenia, Alja Adam & Jani Lapajne, poetry & double bass performance, August 2022

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The Quay Co-op, Cork
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design – Lucy Dawe-Lane.
Kinsale College sustainable-horticulture-permaculture — Donal Chambers
The Library, Special Collections, University College Cok — Cronán O Doibhlinn


Judy Kravis and Peter Morgan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.