On a leisure trip to Ceylon, stopping for lunch at the Nuwara Elya’s Hill Club, I chat with a Dutch man who runs a tea plantation and becomes passionate about my land art experiments. When it’s time to part, he unexpectedly asks me if I am willing to be his guest for a couple of days and imagine how to change the appearance of an entire hill of his estate.
I have the impression that above all he likes the idea of having his workers realize something incongruous and incomprehensible to them; however his proposal is tantalizing.
Once on the spot I realize that the intervention is severely limited by the few hours of labor made available. I can therefore only design by subtraction.
The next day the weather is hellish: it rains without interruption. Somehow the work is finished, but the very poor visibility prevents me from seeing the result.
The next morning, my expectations are disappointed. We are shrouded in fog, visibility not even 5 meters and no bright spells are expected.
Out of desperation I place myself in a dominant position, so that if the fog were to thin out even for a few minutes, I might take photographs. In mid-afternoon, after a violent downpour, for a few precious moments the fog is swept away. Just the time for a few shots and everything is wrapped again in an impenetrable curtain.
Pass another day without any weather improvement and my guest, who seems to have lost all interest in the project, makes me understand it’s time to resume my journey.
He promises he will send photos, but he never did.