Exploring ‘an area of outstanding unnatural beauty’: a treasure hunt around King’s Cross, London

Battista, Kathy; LaBelle, Brandon; Penner, Barbara; Pile, Steve and Rendell, Jane (2005). Exploring ‘an area of outstanding unnatural beauty’: a treasure hunt around King’s Cross, London. Cultural Geographies, 12(4) pp. 429–462.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1191/1474474005eu345oa

Abstract

In this paper we describe the Pleasure of treasure treasure hunt around London’s King’s Cross area. The pleasure of treasure was devised as a response to Richard Wentworth’s exhibition An area of outstanding unnatural beauty, November 2002. Richard Wentworth sought to explore the character of King’s Cross by creating an exhibition space that would provide somewhere both where the overlooked and hidden histories of King’s Cross could be gathered together and also where people from the King’s Cross area could engage with activities that had been lost or overlooked. Similarly, The pleasure of treasure sought to take people around the area with a view to exploring its histories and oddities. More than this, it hoped to open up the area to fresh eyes, capable of seeing the secret treasures that lay there. In keeping with Wentworth’s project, the beauty of King’s Cross lay not only in the process of exploration but also in the chance encounters (of various kinds) that sometimes surprise and sometimes disappoint.

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