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路SYLVAN路 01路

Editor-in-chief Graphic designer: + Ding Ding (stephytin1990@gmail.com)

Thanks to: Andrew Tucker Nan Zhang Eve Chen Coco Wang Kaijun Yi Suzanne Barrett Emma Shackleton Lucy Cover and back cover:

Photography: Ding Ding


SYLVAN - 2015 AUTUMN/WINTER ISSUE - 01

EDITOR’S LETTER When I returned to China a few months ago, my parents had built a little roof garden for entertainment. It had the best sunset view and the freshest breeze. It was the place where I have spent the summer, escaping from the chilliness of London. Not too big nor too small, the vegetables grown in this evergreen oasis were enough for our daily life. I helped my parents take care of the aromatic plants, drank teas, read books and quietly painted there. It was a different, reassuring space, which inspired me to create the magazine Sylvan. In this issue, just like the roof garden, Sylvan has rustling plants plus the soil for bold imaginations. The intention is to build a 2D space filled with what we dream and imagine, and what we conceive and believe. In the realm of Sylvan, mysterious stories, whimsical editorials, amazing artists and their works are shared unreservedly. I sincerely hope that you, too, find it an exciting space to think freely, and draw inspiration to try something new. I appreciate your support and am so happy to have you as a reader of Sylvan. Enjoy! Ding Ding

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08

The Mask I Wear

16 Interview Designer Zi Dan - The Sock Maker 20 A Tree of Life 28 The Arrangement by Ruth van Beek - A Record of Damage and Rebirth 35 Plant Perception - The Secret Life of Plants 40 The Cottingley Faries 48 Sylph 59 The Green Children of Woolpit - Visitors from Another World? 63 On the Way to Granny's 72 Petrichor

CONTENTS

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THE MASK I WEAR Photography+Styling+Mask Design: Ding Ding Model: Coco Wang Shooting Assistant: Kaijun Yi

In front of other people we sometimes pretend that we feel calm, confident and fearless. They are the masks that we decorate with the most glorious lustre, hiding our real selves. We can be afraid to take them off. Yet sometimes, and somehow, a part of what we pretend gradually becomes our second nature. The masks give us the opportunities that the inner self would not dare dream about. Confidence and calm slide into our bodies, while weakness and insecurity quietly fade away.

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Dress: SYM


Top: Dou Wu Zhi Yi


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Interview Designer Zi Dan – The Sock Maker Words: Ding Ding

When it comes to emerging fashion designers in China, the new generation coming out of Taobao.com, China’s e-commerce giant, cannot be ignored. In contrast to the world-scale stage of international Fashion Weeks, Taobao is a platform where you can show and sell your design with just an ID card and small payment. This open and loose business environment has long been the incubator for new talent that has deeply influenced Chinese young girls’ style and, even, their attitudes today. Sock designer Zi Dan is just one of them. With such a platform, making dreams come true becomes not that difficult. Zi Dan teamed up with a friend and started the brand Okashina Me in 2013. She designs beautiful socks with iconic floral prints and intense colours. Even when worn with a pair of long trousers in the winter, the flash of a sock showing at the ankle can still catch people’s attention.

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Photography: Ren Hang

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Okashina Me’s provocative lookbook is also remarkable: plants, nudity and nature are the prominent themes. Its photographer Ren Hang, one of the best-known photographers in China who has long been an “idol” of art students, is Zi Dan’s friend. Among designers, some like Yohji Yamamoto are smooth talkers, yet others like Rei Kawakubo, who are misers with words. During the interview with Zi Dan, what impressed me most was her modesty. “I am not a conversationlist”, says Zi Dan. Her weibo, a Chinese micro blogging website akin to a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter, reflects her ethos: not many words, but a lot of inspiring retro pictures of young girls and plants. When you have creative works that are powerful enough, they speak all by themselves. Q: Could you introduce yourself a little bit, please? A: I am Zi Dan. I design for Okashina Me and promote the brand online and offline. The brand was founded in 2013. We are currently based in Shanghai and I work at home. Q: Why did you name the brand Okashina Me? What does it mean? A: We were inspired by a poet named Birthday by Cheng Gu: “Flower seeds, Strange eyes”. Okashina Me’s Chinese name Hua Zi ( 花 籽 ) means “flower seeds”. It also means potentialities and the unknowns. Everything in this world is full of joy - flowers or leaves are all unique scenes, especially in the eyes of children. We want to extracts softness and mystery of nature, revives sweet childhood memories. Q: How did you get started as a sock designer? Why socks? A: Years ago we had a friend who owned a vintage shop, where we saw many weird but stunning prints on shirts and skirts. But we couldn’t find any interesting socks. Soon we decided to make our own. Another reason is that the shapes of the socks are simple and similar so that we can focus more on the prints.

We want to Q: The colours of the socks are striking! Where did you draw inspirations from? Also you use a lot of flowers in your themes. extracts softness A: The prints are just how the plants look like – I like plants and animals. and mystery of Q: Does your design reflect your personal style or the things you like? A: My personal style might not look as chic as you think. I usually wear black.

nature, revives sweet childhood memories.

Q: By far the customers can only buy Okashina Me from two Taobao shop – one is your own and the other is the famous multi-brand store Hey Shu. Are you going to collaborate with more multi-brand stores or open your own physical store? A: We hope that we can open our own physical store in the future. We also would love to collaborate with more multi-brand stores like Hey Shu, or some vintage stores. But we only make low-volume production now. The cost is pretty high. If we collaborate with them, we have to make sure we get enough share in the profit. By far we just make socks, and we might design more beautiful stuffs in the future.

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A Tree of Life Styling + Art Director + Accessory Design: Nan Zhang PhotographyďźšMuka Model: Kate Makeup: Omar Bouker

In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is an immense tree at the centre of Norse cosmology, connecting to nine worlds. It is considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble their things. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens and the three roots support the tree and that extend far away into the other worlds. Within Yggdrasil, dragons, eagles and other wondrous creatures live.


Accessories: Lion Studio Garments: Tyler Alexander Steele Seraphin


Accessories: Dorry Hsu Garments: Umme Salma


BOOK REVIEW:

The Arrangement by Ruth an Beek — A Record of Damage and Rebirth Words: Ding Ding

Ruth van Beek, Untitled ( The Arrangement ), 2012 Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam


Perhaps many people might feel the same way today: the more time you spend in the stressed, snippy world of fashion, the easier you get numb and muted. Walking away to the relatively low-pitched realm of art, even just for a while, can sometimes wake you up surprisingly. Collage work by Ruth van Beek, the 38-year-old Dutch artist, has just such an effect on me. “Somewhere between object and living organism” is how van Beek describes her work. As a distinctive part of modern art, collage questions what constitute an image and how new meaning could be created from the subjects of popular culture and everyday life. Following the tradition of contemporary collage, van Beek looks at existing materials, plays around with them to push the boundaries of photography, creating a new whole. What differentiates her work from others is her own visual language. The work not only is an assemblage of different forms, but also has a sense of simplicity, elegance and subtleness. Her book, The Arrangement published in 2013, which represents a series of images on flower arranging, is representative of that style.

Graduating from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2002, van Beek furthered her education with a Masters in Photography because of the strong love for photographic image. Yet in the end, she stopped making photos and just collected and worked with existing ones, with which van Beek made her books: The Hibernators on animal collage and The Arrangement on plant collage.

The work not only is an assemblage of

different forms, but also has a

sense of simplicity, elegance and Sculptor and painter Lesley Martin describes The Arrangement as “a simple, clean subtleness. book – a deceptively restrained, slight package for a disorienting and seductive body of work.” Readers might be confused about the content since the cover of the book is purely yellow. Yet once it is opened, it is like entering van Beek’s box of experiment. In artist and reviewer Penelope Umbrico’s words, the collaged images “become defiantly unbalanced hybrid objects that undergo extraordinary metamorphosis from one page to the next.” To make the book, van Beek collected images from vintage manuals on Japanese flower arrangement. She interpreted this art in her own way; the seemingly inherent subjects were placed meticulously, incorporating colour blocks and shapes some of which look like floating balloons. Today’s collage artists tend to work with software tools, making subjects seamlessly together. Yet the traces of van Beek’s collage process are visible – what has been torn, cut, folded and built up plays an important role in van Beek’s work. It makes me rethink my attitude towards things in life – destroying something cherished is not easy since the process is irreversible. No one can ensure the effectiveness of the result is good. Van Beek, on the contrary, realized that treasuring collected images prevented her from creating something new. In an interview

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Ruth van Beek, Untitled ( The Arrangement ), 2012 Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam


Ruth van Beek, Untitled ( The Arrangement ), 2012 Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam

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Ruth van Beek, Untitled ( The Arrangement ), 2012 Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam

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Ruth van Beek, Untitled ( The Arrangement ), 2012 Courtesy of The Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam

by art site ASX, van Beek explained: “I cut them apart and only keep the interesting images. They can now start a new life in the different categories of my archive. Their original context is thrown away with rest of the book. They become open for interpretation.” The Arrangement, in a way, is like a music score. Mild colour contrast, spaciousness, clean patterns and varied shapes established the most basic rhythm for the images and the book. With the help from the book designer Xavier Fernández, the images sing in tune together, and when flipping through from one page to the next, your heart sings with it. The subjects find each other and become the perfect match, like lovers – you can imagine that it is the most thrilling part of van Beek’s creative process. They interplay, tell a story of their own, and somehow, give us the courage to experiment with our own hands in life.

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Plant Perception —The Secret Life of Plants Words + Illustration: Ding Ding

For thousands of years, humans believe that plants are just something alive yet mute. Fixed in place, scientists describe them as having a “sessile life style�. They have to root to the ground and they cannot move when the conditions turn bad; they have to find everything they need to survive and defend themselves. In their constantly changing environments, the plants develop a level of resilience, which differs from that in the animal world. Although they do not have brains like animals, they may be far more intelligent than we think.

During the 20th century, many experiments were conducted to verify that plants can think, and they sense and respond to the environment. Some scientists claimed that plants are capable of emotions, communication, learning and memory. It was also reported that they experience pain and fear; they prefer classical music to rock and roll; they are, somehow, just like us. Whether this is true or not, it is interesting to consider the imaginary world of plants and illustrate the bold possibility of what would happen if plants could walk, talk, and have their own community and dramas.

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The Cottingley Fairies Words: Ding Ding

In 1920, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an enthusiastic and committed spiritualist, the author of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, wrote a letter to two girls who lived in Cottingley, near Bradford in England. He borrowed two photos from them and a few months later, the photos taken by the girls were published in the Christmas 1920 edition of The Strand Magazine, shocking the public. The photos soon became among the most widely recognized ones in the world.

Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, June 1917

To protect their anonymity, the girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, were called Alice and Iris Carpenter respectively in the magazine. The photos were used to illustrate Doyle’s article on fairies. The first one showed Iris standing in shallow water inside the bank of the stream, with some fairies; the other one showed Alice playing with a gnome and beckoning it to her knee. The magazine was sold out within days of publication. A letter, which Frances wrote to a friend, made the whole story even more puzzling. In mid-1917, nineyear-old Frances and her mother moved to the UK from South Africa and stayed with Frances’ aunt, Elsie’s mother in the village of Cottingley. Elsie was then 16 years old. The two girls often played together beside the stream at the bottom of the garden, where traditionally nature spirits inhabit. It was also the location they

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The first photo: Frances and the Fairies. Taken July 1917. The colours of the fairies, described by Frances, “were shades of green, lavender and mauve, most marked in the wings and fading to almost pure white in the limbs and drapery”. claimed they saw the fairies. In the week before the end of the First World War, the 11-year-old Frances sent a letter to a friend in Cape Town, South Africa. Dated 9 November 1918: Dear Joe, I hope you are quite well. I wrote a letter before, only I lost it or it got mislaid. Do you play with Elsie and Nora Biddles? I am learning French, Geometry, Cookery and Algebra at school now... I am sending two photos, both of me, one of me in a bathing costume in our back yard, Uncle Arthur took that, while the other is me with some fairies up the beck, Elsie took that one. Rosebud is as fat as ever and I have made her some new clothes. How are Teddy and dolly? On the back of the photo of herself with the fairies, she wrote “It is funny, I never used to see them in Africa. It must be too hot for them there.”

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The second photo: Elsie and the Gnome. Taken September 1917. The gnome was described as wearing black tights, a reddish jersey and a pointed bright red cap. Elsie said the gnome had no perceptible weight, though when on the bare hand the feeling is like a “little breath”. The wings were more moth-like than the fairies and of a soft neutral tint.

Elsie’s father Arthur Wright, a keen amateur photographer, was the first person who saw those photos. On one Saturday afternoon in July 1917, Elsie borrowed her father’s camera, a Midg quarter-plate, only to prove she and Frances saw and played with the fairies near the stream. They returned triumphantly about 30 minutes later. Arthur developed the plate later in the afternoon. He was surprised to see strange white shapes coming up, showing Frances and the dancing fairies. Knowing his daughter’s artistic ability, and that she had spent some time working in a photographer’s studio, he believed it to be “nothing but a prank” and the figures were just cardboard cut-outs. Yet two months later, the girls returned with another one, showing Elsie with a gnome. The print was under-exposed and unclear, as might be expected when taken by a young girl who was just 10 years old.

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This time, both Arthur and his wife, Polly, searched the girls’ bedroom and waste-paper basket for any scraps of pictures or cut-outs, and also went down to the stream to search evidence of fakery. They found nothing. Although the girls insisted that they had seen fairies and photographed them, Arthur still suspected that the girls had been playing tricks. Polly, however, believed the photos to be authentic. The matter first became public in the summer of 1919, after Polly attended a meeting at the Theosophical Society in Bradford. The subject of that meeting was “Fairy Life”. At the end of the meeting Polly showed the two fairy photos to the speaker, and they eventually came to the attention of Edward Gardner, a leading theosophist, by early 1920.

“The day we kill our Santa Claus with our statistics we shall have plunged a glorious world into deepest darkness.”

Gardner recognised the potential significance of the photos immediately. In the meanwhile, by coincidence Doyle had been commissioned by the Strand Magazine to write an article on fairies, as mentioned at the beginning. He was preparing this in June when he heard of the two fairy photos. He made contact with Gardner and eventually wrote to Elsie and her father to request permission of using the photos in his article. Arthur was “obviously impressed” that Doyle was involved. He gave his permission for publication, but refused payment because if the photos were genuine, they should not be “soiled” by money.

As a result, the Cottingley fairy photos provoked heated argument. Some believed they had been faked, but others had become firm proponents. Printed media such as the South Wales Argus showed a positive attitude: “The day we kill our Santa Claus with our statistics we shall have plunged a glorious world into deepest darkness.” City News said directly: “It seems at this point that we must either believe in the almost incredible mystery of the fairy or in the almost incredible wonders of faked photographs.”

On the other hand, some critics declared, “the inculcation of such absurd ideas into the minds of children would result in later life in manifestations and nervous disorder and mental disturbances”. The newspaper Truth believed that it was “not a knowledge of occult phenomena but a knowledge of children”. One fairy authority commented that the hairstyles of the spirits were too “Parisienne”, the look of the fairies were “strangely artificial”. The case might well have faded away if the unexpected did not happen: Elsie and Frances took three more fairy photos, requested by Doyle and Gardner. As a matter of fact, from the beginning, Doyle was on his guard – he examined the two pictures many times before publishing. The prints were sent along with the original glass-plate negatives to Harold Snelling, a photography expert, Gardner’s photoprinter. Snelling’s opinion was that “the two negatives are entirely genuine, unfaked photographs”. Kodak, the photographic company,

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examined the enhanced prints. Although they agreed with Snelling that the pictures “showed no signs of being faked”, Kodak declined to issue a certificate of authenticity. Conan Doyle and Gardner decided that if more fairy photographs were taken, then the matter would be put firmly beyond question. In August 1920, Gardner headed north with cameras and 24 secretly marked photographic plates to leave with Elsie and Frances, hoping to persuade them to take more photos. It rained for two weeks in Cottingley, which was unsuitable for photography. When the weather finally became better, Frances and Elsie insisted that the fairies would not show themselves if others were watching. Elsie’s mother was persuaded to visit her sister’s for tea, leaving the girls alone. In her absence, the girls took several photos, two of which appeared to show fairies.

Doyle saw the photos as a gift from the gods, paving the way for more profound truths that may gradually become acceptable to the world.

In the first one, Frances was shown with a winged fairy close by her nose. The second showed a fairy standing on a branch and offering Elsie a flower. Two days later the girls took the last photo, which was called Fairies and Their Sun-Bath, considered especially remarkable as it contains a feature quite unknown to the girls – a sheath or cocoon appearing in the middle of the grass. Fairy observers of Scotland, however, were familiar with it and described it as a “magnetic bath, woven very quickly by the fairies and used after dull weather, in the autumn especially. The interior seems to be magnetised in some manner that stimulates and pleases.”

The plates were returned to London. Elsie remembered the care with which they were packed in cotton wool by her father, who was puzzled about the whole affair. Gardner was elated to receive the secretly marked plates and telegrams were sent off to Doyle, who was on his Australian lecture tour. Doyle saw the Cottingley fairies photos as a gift from the gods, paving the way for more profound truths that may gradually become acceptable to the

world. He used the last three pictures to illustrate a second article in the Strand Magazine in 1921, describing fairy sightings. Even though there was no third party present when the five photos were taken, Doyle and Gardner did not suspect a thing. This time, the three new Cottingley fairies photos still did little to dispel the growing image of Doyle as a gullible old man. As before, controversy raged over their authenticity. The most common criticism was that the fairies “looked suspiciously like the traditional fairies of nursery tales” and that they had “very fashionable hairstyles”. It was also mentioned

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Taken August 1920. s and the Leaping Fairy. The third photo: France and hovering for from the leaves below “T he fair y is leaping up Ris ing a litt le es. ne so three or fou r tim a mo me nt – it ha d do her face, and ch tou uld wo nces thought it higher than before, Fra t covering appears head back. The fairy's ligh involuntarily tossed her .” gs were lavender in colour to be close fitting: the win

that the pictures were particularly sharply-defined as if some improvement had been made by an expert photographer. What’s more, some pointed out that Elsie drew well – she had always seemed immersed in drawing fairies, not to mention that she had worked at a photographer’s. The “defence” asserted that Elsie worked at the photographer’s for only six months, and she did nothing else but running errands and cleaning up prints. She drew fairies because she saw them often and, anyway, her drawings were no better than other talented 16 years old girls. As to the cut-out theory, where might they be hung from? And

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The forth photo: Fairy Offering a Posy to Elsie. Taken August 1920. “The fairy is standing almost still, poised on the bush leaves. The wings were shot with yellow. ”

what variety of invisible string was used at the time? By now, Elsie and Frances were tired of the whole fairy business. Interest in the Cottingley Fairies gradually subsided. Both girls married and lived abroad for a time after they grew up. Nevertheless, the photo continued to hold the public imagination. In 1966 a reporter from the Daily Express newspaper traced Elsie, who had by then returned to the UK. Elsie left open the possibility that she believed she had photographed her thoughts – the fairies might have been “figments of my imagination”. The media, once again, became interested in the story. Even scientific investigations were undertaken – by using “computer enhancement process”, the photos were concluded fakes, and that strings could be seen supporting the fairies.

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In the early 1980s, finally, Elsie and Frances admitted that the photos were faked, using cardboard cut-outs of fairies copied from a popular children’s book of the time. But Frances maintained that the fifth photo was genuine, and they both insisted that they had seen real fairies. As for Doyle, Elsie said that she and Frances were too embarrassed to admit the truth after fooling Doyle: “Two village kids and a brilliant man like Conan Doyle – well, we could only keep quiet.” In 1986, Frances died. Elsie passed away two years later in 1988, leaving a nine-page letter, admitting to the hoax. It seems incredible to us today looking back at that time – some people just ignored the obvious problems with the photos, such as figure definition, the suspicious resemblance of the fairies’ clothes and hairstyles to the latest fashions… But for people who believe in fairies, sceptical thoughts would never have entered their head. The believers always believe.

The fifth photo: Fairies and The ir Sun -Ba th. Tak en August 1920.

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SYLPH Photography: Chen Styling: Nan Zhang Models: Philipa & Gabriella Makeup: Jiyeon Kim Editor: Ding Ding

As the Swiss German physician and alchemist Paracelsus described, Sylphs, the mythological spirits of the air, are rougher, coarser, taller, and stronger than humans. Their great wings allow them to soar with the eagles; they are the protectors of the Garden of Eden; they defend the high peaks and wilderness mountains that their call home. Sylphs are the spirits that hold their word of honor to be inviolate. Once sworn to protect something, they will defend it to their death. It is also said that, once merged with male humans, they will become immortal. This is also the reason why they tend to fall in love with humans. Sometimes, they will show up deep in the woods as pure and beautiful girls, and we call them “Sylphid�.

Garments worn throughout: Jinawen Fang


The Green Children of Woolpit

– Visitors from Another World ?

Words: Ding Ding

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The village of Woolpit where lies in Suffolk, England, is perhaps best known for the legend of the green children. Back in the 12th century, reported by two writers: Ralph of Coggeshall and William of Newburgh, two children appeared on the edge of a field in Woolpit during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, had an unusual green hue on their skin. Although the stories written by the two authors differ in some details, the plots are quite similar.

The village sign of Wolpit, Suffolk, England depicting the two green children the town is famous for. The sign was erected in 1977.

During the Middle Ages, the village of Woolpit belonged to the rich and powerful Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, one of the most densely populated areas in rural England. One day at harvest time, according to William, while the reapers of Woolpit were working in the fields, they found two terrified children wandering around bewildered. Different from normal people, their skin was tinged with a green hue; their eyes also twinkled with a strange colour; the materials of their clothes looked like summer leaves or soft meadow grass. Because no one could understand the children’s language, as Ralph reported, the reapers took them to local landowner Richard de Calne’s home. There they broke into tears and refused to eat bread and other normal food, although it seemed that they were both starving. Several days later, when the villagers brought them recently harvested beans, with their stalks still attached, the children made gestures expressing that they want to eat the beans. It was said that the children survived on this food for a long time until they acquired a taste for bread. Before long, the girl adapted to normal food and gradually lost her green colour. The boy, however, did not get used to the food and the new environment. He became depressed, sick and soon died. According to Ralph, the girl was only able to remember vague details about their homeland, where the sun never shone and it was perpetual twilight. People there called their home “the Land of Saint Martin” and everything there was green, including all the inhabitants. One day

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she and her younger brother were looking after their father’s cattle in the fields. They had become lost when they followed the cattle into a cave. Guided by a loud sound of bells, they wandered through the darkness for a long time and eventually, arrived at the entrance of the cave. They could feel the sudden change in atmosphere and temperature, and were immediately blinded by the glaring sunlight. Because of the daze, they laid down for a while until the noise of the reapers terrified them. They tried to escape, but were caught very soon. As time passed by, the girl was baptized and became a healthy young woman. But some described her as “rather loose and wanton in her conduct”. Later she married a senior ambassador of Henry II named Richard Barre from King’s Lynn. Some sources claim that she took the name “Agnes Barre”. It is also said that the current Earl Ferrers is descended from the strange girl. Local author and folk singer Bob Roberts mentioned in his 1978 book A Slice of Suffolk that “I was told there are still people in Woolpit who are ‘descended from the green children’, but nobody would tell me who they were!”

Green children in the woods. Illustratior: Konstantin Makovsky

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Neither Ralph nor William offered an explanation for this strange mysterious story. Various interpretations have arisen ever since: some commentators suggest that the children might be aliens. In a 1996 article published in Analog magazine, astronomer Duncan Lunan hypothesised that the children were accidentally transported to Woolpit from their planet. The children’s green skin could be a side effect of consuming the “genetically modified alien plants eaten by the planet's inhabitants”.

Illustrated by Randolph Caldecott, 1879

Others believe that, since the “entry into a different world by a cave” plot has been quite popular, it might be just a folk tale describing the imaginary. Scholars such as historian Derek Brewer give a more prosaic, but acceptable explanation: The children were probably suffering from chlorosis, a deficiency disease that can cause the symptom of a greenish tint on the skin, which is so called “green sickness”. With a better diet the symptom disappears. Yet as time passes, these theories are becoming even harder to be verified. The puzzle remains a puzzle.

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Petrichor – the Smell of Rain Editor + Photography: Ding Ding

After a long period of warm, dry weather, when the first rain comes, it is usually accompanied by “petrichor”, a pleasant earthy smell. It is said that the term “petrichor” is coined in 1964 by two Australian scientists studying the smells of wet weather. They found out that before the rain, some plants secrete oils during dry periods. When it rains, these oils are released into the air, creating aromatic odors. Some soil-dwelling bacteria are also the scent creators – they emit nice-smelling compounds when the rain hits the ground.


Sylvan issue 01  

Sylvan is a magazine on nature, plants, art and fashion. Editor-in-chief: Ding Ding (MA Fashion Journalism, London College of Fashion) Conta...

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