The Patterns Change

wassail201922bThis year has started rather too quickly – I think partly because I dive into organising the FLOW wassails straight after the winter break.  Now in their second year, these were lots of fun and busy! We tweaked the lyrics again and Emma Welton did a new arrangement of the Exeter Wassail tune. I designed and made hand printed fabric for the Sentinel costume helped greatly by Helen, local Exwick seamstress who stiched it all together. This year already looking forward to performing Running with Trees at the Timber Festival and have already run a day workshop for the Ecological Design MA students at Schumacher College. PCA teaching is now finished. Just finished my piece for the International Eco-Art Network book which should be out later this year. I am starting Wild Exmouth residency later this year in my home town! More on all this later.


Pines and Apples

Harvest weekend buzzed with people at Loughborough – Fruit Routes blog has more info. We gently launched the long-awaited Walking Forest project with partner Moor Trees on Dartmoor in the forest collecting 10,000 acorns for forests of the future and sharing our research. Two members of the Walking Forest team have headed off to Poland for the COP 24 conference in December. We are holding a vigil in December with the Batheaston Pine, the remaining Austrian Pine from the field of trees (Annie’s Wood) planted early 1900s by suffragettes and suffragists and bulldozed for a housing development in 1960s. One striking 100 year old tree remains…(see above picture of it being planted by Rose Lamartine Yates with Annie Kenny looking on). Our vigil co-incides with the closing of these landmark COP Climate Talks and the casting of the first female votes in the UK 100 years ago.  Very happy to be working at Plymouth College of Art for two days a week tutoring on the MA Creative Education and experimenting with some new creative techniques in the craft studios as part of Walking Forest research. Also this month saw the results of a commission as part of FLOW with sculptor James Bond and the local community.  Our second Exwick/St Thomas Wassail is planned for weekend of 19/20 January. More details via FLOW.

Autumn buzz

(pics from LU Architecture summer school/apple store models)

Fruit Routes harvest events coming up over 19+20 October including a chance for a panel discussion and an informal conversation walking around the Fruit Route with Bianca Elzenbaumer and Joanna Boehnert  From the LU Arts blurb: Designing for Climate Futures Taking in a variety of methods, approaches and forms of design – from permaculture to architectural design; from transition design to design fictions – it will explore design as a tool for collective organisation. What can design do in the here-and-now of our warming world? What might design do in a more ecologically just world? And how might it help us get from here to there? You are very welcome to come to both. For the walk just turn up at 16.30 at Barefoot Orchard (opposite the Pilkington Library on LU Campus) – no need to book, for the panel discussion at 18.00 book here

Apple + Wood, testing & learning

This Autumn I’m contributing the first School of Architecture Summer School Apple +Wood at Loughborough University in September where students from different architectural schools across the world will have an intensive week designing an apple store for Fruit Routes. I’m teaching two days a week next term on MA in Creative Education: Making Learning at Plymouth College of Art. Very excited by the values and content of the course and doing some early stage research at the moment for Arts & Culture at Exeter University  to look into testing creative and active interdisciplinary learning & doing spaces to link across the university and city underpinned by making positive change towards a low carbon city for people and non-human inhabitants of the city. Exhibiting at Thelma Hulbert Gallery as part of Art on the East Devon Way and speaking at East Devon AONB Annual Meeting on 20th September – you can reserve a place here. Starting work with Stefan Skrimshire (Leeds Uni) & Encounters on AHRB project exploring extinction and spirituality – more on this soon.  Upcoming events too with FLOW as part of Ami Shelton’s Beelines..


Documentary bird photographer photojournalist, Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset, Exeter, UK, abroadphoto Jenny Steer

Three incredible evenings up on Fire Beacon Hill, Sidmouth. One with Jenny Steer photographer trying out the hankies; one with Tony Whitehead (artist and RSPB) preparing for our walk and getting to know the territories of the birds and then with 16 or so participants and Thelma Hulbert Gallery as part of Art on the East Devon Way. 23rd June, stillness, clear sky, three-quarter moon. We all spent time settling in and Field Sensing, sensitising to the sounds, sights and feeling of being here. Located on a grassy track on the border of the territory (thanks to information from Toby at RSPB) and as the sun set and fell into darkness we had close to churring, wing clapping, kericks and fly-by’s from the male nightjar and his partner. Over the three nights we got to know the marker trees around the territory although the pattern of movement changed each time. The churring was intense and long periods of this 1900 notes per minute sound that so far I’ve found that no one can describe or  get close to impersonating. The bird seemed especially curious when myself or Tony waived the handkerchiefs. Please get in touch if you would like to pre-order a pair of the screen printed handkerchiefs.  There are 30 sets available for £20/pair (+ £5 for P+P) contact me if you would like to place an order. They are hand-printed using an ink drawing of a nightjar made earlier this year screen-printed onto hand-made organic cotton squares . A percentage of the profit will go to a local conservation charity on the pebblebed heaths where around 120 male nightjars make their homes in East Devon. Nightjars are now on the amber list for protected species and have seen a moderate increase in recent years. My love of and fascination with these enigmatic birds continues.



Ireland trip and FLOW in blossom

Festival_image1b final_0

Ruth & I (Field of Wheat) very much enjoyed being the guests of Martina Finn (Curator) as part of a day long event on art and agroecology organised by Third Space Galway and Alastair Fraser Maynooth University at the Food Sovereignty Conference. Amazing to see the work of the Irish Seedsavers and hear Saturnino ‘Jun’ Borras, one of the founders of Via Campesina.

I’m walking the FLOW route this sunday with Nigel Pinhorn (ecologist) and Mary-Rose Lane (environment agency) and being welcomed in Exwick  as part of their blossom day. The next event is a community gathering to look at next steps for FLOW.  Look at FLOW website for more details.