News

lunar eclipse

Just back from Bristol where I led on and co-facilitated two Creative Conversations with Encounters Arts looking at the relationship between religious faith, spirituality and global mass extinction. One took place with a group of people from different spiritual backgrounds over a day involving different invitations, walks, makes, conversations and reflective sessions and the other was a one hour workshop at XR Bristol Bridge the same evening. Lots to say about that if you are interested. Other recent highlights include Running with Trees at Timber Festival . My running partner this time was a field maple and it was such a poignant location for weaving the story of trees, breath, our bodies and the carbon cycle while running across the site of rich coal deposits. The National Forest being a new planting of so far 9 million trees on the site of ancient, buried Carboniferous forests. I’m still researching working with morse code messages and the climate and ecological emergency after the successful pilot field station we set up as part of May Day May Day at Loughborough. Get in touch if you would like to support this work or work together on this.

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Nesting

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The most exciting thing right now is the high pitched tweets of the Great Tit family nesting just outside my window. This forms the background drama to our lives as we follow this close family through its ups and downs, 4 chicks from 8 eggs remain and these fluffy, noisy bundles starting to stretch their wings as well as their mouths gearing up for first flight. I’m just back from a visit to Loughborough running the May Day May Day summer event on Fruit Routes.  I was really pleased with the diversity and coherence of that event although not many moths visiting the stunning Moth Hotel… I’m part of the Re-imagining Citizenship Activity Book commissioned by School of Arts Loughborough University designed for widespread distribution including display at the Venice Biennale. I’ve been invited to be a panel member at art.earth’s Evolving the Forest conference at Dartington in June and to speak about permaculture design & arts at the Wild Conference in Leeds in July.  I’m designing a multi-faith Creative Conversation event in Bristol with Stefan Skrimshire (University of Leeds) & Jeremy Kidwell  (University of Birmingham) and Ruth Ben-Tovim with Encounters Arts as part of my role as lead artist on the AHRC funded Religion & Extinction Network.  Finally, started designing with my partner Jo Salter, a hub for science, creativity & research, marine and estuary ecology and climate change here in Exmouth. Updates on Walking Forest and Wild Exmouth next time! I’m supporting and was part of the launch of Culture Declares Climate & Ecological Emergency and if you haven’t heard of it recommend you check it out.

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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..