Reflection (Late March): Check in

By 1st April 2022 May 16th, 2022 Creative Practice

(Co)Creations, experiments and doings since the start of this module, as of 01.04.2022

Note: edited later on to include relevant links where I’ve written up a bit later.

 


 

I’m really enjoying this module. I’m having a great time experimenting and playing, and I feel like I’m not only responding TO nature but more importantly, working in collaboration WITH nature. I found it VERY difficult at first to think of what it was I could do, or make, but once I got the ball rolling it has all come very naturally.

I am very aware of the difficulty I’m having reflecting and critically responding to the work I’m producing, as required for my MA Module 2. As a rule, I don’t have material outcomes yet, which – as this is a Module about testing and making maquettes and so on – makes evaluating quite difficult! Much of this is down to the fact that I’m working seasonally WITH nature, and she doesn’t care that I’ve got a university hand-in date next month. As such, I won’t really know if the Lunar Planting or seed bombs or so on will be effective until months down the line, well past the deadline. This is a really interesting evaluation in itself? It almost illustrates the modern disconnect between humankind and nature – working on different cycles to one another.

My desired schedule isn’t working with natures cycles either. I’m finding myself VERY frustrated with the lunar barren phase. I’m having to demonstrate a huge amount of discipline to not just throw my intentions down the drain and do what I want when I want… if I’m doing moon gardening, I’m doing it properly (within reason). Part of the lesson here though is that working to the moon exactly isn’t realistic when you’re juggling life, and that some concessions will probably need to be made!

In regards to the prints I’m leaving out to the elements, I intend to check them just before hand-in and evaluate where things are at. But for now I can only comment on the the practical outcomes I have so far.

  • Making natural inks really interests me, and I feel that my small tests were successful. I intend to return to this inquiry at some point, but I think I’ll keep documentation simple instead of trying to do a manual.
  • The seed shaker seems okay as an object/tool, but I haven’t had a chance to actually use it as intended as I’m waiting for the moon to be in the right place
  • The visuals of the terrarium is great, the layers and colours and different textures really speak to me… but as there’s no plants in in yet (again, barren phase!)
  • The seed bombs were great to make, and I tested two methods of making. Mixing seeds into the clay and compost (as opposed to placing them in the centre of a ball) is quick and efficient, and the preferred way of making seed bombs.

 


 

I’m also now aware that I’m not documenting some of the things I’m doing – things like meditation and intuition exercises. These are really important in supporting and informing my practice yet how do you even show that? Show those things that are really internal and deep? This is something I need to think more about.

 


 

Just over a month ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released another global report on the climate crisis. It’s frightening reading. Things are considerably worse than previously assessed, and the Anthropocene has already caused significant and irreversible ecological damage quicker than first anticipated (TS.B.1) and the responses being made are shit (SPM.C.1; SPM.B.5; SPM.c.4.1; TS.D.5.5).

The damage to human and non-human ecosystems is heartbreaking. What the fuck is wrong us as a species, seriously? And things will only get worse with every increment of overheating (SPM.B.4.1), which will rise as we continue to act as if nowts happening (TS.B.9.4; TS.B.8). The fact that about half of the assessed species (from around the globe) are already migrating to cooler, higher lands speaks volumes too (SPM.B.1.2). We’re heading head-first into extinction and dragging every living thing with us. The existential crisis is real.

My practice and the theories that influence it speak with the solutions recommended by the IPCC. Obviously, my practice won’t make the fast emission cuts needed (I wish!), or stop us creeping towards the dreaded 1.5°C tipping point before its too late… but they say that adaptation strategies that treat biodiversity, climate and humankind as a holistic system will be most effective (SPM.1). Is that not an existential example of human:non-human collaboration?

We need a massive, radical shift of thinking – and subsequent behaviour – as a species to realistically keep the planet habitable. The key to survival – as Aldo Leopold (Land Ethics), Arne Naess (Deep Ecology), Kenneth White (Geopoetics) and I would agree – is reevaluating our relationship and interconnectedness with nature, to honour it with respect, to give a shit. As small as it is in the grand scheme of things, my practice – alongside the other artists who bring attention to the Earth – is contributing to the building environmental zeitgeist, showing a way of how to connect to, find meaning in and recognise the value of nature, and practicing sustainably as respectfully as a result. I’m not the first along this path, nor will I be the last… but my practice is very much of the moment, isn’t it?

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