Sept / Oct events
These are some images, below, from my visit to the Duke’s Wood Project with Alec Finlay and Hanna Tuulikki for our event ‘Bow Down’ at the weekend. Alec has written in detail about ‘Bow Down’ – including the text and images of our contributions – in this blog post, and information on the full programme curated by Ordinary Culture with the support of the Wildlife Trust is online here, including talks with the Nottingham historical and cultural geographers next weekend. The images below include the bower built between two twisted hawthorns by Alec and Kevin Langan as part of his 100 Huts project (which I slept in overnight!), Hanna performing her non-lexical compositions based on song birds in Dan Robinson’s hunting tower, Stephen Turner’s incense made from flowers and plants from Duke’s Wood, and Alec reading from the roof of the new woodland and oil museum. My own text, which responds to the history of bowers in poetry through English ballads and the literary history of gardens, is available on Alec’s blog post (see example image above).
The exhibition I’m taking part in at GV Art Gallery, NATURE RESERVES, is drawing to an end this month. It has several open events coming up, including a curator tour and questions, two handling workshops with the yeast-bacteria and specimens belonging to Victorian volcanologist Dr. Johnston Lavis, and a panel on taxonomy, with artists, archivists, entomologists and botanists. For those who aren’t able to make it, there have also been several features and reviews on it recently, a few of which include writing on my own installation, PINE – in the FAD Website review, Beverly Knowles’ review, the Velour review, the Trebuchet Magazine review, and ArtLyst.
Amy Cutler’s PINE (2013) asks a two part question projected onto a slice of pine trunk infested with wood worm: ‘Dites-moi suis-je revenue de l’autre monde?’ This piece evokes questions concerning life, death, resurrection and the role of the wound. The pine trunk slice appears to curl its arms around its wood worm wound, at once protecting the wound and attempting to overcome it, or seal it, drawing attention to that which returns and to that which is already here: what is retained or (p)reserved, in the present, of the past? Are the traumas of the past revisited on the present through wounds such as these? What does it mean for wood to remember? (FAD review)
It is Amy Cutler’s installation, PINE, however, a projection onto a section of tree that has experienced “forest trauma” of lines from a poem by holocaust survivor, Charlotte Delbo, that offers the most radical image of interrelatedness. The juxtaposition shocks partly because we resist such analogies, but also stirs an ambivalence about all our efforts to make nature speak. (Trebuchet Magazine review)
Amy Cutler’s PINE, a verbal play on a dendrochronology sample projected with modern French poetry, might lead us to feel that such palimpsests of another life signal regret – they are in fact equivalent to and at one with the life that remains, stored in genetic reserve (…) and available to us. Temporally circling nature, here the predator never fully possesses the prey; nature inevitably recolonizes what man has attempted to fit to his tune. (Velour review)
There are a couple of events also coming up in autumn, including the launch of an anthology I’ll be included in by Nine Arches Press. Anthology of the Apple (ed. Ttoouli and Reddick, Sept 2013) brings together new work by poets, horticulturists, photographers, translators, artists and plant biologists, exploring the cultivation and culture of apples and orchards from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Poet and environmental scientist David Morley is writing the foreword and will be reading at the launch on 17th October.
On the 30th October I’ll be speaking at the Sheringham Little Theatre on the coast of Norfolk as part of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts’ Art and the Sea programme. The event is called ‘The Coast is Our Masterpiece’, and will bring together twilight talks by artists and researchers – more details still to come. Also in October I have a couple of events to work on and prepare: one is a collaboration with Tom Chivers for the Camarade Festival at Rich Mix on the 26th (hosted by The Enemies Project), and one is the event Grass Routes with Tom Jeffreys, Edmund Hardy, Camilla Nelson, James Wilkes, and Mendoza, as part of the Art Licks weekend festival. I’ll also be giving an evening seminar (yet to be planned) at the Centre for Creative Collaboration on the 16th Oct for the Poetics Research Centre, discussing interventions between practice, research, and curating.
I’m also really excited to say that my cultural geography cinema PASSENGERFILMS has been nominated again for the national award for Best Film Education Programme, which we won last year. The entire shortlist of nominees has just been released by the British Federation of Film Societies online here, and we’re looking forward to seeing the other film societies at the awards ceremony later this month at the BFI!