Today, pressures from the market place dominate our food choices and preferences and maintain a detatchment from the land as our source of sustenance. Would allowing the land to revert to an almost wild state enable us to develop symbiotic relationships with particular species of flora and fauna present? Can we come to better know, understand and anticipate cycles and patterns of growth based on 'felt' observations of trends in temperature, rainfall or sunlight, the incidence and behaviour of pollinating insects, the nesting preferences of ground dwelling and passerine birds and the prevalence of offspring in small wild animal species?
In properly inhabiting richly biodiverse environment, we can come to understand that whilst all other species contribute to a single interconnected system, people remain outside of this, residing instead within our own, discrete and disconnected human system. Much of what we understand as ‘natural’ environment has been assimilated into this human system and is in fact far from natural. If we choose to properly relinquish control of our immediate ‘natural’ environments; our gardens, our parks, our water sides, how are we then able to (re)intergrate ourselves into the ‘wild’ system that takes over.
Focussing on the idea of (re)intergrating oneself into a ‘natural’ environment, the workshop will present a set of key questions to provoke different ways of framing or understanding our place within a biodiverse system. Participants will be led in a making activity, utilising natural materials from around the Lapinlahti park, and will be encouraged to integrate themselves into the immediate park environment via an artistic intervention or gesture. The workshop will end with the group reconvening to share observations on how it felt to put oneself ‘out there’ via an expressive medium.
The participants can bring any small natural items they have found in the park that they may have been attracted to or found interesting or beautiful or useful, such as pine cones, fallen leaves, plant seeds, small sticks and twigs, flower petals, bird feathers, tree bark etc.
Please register in advance for the workshop below. The language of the workshop is English. The meeting point of the workshop is in Lapinlahti hospital second floor and after, it will continue outside in the park.
About Monika Dutta and Jake Harries
Monika Dutta is a cross-disciplinary artist and filmmaker. Her practice embraces the disciplines of moving image; photography; drawing; sculpture; contructed textiles; performance and activism. She has exhibited on an international scale and worked collaboratively to deliver works which collectively map relationships between the tangible natural environment and the constructed realities of a culture driven by technology.
Jake Harries is currently engaged in participatory and media art as an independent practitioner and as Director of Art and Innovation at Access Space, Sheffield. His work explores ideas of openness in skills and knowledge sharing, focusing on sustainable alternatives to current models of relating to and using the environment, including food growing, resource consumption and the malleability of the urban environment.
Since 2010 Monika Dutta and Jake Harris have been developing a little piece of land on half an acre of land in the North of England. Far away from the urban sprawl, surrounded by a sea of industrial farm land, they have been free to investigate the properties of plants which grow naturally in the environment, and to develop a whole practice based on wild food preparation and ideas of sustainable ways of feeding oneself. a little piece of land functions as a fertile ground upon which Monika and Jake develop ideas and formulate questions which they can mediate via artistic production.