Last night Simona Vermiere gave a talk about her research focused walking and plants, exploring some of her PhD work and talking about how she came to coin the term Plant(e)scape. Starting with Thoreau, Simona wove a discussion about the relationships between humans and plants through writers including Emerson, Marder and Harraway.
You can find her talk on Prezi
This morning Rosie Montfort, an artist from the UK led a workshop exploring walking and drawing. We set off up the hill to the beautiful stone chapel, taking our time along the way to closely observe and draw some of the trees and scenes. As were wandered, Rosie talked about her creative walking practice and showed is some of her lovely concertina books. Rosie also made everyone a small book for the workshop so we could record our observations. I really enjoyed this play with drawing. For some years I have play with drawing, using watercolours and of course my pyrography to make some small works. These works are really just experimentations and what I would call ‘therapy’ art. Nevertheless this play has been a necessary shift from working with screens. What I have discovered is that I really love the tactility of drawing as well as the process of watercolour. Thought is needed because once you put a mark on a page it stays, unlike the ‘ctrl z’ action to undo.
After Rosie’s walk, I had a really nice swim, some lunch and a nanny nap. Later in the afternoon, our group was taken by bus up the mountain, where we set off on a 3 hour walk through the Akamas Nature Reserve to Aphroditie’s pool. We were guided by local shepherd and guide Topel, who set a good pace. The walk was really special albeit a bit of challenge for me in the heat. We saw some incredible Tree Elders along the way and plenty of tree hugging was had ❤ Aside from the wonder of walking through this landscape, witnessing the dirt change from red to white as the sun slowly set behind us, it was really fantastic to spend time with the group sharing conversations as we journeyed.
Lots of rich conversations were had along the path. We only had one minor hiccup, our dawdling group lost sight of the lead group and we came to a sign signalling left or right, with a path ahead. We were a bit stuck for a while, but after a phone call and some loud ‘COOEE!’ across the ether, we headed straight ahead despite the sign, meeting the local guide came and met us. We had some good jokes about how the shepherd lost his flock. What was also intriguing was that there were Some Murray Red Gums planted at the end of the trail near the entrance to Aphrodite’s Pool. A little reminder of home ❤
When we arrived at Aphrodite’s Pool it was almost dark, the last traces of the long summer day slowly disappearing. We were treated to a beautiful performance by Jacqui Orly titled “Love Triangle”. The pool was lit with one small light and her engagement with the space was incredibly powerful and potent. There was a sense of the Sacred and the Divine Feminine that resonated through this work that was really evocative. It was a very special way to end this walk.