(Monday) 15:15 - 15:45
Camilla Allen: Death in the Landscape: Ash dieback, an invitation and provocation The Death of Venus – Ash trees are sometimes referred to as the
Camilla Allen: Death in the Landscape: Ash dieback, an invitation and provocation
The Death of Venus – Ash trees are sometimes referred to as the Venus of the Woods, reflective of the beauty people have seen in the species. Yet, at the same time as Ash Dieback becomes visible in the British landscape, CV19 has spread dramatically around the world. This presentation explores the interconnectedness of human and sylvan life and death through three provocations from an artist, art therapist and environmental historian as explored in a 2020 live project based in South Yorkshire which explores the temporal, material, and emotional aspects of the loss of trees in the urban and rural environment.
Originally conceived of as an analogue and tangible project engaging audience members physically and in contact with others/tress/objects/emotions and affects we are now adapting our programme of activities to stimulate our own engagement with this project in the current circumstances cause by the CV19 pandemic, restrictions on movement and isolation and move to digital forms of community, communication and creativity. Seeking to disrupt, subvert and contemplate, below is an outline of proposed provocations by the three contributors to stimulate reactions and conversations about non human death. Introduction to ash trees or absence of or both – with historical cultural context and current management of the decline, decay and death in various woodlands (a walk/instructional directions/film) A meditative woodland walk – pick things up that you are drawn too – spend some time handling them touch it feel it – what affect does it have on you – the material aspect, the memory, the thoughts Things that have been found/made/commissioned – a catalyst for conversation – life/death/renewal – asking people to hold objects, close their eyes – use other sense to ‘feel’ and describe the landscape of the object, memories etc.
Speakers for this event
Camilla Allen is in the final months of a PhD in the Department of Landscape Architecture where she have been studying the early life of a forester and environmentalist, Richard St. Barbe Baker. Her research has at its heart the meaning invested in the relationship we have with trees and it is something she explores through archival study and writing histories that express aspects of this relationship. She has written about protected Coast Redwood groves in California, shared her research on tree cathedrals, and is currently exploring the act of commemoration in the planting of trees during and after the First World War for an edited volume of essays, The Politics of Street Trees, of which she is co-editor with her supervisor Dr Jan Woudstra.
Ellie Smale enrolled on an Advanced Post Grad.Diploma in Art Therapy and began her own journey of discovery. Her encounters with art through the lens of psychology took her into a whole new relation with herself.During the interim years Ellie has worked with many clients, from older adults to very young children. She gained a Masters in Art Psychotherapy Practice and found creativity to be a base to the therapy that she offers although she does adopt other theories that help shape and understand the process. Her therapy pulls together life lessons as well as professional training. The body remembers, and that compassion and curiosity, along with a little courage and creativity, are the tools that help our bodies tell us our stories, that we understand and may begin to live in accordance with our Self, rather than our past.
Kate Langrish Smith’s practice transcends disciplines, drawing upon contemporary fashion, ceramics and sculpture. Slipping between the notions of art and design, Kate has adopted traditional craft techniques, and expanded upon them by incorporating synthetic compounds, assemblage, balance and performance to create a new lexicon with her work. This has engendered a unique semiotics of object; allowing a reappraisal of the body in the context of familiar, ubiquitous and overlooked commodities. Her practice seeks a rapprochement between our dislocation from the makers, materials and provenance of objects that were shaped for a relationship with the human form. Kate draws inspiration from the history of health, beauty, and art from which surprising and compelling ‘stuff’, ‘things’ and traditions are illustrated. These forms – vessels, tools and artefacts – are the starting point for collections and clusters of objects which reconnect and elevate disparate places in time through a common language of ritual, desire and fascination.