all is leaf, so to amplify the wonder
(2020, 14’, 16mm and digital)
A 16mm film work reflecting upon a series of artist-led journeys to encounter traditionally sacred herbs growing in the wild at Organiclea food growing cooperative, on the edge of Epping Forest in London, during Summer 2019.
The performance/participation-based gatherings centred around a sculptural installation created on the land, together with artist/architect Claudia Palma – the primary colours and geometric shapes act alongside sounds to awaken and expand perceptions. Within this atmospheric setting, a series of artist-made herbal vision cards and a spinning sculptural object formed the basis for a collective ritual to divine the plant to be journeyed to on that day.
Working together with sound therapist Nicole Bettencourt Coelho, herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad and choreographer Fernanda Muñoz Newsome, the gatherings created a space for local gardeners and others to spend time in the presence of certain plants on site. Inspired by the myth, folklore, astrology and healing properties of the herbs, each encounter was held in a different way. Participants’ intuitive responses and embodied impressions were explored through collective sounding, movement and drawing.
The work was influenced by the artist's research and interests in sensory herbalism, shamanic cosmologies, Goethian science, plant folklore and myth.
The project coincided with and aims to raise awareness of an emerging community Apothecary in the Borough, led by Rasheeqa and Organiclea. We worked with herb growers and gardeners across the Borough of Waltham Forest including a partnership with the Drawing Shed growing community based on a housing estate in E17.
Filmed by Rosalind Fowler with additional footage by Adam Harman. Sound composed by Jason Dungan, including recordings of performances by Nicole Bettencourt Coelho of gongs, crystal bowls, and shakers during the Summer processes. Voice recordings by Nicole and Rosalind.
Supported by ACE, Barbican, Walthamstow London Borough of Culture, City of London, and Loughborough London Open Fund.
Installation and performance
Leytonstone Loves Film curated by Barbican as part of Walthamstow London Borough of Culture – installation, performance and herbal apothecary talk in Church Lane Community Gardens.Camden Arts Centre – sculptural installation and plant journey/movement workshop/performance on Hampstead Heath as part of public programme for The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree – CANCELLED owing to pandemic.
Camden Arts Centre - artist commissioned plant connection guide to accompany the The Botanical: Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree show.
Camden Arts Centre – online film screening throughout the show to accompany plant guide.