In collaboration with Barnaby Festival, I’ve just completed the first stage of ‘Our Future is Ancient’. Since the winter solstice in December 2019, during each full moon cycle, I’ve left Manchester and journeyed into the forest before dawn, staying until after first light. When I began the work, I couldn’t have foreseen what an extraordinary year 2020 would be. At times, during lockdown, I yearned for the forest, seeing it as a place of sanctuary away from my urban life, […]
Since the last year’s winter solstice in December, I’ve been working on a project for Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield called ‘Our Future is Ancient’ – It’s become an exploration of the realtionship between urban and nartural landscape, that has caused me to question how we emerge from the Covid 19 crisis, and what the future might be for us. I was due to exhibit the work in Macclesfield during the festival in June, but circumstances have caused this to evolve, […]
film – made in Dec 2020, at the end of the 12 months
In December, on the winter solstice, 2019, I began work on a major project named ‘Our Future is Ancient’which was commissioned by the Barnaby Festival. Each full moon, at dawn, until the follwing solstice in 2020. I couldn’t known, as I started, that I’d be working against the backdrop of a pandemic, creating one of the kost extraordinary 12 month periods of my life.
Each full moon I would travel into Macclesfield Forest before dawn and record my experience amongst the trees in the dark, and emerging twilight. We all grew up with the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel so, despite it being a place of sanctuary, I actually felt safer on the streets of Salford than amongst the dark of the forest.
However, as the months went on, I grew to love being there before daybreak, even feeling disappointment when the light arrived. The call of owls and other creatures was magical.
Lockdown has changed our world and during the weeks of confinement, I began to crave the forest, desperate to savour its mysteries and the comfort of the natural world. The virus has caused me to feel very differently about my own life, and creating work around such an ancient place feels very relevant at the moment.
I’m fascinated by the way trees communicate with each other underground, and I’ve learned so much about the deep time they occupy, hauling me from ignorant urban state. At the same time I’ve been aware of my sub-conscious being at work, processing the events of the past few months as survive the Covid-19 crisis. What emerged was the idea to meld the way trees communicate with my own mind, and produce stories in response to this. The work will eventually be a performance and a series of short films featuring visuals, sound, music and readings.
The premier of the work, in a live performance will take place at St. Michael’s Church in Macclesfield on June 19th at 8pm. Along with my readings of the text I’ve created, I will be joined onstage by Rioghnach Connelly ( Honeyfeet, The Breath ) and the brilliant cellist Liz Hanks. Ticket info is still to be confirmed.