Imagine really getting to know your habitat.

Imagine really getting to know your habitat.
  • Tuesday 18th June -

Imagine really getting to know your habitat.

I wonder how our immediate environment influences us.  In particular the words used around us - and the shape of the landscape, however urban or rural.  The aural landscape, the visual landscape, and where we choose to plant ourselves both physically and mentally within these worlds.

This is something I’ve been pondering for a long while and I have no answers, but I have a lot more questions: 

•    How is our writing affected by the landscape we inhabit?
•    Why does the way we move change in different spaces?
•    How can we acclimatise more quickly? (And do we lose a little of ourselves in adapting?)

And mostly, I don’t try too hard to answer them. I just explore move around them and see what I find out.  

I’ve absorbed a few plants that I’ve found to thrive in Abergavenny into my practice in some way, so far: little gem lettuces, fern and honesty.  

They say some people (introverts) are more like orchids than daisies that thrive almost anywhere (see Susan Cain’s book ‘Quiet’ for more on this), and our environment really influences the work we do.  Nothing new in this I know.  Five years ago there were some signs of the natural world in my work, often more notions such as my painting Wood for the Trees.

but these were not very noticeable among all the paint and stones and swirls of the writing gesture of my practice then.  After working in a building in Hereford for a few years I have worked in various places, including The Print Shed in Madley where I filled a marquee with my textual work - spilling out onto the grass and into the foliage - some bushes still retain traces of my writing in the garden there even now.  

My studio is now in my garden and perhaps the location of it has been an influence…  I’ve included trees, grass, ficus plants, little gem lettuces, honesty, snowdrops and forget-me-nots in work over the last five years, including paintings; an intervention at a business networking event; workshops; and live-art.

The process of making a mono print can be as simple or complicated as you like.  I most enjoy keeping it simple, and getting outside to make the prints.  It adds a sense of freedom in the work and allows a sense of wonder to lead the process.

Catherine Wynne-Paton is a contributor to our latest exhibition 'Potager' and will be hosting a day-long Monoprinting workshop on Saturday 29th June here at the Bleddfa Centre.