SAP EXPO

Over Kellet Village Hall Saturday 05.11.22 (51 visitors)
Four tables set up for activities: Hapa Zome (leaf/flower bashing ) clay (contributing a tree to the forest) mark making with natural inks & rag rugging.
The chance to share some of the outcomes from the forages and workshops so far with the local community. It was lovely to see so many familiar and unfamiliar faces dropping in and joining in the conversation. We talked about foraging, natural dyes, the changing climate, wild spaces, the history of the village, maps and map making, sustainable art making and how we can challenge outdated cultural myths and a lot more...



artwork by SAP workshop attendee

Reflections- It's sad to think we wont be meeting as SAP in Lundsfield SAP woods anymore. Each foraging event was unique - influenced by the thoughts and ideas of the monthly guest artist. We experienced the woods in so many different ways; we tasted, smelled, heard and touched. 
We talked a lot and also listened, sharing stories and knowledge. 
Residual moments stand out for me: the very first forage with Abi Barton (@abigailbarton64) back in January when we discovered velvet-like jelly ears on elder bark that seemed as if they were listening to us, tasting pine needle tea and making a nature altar from gathered material. 
The second forage with guest artist Amy Stretch-Parker (@amy_stretch_parker) who encouraged us to listen and touch - we lay on our backs in the drizzle and soaked it up like mosses. In April we made spirals and dandelion cordage with Suzie Grieve (@foragedfibres) decorating a tree as an offering by the tarn and eating Elm seeds. 
In May we explored the plants and wildlife of the hedgerows with Russ Hedley (@woodland_russ) The sun came out through ragged clouds and we noticed beetles and caterpillar webs, he pointed out gypsy wort and water hemlock among many other species. I made wild strawberry and mint tea from leaves foraged from the tarns edge. 
We travelled to Humphrey Head in June with guest artist Julia Parks (@juliaemilyparks) what a bright sparkly day that was! The scent of bedstraw, the sound of swifts overhead - it was all about the light, we made lumen prints and drank meadowsweet tea. 
And in July Carolyn Morton (@camocarolynmorton) took us on a wild flower pilgrimage through waist high grasses. We found bright blue fungi on bark and scrambled back to the path up a steep incline with me clinging to a tree with one hand and hauling unsteady foragers up with the other. We drank tea made with rose bay willow syrup (from Jeni) and  blackberry leaves. We took a detour on the way back passing the Carnforth brownfield site - now a thriving wild space. 
In September we lay on the grass in unseasonal heat, making random poetry with Jacqui Symons (@studioslowlane) and found charcoal in a fire pit to make marks in handmade books provided by Jacqui. For the final event in October we foraged for fungi with Rema and Dave (@myceliumthinking) they read poetry, sang to a drum and we felt the interconnectedness between all things.

I'm sure that others who attended will remember other details - I'd be so happy if you shared your memories of the forages and workshops on this page - the project was/is always an ongoing conversation....

artwork by SAP workshop attendee

Comments

  1. The two events I attended were both lovely. Very different from the things I normally do. Lovely to be out in the outdoors, learning new things, exploring new places and making new friends. Looking forward to seeing what might be happening next year!

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  2. Memory is notoriously slippery - a bit like the slope Sam helped to haul us up!
    Trains from Birmingham to Carnforth were chaotic due to extreme weather and I only just made it on time.
    Arriving in a new place with new people was disorientating. But connecting through plants grew familiarity & conversation.
    I remember a hawthorn tree, chatting about collecting plastic rubbish, how plants thrive where they’re needed, that teasels are a solid choice for other species.
    Sitting at Carnforth station for my return train - film location for Brief Encounter - I felt that wild plants had again connected me to people & place.
    A gentle project with gentle people however brief the encounter.

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    1. Thank you Carolyn such thoughtful words - we were also reminded that to tend is equally necessary… I’ve repeated this many times since then 💚

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  3. I came to the last two forages and the enthusiasm I felt from the group as a whole was truly inspirational. I loved the individual chats we naturally fell into along the way.
    The highlight for me was the meditation which brought the final session to a close. As we lay on the ground or against the trunk of a tree listening to readings I felt totally at one with nature. It was a wonderful experience. Thank you 😊

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    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth it was nice to meet you! Look forward to seeing you again in the future (and your lovely grandson)

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  4. Having discovered this project quite late on, I was only able to join the final forage but it was a wonderful experience and I made loads of connections which Im sure myceliumthinking would have appreciated. My only regret is that I didnt pay enough attention to foraging and ended with only a few leaves and berries to contribute. Too busy having a wonderful time. Inspirational.

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    1. Thank you so much Sue it was really good to meet you and hear about your own project! Look forward to seeing you again in the future

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