As a child, escaping into the garden and nearby fields was life’s main purpose. Here the imagination could run riot in a world of building dens and dreams of happiness. My current environment is no less inviting.
Gravitating towards the outdoors, to appreciate the different experiential opportunities offered by the natural environment has continued to be a recurrent theme throughout the decades and is evident in current practice.
Botany became an interest during the teenage years, but later there was a greater attraction to the aesthetic and nurturing qualities of the outdoors and also an appeal to gain sustainable skills such as cultivating plants for food. Alongside noting the curiosities of colours and forms of the flora and fauna, aspects of aesthetics and wellbeing are now to the fore and processes of practice arise from such interests and activities.
The garden is now the workspace. It is the place where the processes of practice for this research are initiated and practised. Observation and experimentation happen in the everyday. Outdoors is the preferred option, providing protection against excessive wind, rain, sleet, sun and over exertion are heeded to ward off the inevitable consequences of carelessness – migraines, sore throats, nausea and fatigue!
This workspace is however also a family garden. As always, practice is constrained by physical capacity and family needs but the processes go ahead whenever the opportunity arises and – whatever the day brings.