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Margaret Jennings

In the face of the now present climate emergency, predicted increase of urban density and the Anthropocene, the work is motivated by urgency and deep concern of loss of community green spaces and trees and opportunities to flow freely through these live spaces to connect us to our natural environment and heritage.

This continued loss, the depletion of woodlands, ancient forests, city parks and other community facilities such as library closures, links together through the window of opportunity of Covid ‘slow down’ times, to critically reassess our consumer dependency and ‘Who we are and Where we are going’ in the taken-for-granted pressurized pace of daily consumer life.

Explorations of participative multi sensory art immersion, encouraging recognition of DNA reconnections with nature, and the potential of human empathy, nurturing and caring for life forms beyond our own kind in the otherness, the language and intelligence of trees are suggested.

Recognizing connections through archives and libraries, books and paper, nurturing of growth and fruition through learning and new emotional intelligences, and observances using all senses, the expanded practice offers opportunities for direct experience by silent walks, soundscapes, tree planting ceremonies, writing and sharing tree stories and embracing nature as central to our existence. Reformatting our mindset to a keen-eyed re-sensitized childlike curiosity zone focus is on psychological shift and decolonizing our relationship to nature.

The Wild Life and Plant Centered Eco Haven, (rather than a controlled consumer led garden structure primarily for human centerdism), is an ongoing creative project at the heart of this Eco Art engagement. It also embraces education, research, anthropology and expanded story telling. It connects to the Woodland Trust New Tree Charter and Kew Gardens Grow Wild native wild flower seed research. A tree planting exchange project is underway between institutions and the community as part of a Green Corridor initiative. Currently a campaign to collect donations for The World Land Trust, (patron D Attenborough), to purchase an acre of endangered rainforest is underway. Currently I’m trying to figure out how to make the Eco Haven and its different usages considered as an artwork.

During this pandemic, by walking through woods, parks and commons, the soles of my old shoes have worn wafer thin. For the first time I have experienced the textures of land surfaces like shiatsu rising up through my feet. I feel proud of these shoes, all the journeys they helped me through, and the memories of encounters with nature they evoke. This seems to offer a theme for one chapter of the Zine mentioned before, of how the daily usage of everyday taken for granted un-precious objects could directly connect us to the nature of the world we are part of. I have started to make drawings of this experience.

‘Art in a Jar ‘An environmental project. May 2020

‘Wafer Thin Soles and Journeying’s’. Ongoing from March 2020

Presentation of ‘The Green Corridor .. Super WildWay ‘ City University UOL Feb 2020

‘Tree Planting Exchange Ceremony with Silent Walk and Tree Story Workshop’ part of Sustainability Week. By invitation. King’s College UOL March 2020

‘Digital Storytelling Project The Eco Haven’. A Community Project Video Showing Deptford Cinema March 2020