Flourish was a year-long community project run by The Woodend Barn in Banchory aimed at improving people’s sense of wellbeing through creativity connected with nature. It launched in Spring 2017 with a programme of activities focused on the Wild Garden.
As Writer-In-Residence for the year, I developed a bespoke programme of workshops for local schools and adult groups based on my practise of Writing For Wellbeing. I aimed to encourage people to connect with the joy of creativity and writing for its own sake, as a process of play and discovery. I installed twenty-three acrylic words in the Wild Garden to act as a physical word search to encourage people to explore all areas of the landscape and these became the inspiration for workshops as well as my own body of work – Temenos 23.
The Flourish exhibition held in March 2018 brought together the writing of all the community groups involved alongside my own series of visual poems created throughout my residency. Most of the community work was displayed as it was written – unpolished and unedited. This was done to demonstrate what is possible when we are given the freedom to explore, the time to take notice, the support to keep learning in an inspiring environment and the opportunity to connect with others and give back in a mutually enriching experience.
The four-week long Wild Words series of workshops ran twice over the summer months of 2017. Workshops were designed to help people take notice of their environment, in the moment, and to write in response using predominantly the free writing technique. This type of writing is for the self rather than an audience and enables … Continue reading Wild Words Workshop Series
This one-day workshop was a collaboration between myself and artist Fenneke Wolters-Sinke. Participants first learned how to use pages from old books to create new poems – a form of found poetry. They were then guided on how to add a visual layer to ‘erase’ the unwanted text from the page to create an erasure … Continue reading Erasure Poetry Workshop
Breathe was a collaboration between myself and choreographer Mhairi Allan combining found poetry and found movement. Both of us work with process first and foremost and our aim was not to produce a finished dance piece but to engage participants in the exploration of meaning through the creativity of mind and body. A series of … Continue reading Breathe Workshop Series
As part of the Banchory River Festival in June 2017, I created a labyrinth for the community to explore with the help of fellow facilitator, Janis Wemyss. We took the morning to lay 200 metres of rope to create a 42-foot classical 7-circuit labyrinth. It was then open to the public for the afternoon. I … Continue reading Labyrinth Walks
HILL OF BANCHORY PRIMARY SCHOOL Two classes from HOB visited the Wild Garden for four weekly workshops in May and June 2017: Class P5/6 with Mrs Cochrane and Mrs Fowler & Class P6 with Mrs Witt. They were introduced to the technique of found poetry through the word installation which was used as a giant physical … Continue reading School Workshops
Renga, meaning ‘linked poem’ is a 1,000-year old Japanese form of collaborative poetry. Its form alternates between three-line haiku poetry and two line couplets. Renga poems can have any number of verses but are written in a day in response to a scheme of prompts. The ability of the group to work collectively is … Continue reading Renga Workshop