AS NATURE POWERS DOWN to save energy for the winter, the trees and shrubs offer their final displays of colour. Yet, after the beauty of a summer abundance, we humans seem to increase our workloads as businesses prepare for the annual festivals of light.
If we are to truly understand the wider ecological systems, surely we need to participate in them. How then can we keep in time with the slowing rhythm of nature when our society is pressuring us to increase the tempo?
Our small workshop group disperses and we wander around the city park in search of inspiration. Drawn to a secluded spot, I sit in silence, observing the sounds and images of nature, as if half-expecting the trees to answer my enquiry.
My attention is caught by assorted fragments of coloured plastic — perhaps the detritus from years of summer picnics or night-time trysts. The rustle of leaves in the wind is punctuated by the distant voice of someone speaking to a mobile phone. At first, I feel frustrated by these inorganic interruptions. I close my eyes and try to focus away from the external sounds.
The overwhelming sense is of being ‘in between’. Almost subconsciously, I play with the ground in front of me, brushing the blades of grass dried by weeks without rain. My eyes open and I start to clear a space in front of me, picking up the pieces of polymer and arranging them with different coloured leaves. Almost sub-consciously, I begin to collect small twigs and arrange them as if seeking order from the natural chaos.
The result (see photograph) is a structure that reminds me of a bridge, with me a curator. I resolve to continue to explore how I can develop my role as a connector, perhaps between the artificial spaces of society and a more-natural human world. By taking time to observe the cycles of nature, from the life of the flora and fauna, to the phases of the moon, perhaps I can stay in harmony with the music of the spheres.