(Except joy and human connection!)
First There is a Mountain is an invitation to us to slow down and allow us to reflect on the space we occupy, both near and far. To consider the interconnectedness of our planet; how mountains are grains of sand and vice versa. For me it’s about holding the planet in your hand. It’s circular and connected to scale: miniaturising vast landscapes into forms that are both tangible and intangible at the same time. Sand is a marker of time, landscapes shift over millennia. Here on our beaches, we were playing out this geological history in fast forward, almost in real-time. Katie Paterson
I wrote a little while back about a wonderful project I worked on and wanted to share a little update.
Conceptualised by one of my favourite artists Katie Paterson, First there is a Mountain toured the UK in 2019.
I led some schools and public engagement elements for our local communities here in Northumberland. You can read about it on my blog here.
I was delighted to hear from the project again as they shared with me more details about what happened to the sand pails created for the mass participation across the beaches of the UK.
You can read Katie’s interview on what happened at the end of the project here.
Amazingly, Katie’s pails (made from a type of starch with no trace of plastic) have been composted and will fuel future shrubs and trees at a National Trust property in the UK.
I was also delighted to read more insight into Katie’s process as she shared;
First there is a Mountain
“…refers to a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki:
“Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.”
Katie says – “When I read this text, I felt so many connections.” Me too!!
The biggest connection for me and how I strive to work is to consider and be ‘Creatively Conscious’ about my impact on our precious earth.
I am so conscious and incredibly privileged to be able to share a low waste approach to participatory arts and Katie Patterson’s project has inspired me and my engagement practise so much.
Here’s to ‘circular economy artworks’ and a more permaculture based approach to the work we do with communities!