As part of a year-long research project I spent a month at FoAM to dig a little deeper into my work. FoAM in winter is a special seasonal botanic retreat. I had several micro-visits from people with unique relationships to plants. Outside, the plants and trees were in hibernation whilst inside FoAM, they thrived and infiltrated my mind through their constant living presence, delicious dishes and an afterlife of transformation in the papery library.
Between February and April 2013 Cat Jones was in residence at FoAM researching for her project, Transcontinental Garden Exchange — an experiment in communication between Homo sapiens and flora to highlight how our green friends have seeded change in our social history and behaviour. Whilst at FoAM Cat researched the scientific and social history of human-plant relationships, plant signalling and the possibilities for their manifestation between humans and flora.
Cat’s research gathering lead us across a map of conceptual and practical ideas for learning the art of conversation with plants. We surveyed a landscape of cultural understanding and personal histories. With The Voice of Plant Consciousness as a meditation guide, we heard the family history of a houseplant, looked at the role of female botanists in women’s emancipation and sexual revolution, and followed the dark path of gardening as cultural colonisation.
See www.transcontinentalgarden.net for more information on the project.