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Meeting Lemon Verbena

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Two teapots, dried Lemon Verbena, and Utopias Bach leaflets on a white table in front of a wall with post it notes.
Meeting Lemon Verbena at Oriel Mostyn

Recently I worked with Utopias Bach on a collaborative residency at Oriel Mostyn. The collaboration was between artists, plants, and Clwb Cwrdd â Mi Wrth yr Afon. We chose to ask the question "How might we create radical alliances between humans and plants?"

The residency was a hybrid event where by some attended within the gallery setting, and others, including myself, via Zoom. The residency was delivered over four sessions, each with an additional question and emphasis to explore.

Session 1 - Trawsffurfiad, guided visualisation. "Can we use our imagination to experience being a plant? Can this give us a new sense of empathy with plants?"

Session 2 - TEXTure: Decoding the language of trees. "Can we use our collective imagination to decode the language of trees? How can our imagination lead us to a connection to others and ourselves?"

Session 3 - Sounding the plants. "Can we 'sound' the plants? Can we meet them, be a voice for them and get their message to the universe? How do we go from the individual to the collective so that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts?"

Session 4 - Embodied response. "How can we keep what has happened in the last four weeks alive in ourselves?"

A screen stands above a laptop computer with both showing images of people involved in a Zoom meeting. Behind the screens is a wall with shelves containing plants.
Delivering a multi sensory experience via Zoom

Each session was led by an artist with a support artist and a documenter. I was the lead artist for session 3 with support from Lindsey Colbourne and documented by Kar Rowson.

My intention was to facilitate participants in meeting Lemon Verbena on an equal level and to understand her part in the world.

During the process we drank Lemon Verbena tea and walked between imagination and reality to document our experiences. The session concluded with the creation of a collaborative soundscape to voice our connection with the plant. The soundscape can be heard below.


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