Spiralling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

I have been thinking about what it means to be a parasite. From whose perspective are parasites parasites? I have thought about this as a human who increasingly understands her position in the world as one, as an artist who seeks to draw meaning from places and environments, and through a time when my son’s breastfeeding means we are physically tethered. There are ticks in and around Tarset and Keilder. When I asked Keilder’s Forestry England Rangers about ticks they mostly saw them as occupational hazards. One told me how he casually picks them out of his legs and arms with his fingernails in the shower at the end of a work day. I have been one of two Associate Artists for VARC’s ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art. since April 2020, but the place and ENTWINED have been on my mind since I first made my application in autumn 2019. I have been to VARC, Highgreen twice for week-long stays with my family, and have been for several other day trips. I only live an hour away but the realities of day to day life and the restrictions of lockdown mean I have spent far more time turning this place, its ecologies, materials and ideas over in my mind than I have been immersed in its environment.

The following writing is set in Italy, not Tarset, but it has come from my internal ruminations about parasites first sparked by researching land restoration projects at Kielderhead, and a failed application to introduce Lynxes to the area. It’s an attempt to show the way ideas and prejudices about a creature’s right to exist in an ecology can turn, twist and spiral through one’s mind as the disease it might spread could do in one’s body. It will be incorporated in some form with the black and white 8mm film footage I have taken in and around Tarset over the last year.
It’s a kind of memento of the ways I have remotely accessed Tarset through writing, mapping its ideas onto other memories and experiences when I couldn’t go there.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationENTWINED
Subtitle of host publicationRural, Land, Lives, Art
EditorsMike Collier, Helen Pailing
Place of PublicationSunderland
PublisherArt Editions North
Pages152-159
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781906832476, 1906832471
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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