As per last year’s blog interview with Richard Taylor most of my practice is self funded. There are exceptions however in working this way I can choose how and why I want to work and how and why it engages with my practice. The summer I have, as usual, been teaching scything and traditional haymaking. This means long hours in remote meadows often living on/off the land under canvas and cooking on open fires. It is quite an itinerant life not dissimilar to my walking practice.
Responding to the moment and going with the flow of nature and the weather.
What I have found more recently is that my creative skills are more engaged than ever before. Thinking around teaching methodology and the actual process of working/tending the land. I have begun to trust the the moment and what it brings. I probably annoy land owners by not being specific enough with the outcomes – knowing only that I have a set amount of time and the target is to get the hay ‘in’. Of course this depends upon the weather and how many folks are helping.
The most interesting thing I have noticed is that the ricks I am building are becoming more organic and sculptural.This process starts with scything, creating windrows, turning the grass to make hay, cocking up if the weather turns, finding and building a frame from local hedgerow wood and then creating the rick – an outdoor hay store which can least up to five years. These become characters left behind in the landscape. I need to think more about this as regards my artistic practice and how it has become holistic within my whole way of being an artist.