“Absorbing the wisdom of Nature through my skin ….” - Recorded spoken thoughts after a dream on the 26th august 2019

This text is a transcript of spoken thoughts I recorded in August after a dream.  While sharing various reflections about my life and my art practice, this piece could also be presented under an audio form, maybe accompanied by moving images ....
I am seeing it more and more interesting to record my ideas through speaking them rather than writing them. However, I don't know how it is received once transcripted into written words ....
Whether they work in both forms or not is something I want to explore ....
The whole process is for me about finding MY VOICE ....

“At some point in my dream, someone was showing me a pack of seeds with something written on it. And I knew that this plant was supposed to help me. But I was rushing to the next thing and I didn’t even stop just to pick it up …. He was really showing me the pack of seeds, right into my face but I just passed by, thinking “Oh yeah, planting those seeds, because I very much need to use this plant for myself !”. 

But I was just rushing ….
There was the idea that this plant was medicinal. That’s why it would have been useful to me.
I feel that, the sense of time, the scale of time, even though, for example I love geology, I love this idea of the stones, the rocks, being there before us and maybe some of them having been liquid at some point, lava state, turned into rock state, eroded, turned into sand on the beach … this much larger time scale …. But, I’m not able to stop and pick up this pack of seeds and plant the seeds, water them, watch the plant grow, wait until it’s reached its maturity, collect the plant and maybe turn it into something, tea, I don’t know, and then, maybe process it so I can use it for …. over a certain period of time, I would imagine, at least one or two months to see if it has an effect on me …. I can’t do that, because I’m not patient. I don’t think it’s just me not being patient, even though I tend to …. Some people tend to live in the past, I tend to live in the future …. and you’re supposed to live in the present time and be open to all possibilities so that you are open to the seeds that can be planted and grown.
So I started to try to get a sense of the time by doing different things, since last summer. But it’s not just me not being patient, it’s just us not being patient, we’ve just lost the sense of the slowness of nature, we are high speed consumers. We want something : “click, get it”. We’ve forgotten where things come from, so we are living ahead of our time and we don’t stop and look back and realise that we’ve gone too far, that we’ve used all the resources we had.

…. when I am in France in summer, when I have time and I have access to the sun and the water, so I can dry things, I tend to do these kind of craft activities where the sun, the heat and the water are needed. Like making paper. Drying things, putting things in the sun light. So, using the natural resources that are linked to the season. And I love to work outside a lot and I feel the heat and when it gets too hot, I go for a swim, come back and continue the process. That’s my ideal life, living outside. So in summer I am much closer to nature and its rhythm. Last year I produced, just for myself, some ecoprints to keep through the winter. This year, I produced twelve ecoprints. That’s for the 12 months coming, linking one august, 2019 to the other, 2020. And last year I did something similar, looking at the length of light time through the year, because I am very much affected by the lack of light, especially, living in England. I really suffer from …. my mental processes and happiness …. like everything slows down, but becomes really dark as well. It is like a depression state and it can be … it can really stop me ….

So this summer I prepared 12 pieces of ecoprints. 12 Large pieces of paper being folded the same way, using different types of plants from my parents’ garden on the island of Noirmoutier. And this year, the idea is to keep the sense of being in the nature, feeling the nature inside me, which I am feeling more and more, from these past years. When I say Nature, it’s mainly plants for me, surrounding us. Mainly plants. There’s birds, there’s the animals, which I enjoy seeing, hearing, watching. But for me it’s mainly the plants, the green of the plants and the relationship I build with them by doing those ecoprints, as well. But in summer, it’s also, for me, swimming. In sea, swimming in lakes, swimming in rivers. Being part of it. I like this idea of our skin being permeable and that we absorb something of this water and what is in this water, what grows in this water, what lives in this water. And I want to keep that through the year, I don’t want to forget. When I work with natural processes, it goes faster in the summer and everything is going to slow down in winter. It’s much harder to make paper in winter and far less enjoyable. But I want to keep this sense of timescale, duration and feeling that I am part of this nature. Because I feel that when I am experiencing it, when I am close to that, I am closer to some kind of truth …. This is my time scale as well as, a human being, this is what I should be following …. I am following the seasons; I am part of this ….

On the island of Noirmoutier, the water goes away and comes back following the moon, which is still … I can’t quite understand that …. My body also follows the moon cycles and still I just don’t see the link between the two, apart from the fact that it is matching its cycles.

When I’m in harmony with these processes that I use and when I’m in harmony with nature, I feel like all is fine, and all is fine for me in my life as well, like, I don’t need to rush into stuff, I don’t need to want things straight away and if I can’t get them it makes me feel anxious and then I spoil my own life in the present moment, just because I can’t get the things I want to get, when maybe it’s just a matter of waiting. Maybe it’s just a matter of being patient and listening to these inner rhythms and outer rhythms. Maybe by being close to those rhythms, then all is fine, life is fine.

So I’ve made these ecoprints, one per months and I want to open one per month to remind me to stay in this closeness with what I call “nature”. It is a type and a quality of wisdom that I have personally found in the African culture, through my friendships and travels. The quality of the presence of people …. I find this wisdom, enduring patience, resilience, acceptance, openness. And so, I wish I could, every day, go and dip myself into a river or a lake or the sea and absorb this knowledge, this wisdom, this slow pace, closer to something more real, more reasonable somehow, realistic, true. I want to be infused with that knowledge and wisdom and when I am in that place, the timescale is different and things have a different quality. It’s easier to accept frustrations, because we are looking at life from a wider perspective, at larger scale, not in the instant, not just in the “right now I want this”. It makes more sense to look at life on the scale and rhythm of nature. And I feel calmer and more peaceful and feeling like all is fine, all is good, all is alright. What’s supposed to happen will happen. If I want something, it may happen, soon, or not. It may not happen, and it’s all fine.”


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