An inspiring day on Sunday, at the Centre For Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) in Haldon Forest near Exeter – where pioneering artist Alan Sonfist talked about his work from the early days when he was responsible for recreating a forest of indigenous trees in New York City, to the present day and his latest project in Florence.
His method is to collaborate with each community to reintegrate aspects of an area’s natural and cultural histories. “The magic of the environmental movement is that we can all work together” he says, and you can see his ongoing works and collaborations on his official website: www.alansonfist.com.
Why did people make art in caves? It was all about food, Alan maintains. Our survival depends on how we deal with our environment. Today, in these times of change and unpredictable weather patterns, we need a dialogue in order to restore balance. Dialogue brings back memory. We need to connect back with our subconscious and our own and our ancestors’ experiences.
After lunch, we got together with Alan in a group, with a view to us generating a project in the forest. Talk centred around dead trees, bugs and fungi. Not quite sure how I feel about this! I will keep you posted and let you know what transpires….