Residency at We The Curious, Bristol

In September/ October 2018 I embarked on a 2-week residency at the buzzing We The Curious science centre in Bristol. My mission was to explore the metaphorical forests in our brains, made up of pyramidal neurons that look like tree structures. I also wanted to find out more about the forests in our minds, the ones we remember and imagine, the personal stories. The process was informed by research on visual imagination in Neuroscience, on plant signaling as well as the symbology of forests.

I offered workshops for families/ children of various ages and for grown-ups. During these workshops, participants were approached to share the unique images in their minds to do with trees and forests. Through visualisation exercises, a great wealth of personal drawings and notes were collected that turned out to be poetic, captivating and sometimes quite unexpected… one participant came up with a giant snow drop as a tree!

As part of the residency I was also exhibiting objects that are of significance for the project. A board on the wall encouraged visitors to engage in the project through a brief and simple exercise: to imagine a tree and to draw and describe it on cards. Here an example of an endearing one that a child must have drawn:

I liked this visitor card so much that it inspired me to change the title for the project, that started out under the name ‘Tree’ (based on an original concept created with Cat Jones) and had continued as ‘Dendrites’. So the new title now reads ‘Some People Climb Up’. The next stage will see me develop an audio walk through a forest. I’m not sure if people will actually climb up the trees but let’s see.