Latir Wilderness (l) Permaculture homestead management (r)
Our year of reflection on wilderness will be completed week ending 21st Oct 2015. This week’s feature began early in the project with a visit to Questa, New Mexico by our featured thinker Linda Weintraub, Curator, Artist and Educator. Linda’s feature weaves together the wild and the cultivated, the human and non-human experience to continue our exploration of wilderness and our relationship to it.
A beautiful boy leaped out of a grand maple tree, landing nimbly onto the ground. It was a chance glance out of my bedroom window early in the morning last spring that provided this startling sight. He was lithe as a ballerina. His fine face was topped with a mass of black curls.
If this tree had been located in a wilderness, I would have imagined my arbor visitor to be a fairytale prince charming, or an Adonis from Greek mythology, or a wood sprite in Nabokov’s famous story. Read More….
Gila River Tom Udall Press Office
On the 3rd September 1964, the Wilderness Act, the motivation for this project was signed into law by congress. Among those present was Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall. As we cross into the fifty-first year of the Wilderness Act we are honoured to feature Senator Tom Udall as this week’s featured Wilderness Thinker. As a public servant for over 25 years, Senator Udall has consistently advocated for an integrated approach to ecology. His essay’s draws attention to the importance of Wilderness and the necessity of on-going generative approach to Wilderness that does not enshrine wilderness in nostalgia. As a vital living breathing aspect of an earth system of which we are a part, Senator Udall recognises the potential for continuing the conversation around shared common goals beyond divisive party politics. Read More
Monettia Bog, Ballinvalley, Killeigh, Co Offaly Image: Ann Lawlor
This week our featured Wilderness Thinker is Ann Lawlor a curator, programmer and producer of art projects. Ann is a walker of boglands. It is in her coding, peat horizons meeting rain bladdered clouds, turf burning of damp heat, astringent smoked eyes, the spongy terrain that keeps secrets and embalms truths.
There are a number of strands that are prodded at, as Ann meanders from wilderness as a social construct, rebranded and packaged for human consumption, to the mythology of ‘bogs’ and how their membrane is both natural and cultural. Biomimicry, botany and plant mechanisms are considered to the impact of bogs on climate change and how the positive and negative are part of the bog’s living legacy.
The bog is her anthropomorphic deity, she is grafting technical and scientific language to expand the potential of the bog’s narrative. The style of the first person narrator externalises a silent monologue – dramatic, unreliable and imagined. Ann’s appropriation of this type of language (that has been constructed through observing the natural world) is being used very loosely and often times incorrectly – its reapplication is more in sentiment than meaning… Read More
Berry Head, Nigel Bones
This week our featured Wilderness Thinker is Nigel Smallbones former Head Wildlife Ranger, Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Torbay, Devon, UK. For over twenty years he has observed a seabird colony off Berry Head – the South Coasts’ largest colony of Guillemots a possibility others can now share due to the viewing camera he set up with the RSPB in 2005. Recorded on Berry Head, a Special Area of Conservation strictly protected under designation through the EC Habitats Directive, Nigel’s feature shares his understanding of Wild and Wilderness in an interview with Artist with Anna Keleher, a previous wilderness thinker. We hope you enjoy Nigel’s interviews and the photographs of the Devon coastal landscape that accompany his poetic and sensitive thoughts on wilderness… Read More
Expandscape, 10m x 0.5m painting
This week our featured Wilderness Thinker is Phoebe Dick, an artist and poet from the North West of Ireland with a collection of ‘wilderness’ themed work inspired by the ‘wild west‘. Her creative practice rooted in observations from her social or geographical surroundings are clarified into semi-fictional scenes or narratives, to create generic, yet specific, situations, accessible to all. Whether as an etching of an imagined mountain range or a damning love song, an ability to create convincing fictions and a feeling you just might have been there. We hope you follow the links to enjoy Phoebe’s work… Read More
Seventh Graders Trekking in the Pecos Wilderness, Roots & Wings Community School, Image: Todd Wynward
This week our featured Wilderness Thinker is Todd Wynward an author, public school founder, small-scale farmer, and wilderness educator who has spent more than a thousand nights outdoors. Todd’s insightful essay offers an introduction to ‘rewilding’ Christianity, drawing religious teachings back to the earth through a spiritual, passionate, at times challenging yet intimate relationship with wilderness. Todd’s writing is within the wilderness tradition of those such as John the Baptist or Celtic Christianity, where the presence of God was intimately felt in the natural world. Wilderness features in the bible both as a metaphor and a physical environment of transformation and drawing on the philosophy of Kurt Hahn, Todd offers an opportunity to discover the potential of who we can become. Read more…
This week our featured Wilderness Thinkers is a signpost to a collaborative encouragement to Think Wilderness and consolidate action. Throughout the year, we have taken the opportunity to signpost work and people that are engaged in Thinking Wilderness. This week to coincide with the launch of a new charity we are featuring Rewilding Britain. Born out of two years consultation Rewilding Britain seeks to consolidate the ongoing work of individuals and organisations that are rewilding Britain, encourage discussion and debate and to re-position us within healthy ecosystems. Read more…
This week our featured Wilderness Thinkers are Siena Sanderson and Annette Lisa, artists and art educators who passionately advocate for art and its potential to inspire hope through their work with the Neighbourhood Arts Project, Taos, New Mexico.
Where do you go to connect with nature and the outdoors, where is your wilderness?
Siena and Annette present a wilderness ‘getaway’ and invite you to do the same, sharing your personal wilderness ‘getaways’; where’ and ‘why ‘ , here in the comments section and on the Thinking Wilderness Facebook page.
Gently guided by R.W. Service’s poem, The Call of the Wild a route-map is offered, provoking us to step away from our busy 21st Century lives for a moment and think wilderness. We hope you join them in building a digital wilderness tour. Read More…
This week our featured Wilderness Thinker is Jim O’Donnell. Jim is an award-winning author and photographer and currently the Jack Williamson Endowed Chair for Literature at Eastern New Mexico University. Jim’s travels have taken him to over 40 countries and this week his feature presents his travels from the heart of European Wilderness, the Tatra Mountains, the natural border between Slovakia and Poland.
Jim reflects on the concept of American wilderness and its nascent European counterpart and the challenges it faces. Jim’s stunning photography and thoughtful text are reminders that for many the physical world is viewed simply as a resource with destruction never far away. In the face of such challenges, people like Vlado and Gudrun are part of the international commitment to sensitive conservation. Read More….