We're currently working on Plymouth Councils Green Minds Project, created to encourage more people to use green spaces in the city. As part of their creative commissions, we ran ‘Roots in Nature’, a series of workshops for adults in the Global Majority community to learn new skills with our artists and have the chance to create an outdoor performance.
Having been in nature over the past few weeks we’ve been reflecting on the power of interacting with the earth. Elsie from Divina Botanica, a host of one of our sessions said that ‘there’s no perfection to nature’. We look at flowers and greenery in awe over how flawless they appear to us, but truly they hold no perfection either.
If there’s no perfection in the most amazing thing that our world has to offer, itself, then how can we expect perfection in everything we do? That’s not to say we shouldn't strive for whatever our own version of quality is, but perhaps as artists we should release ourselves from the need for each element of our work to be ‘perfect’. Sometimes deadlines work in our favour, releasing us from the relentless pressure placed upon us and often upheld by us to get everything ‘right’, we have to leave something for us to learn from.
Several participants from our ‘Roots in Nature’ sessions noted how our energy cycle is similar to the Earth's. There is a rhythm to everything in life, from breathing to seasons, there is an ebb and flow of energy. Much in the same way plants learn how to adapt and make the most of new changes we should do the same, nourishing ourselves just how we tend to our plants, pruning and repotting where necessary.
Another attendee noted how a bouquet is comparable to an orchestra, so are we as artists who come together and create a harmonious performance, but not without practice and leaning into one another's strengths.
Roots In Nature is not the first example of Beyond Face interacting with flowers, whether it be appreciating the intricacy and beauty of them via Wild Hive Flowers paper flower making session. Or through our production ‘Alright Petal?’ which focused on taking the appreciation towards the various shapes, sizes and texture of flowers, applying the same admiration towards black women.
There’s a lot we can learn from nature about our bodies, routines, health and habits. Next time you’re sitting in a field with blades of grass tangled within your fingertips, or on a beach listening to the rhythmic crashing of waves, think about the different parts of you that can benefit and learn from the very thing that keeps it alive… nature.