I’ve been busy. It must be the sudden Spring giving me lots of creative energy after a Winter that seemed to suck the life out of me. It’s also the effect of going on a poetry course in Scotland last weekend led by Em Strang and Susan Richardson.

I’ve decided to be more defined about my own creative work. I’ve never really called myself an artist but creativity comes into everything I do, and I’ve been doing more writing and photography in recent years. I’ve been putting a lot of energy into organising creative projects and working for cultural organisations without making space for my own creativity. Last weekend I decided that had to change, so I quickly put together a site called Graftage. It’s a grafting together of my photography and words, and may include short films and songs that I’ve started to work on. Of course, I had to use a name that comes from arboriculture.

And talking of trees, here’s an update on the Beuysterous project.

Beuysterous is about sharing artistic actions to do with trees, that will help people and places be resilient (or creatively boisterous) in the face of climate change and ecocide.

It’s grown out of our family projects we called The Unextinction Machine – collaborative creativity to combat Mass Extinction. We decided to focus on trees, at least for this year. 

Beuysterous is two things:

1) Celebrations as pivotal events around which others can organise pro-tree creative actions. 

These have included January Wassail, Tree Love Week and Tree Play Month.

In June, will be a summer solstice event (more about that below).

In August, linked to the Dark Mountain’s Uncivilisation festival, will be looking beneath the soil at roots and fungus.

In late November and during National Tree Week, we’ll be working with Feral Theatre on performances to mourn lost and threatened tree species.

2) Promoting the work of artists who plant trees, care for them, celebrate them and sustainably use them

There are regular blog posts about different artists and regular postings on a Facebook group and a Pinterest page. There are plans for a meet up or showcase event for interested artists. Please send info about artists we should be covering.

One reason for mailing you is to invite you to participate in the summer solstice celebration of fruit trees, local food and green fertility, on 21st June.

We’re organising the Garlick Man Parade in SE14 in London, and people are invited to come with costumes, performances, stories, parade music, installations along the route or creative contributions to the fruity picnic.

We’d also love to know that more people are organising similar things at Midsummer, and would love to hear about them.


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