Wild Culture Diary - July 2013
5th - 7th July
Flax and Needle Festival
LE BOURG-DUN: July is harvest time. And every year, nine communes in the Caux area of Normandy, northern France, come together for three days to celebrate the harvesting of flax, or linseed, crop which grows throughout the region. Some twenty exhibitions showcase the best of contemporary and traditional textile art using flax fibres, and there's also a linen fabric fair, fashion shows, tours of the Terre de Lin co-operative factory, and a whole host of creative workshops and other activities.
From 6th July
TOKYO: The Mitsui Memorial Museum of art and antiques has teamed up with NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) to present an exhibition that explores the development of Yokai painting and history, from the Middle Ages to contemporary Manga artists like Mizuki Shigeru. Yokai are a type of supernatural Japanese folklore monster or ghost, and the exhibition looks to play on our latent sense of mystery and fear – ever-present, even in the age of science. Thanks to Rebecca French for alerting us to this one!
A Remarkable Life
LONDON: Located in a Victorian house in Tulse Hill, the wonderful South London Botanical Institute is this July hosting a day-long interactive celebration of its illustrious founder, Allan Octavian Hume – civil servant, political reformer, amateur ornithologist and horticulturalist. One of the founders of the Indian National Congress, Hume came to botany late in life and, in 1910, established what is today one of London's most idiosyncratically brilliant institutions. The afternoon sees storytelling with Giles Abbott followed by workshops in unique surroundings.
From 15th July
Hello Lamp Post
BRISTOL: This month sees the street furniture of Bristol comes alive in a summer-long festival of urban play. As the first commission of Bristol’s new Playable City Award, produced by Watershed, Hello Lamp Post invites residents and visitors to interact with the city's bus stops, post boxes and lamp posts, using text messages to reveal hidden personalities and histories beneath the city's surface. “The more people take part the more fun for all.” says co-creator Ben Barker. “So do give it a go!”
From Weeds to Remedies
PHOENIX: Dave Hamilton, qualified naturopath and co-owner of Wish We Had Acres Farm, hosts an event to help people learn how to capture the power of nature in oils and waxes than can then be used to combat minor ailments such as abrasions, bruises and dry skin. Hamilton is especially interested in family medicine and health education using nature, healthy habits, and the body’s innate ability to heal itself to achieve health. He has worked for Herbal Vitality, a local medicinal tincture producer, for the past five years.
Red Army Fiction
LONDON: Spoken word collective Red Army Fiction are back at the cosy little Gallery Café in Bethnal Green, east London, for an evening of poetry, discussion, readings and music. Raven Garcia compères a group that includes the likes of Brian Kavanagh, Alison Eley, Tina Price-Johnson and Jo Eden. The headline act is none other than poet, novelist, academic and all-round wordy wonder Heidi James, who, incidentally, also contributes to the Journal of Wild Culture form time to time.
19th - 21st July
SUFFOLK: Ringsfield EcoCentre in Suffolk on the west coast of England plays host this July to a three-day festival of all things permaculture. Taking place within fourteen acres of woodland, meadow, pasture and gardens, the event features all manner of different workshops as well as music, yoga, aromatherapy, scything, dancing and a host of other activities – all celebrating 30 years of permaculture in the UK. Food – local, seasonal and organic – is included in the ticket price. Thanks to Dano Wheals for letting us know about this!
From 26th July
Brains: The Mind as Matter
MANCHESTER: After its successful showing at the Wellcome Collection in London in 2012, Brains heads up to Manchester this July for an extended six-month run at the Museum of Science and Industry. The show features real brains, as well as manuscripts, artefacts, some pretty grisly videos, and contemporary art by the likes of Helen Pynor and Katharine Dowson. You can read more about how it was all put together in this article for the Journal of Wild Culture by the exhibition's curator, Marius Kwint.
Edible Walk and Talk
TORONTO: Author, writer and editor, Karen Stephenson of EdibleWildFood.com hosts a foraging walk and discussion event in Ernest Thompson Seton Park. Across a website, newsletter and regular events, Stephenson attempts to educate those who are interested in weeds as an alternative food source. As an added incentive, those who pay for the walk in advance get a free copy of Everything's Pine – a PDF booklet loaded with information and recipes about pine trees.
Image credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, Flowers of Flax (Linum usitatissimum), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 2007