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Sunday, 18 October 2020

"SOPLO"

An introduction to The Supercluster Fire-pit and my first experience as a Fire-Keeper


I was invited by Fred Adam , Geert Vermeire and Stephanie Whitelaw to become a fire-keeper around the supercluster fire-pit last Friday evening. 


Image Fred Adam



The plan is to bring together friends and contributors to the Earthlings Summer School hosted at Kings College last July and to keep the fire of those encounters burning and, hopefully, create new experiences, exchanges and encounters. A school reunion if you like but with additional elements. These can all be found in the fire-keepers guide. I decided to write this and describe my experience as I really wanted to record my first visit to the campfire.


This was my gratitude from the Earth  

B. Fasicularia , an Andean plant 



My gratitudeSometimes we don't see or appreciate what is in front of us.


I had been walking around looking and thinking about what I would bring as my earth totem and I suddenly realised that it was there right in front of my eyes. It was outside my studio door and yet I was spending my time looking for it on walks elsewhere. I think it found me.... This happened last Tuesday ....I have had this plant from Chile for the last four years and it did this. You could easily miss it as it is tucked inside the grasses. It is alchemy as the green colour of the foliage has been transformed to a bright hue with blueish edging. I am wondering if it was the heat of the sun this summer.


with gratitude to Fred Adam for introducing my fasicularia into the campfire

My topic: was to reference Cecilia Vicuña's small sculptures titled Precarios.  Cecilia Vicuña has developed her practice of making precarios these are small scuptural pieces of collected found fragments which develop into a broader conversation about political struggle, the displacement and erasure of indigenous people in a time of increasing globalism, and the alarming, ever more apparent effects of climate change on the natural world. 


 I then invited us around the campfire to engage in making some playful sculptural pieces from found objects. I suggested we should use  SON QON, this is a quechua word meaning the energy of the heart, to guide us as we look around us for the overlooked. 

We then introduced these to each other ending with a  "soplo" a soft sound a whisper if you like that might represent the pieces we made.



I am interested in indigenous practices, poetry , weaving and storytelling and I do believe that by re-visiting ancient practices we can re-imagine how we relate to the earth, to each other and perhaps re-imagine how we would like to engage with the wider world. I am really enthused and interested to see where these meetings might lead us to next.

In the meantime you might like to check out this event next Tuesday which is free and, I think , very connected to some of the ideas associated with our fire-pit actions :

Open School East



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