Walking Forest

Walking Forest is a 10 year artwork working in collaboration with Lucy Neal, Ruth Ben-Tovim, Shelley Castle and many others.

It starts with the collecting of seeds to create a forest. We draw inspiration from the hidden world beneath the forest floor and creative resistance and change making amongst women around the world in defence of the Earth. We look back to the collective actions of Suffragettes who stood for radical democratic change a century ago and forward to the next 100 years when articulating and standing up together for the well-being of Earth and for global justice is key to planetary survival.

The interwoven strands of Walking Forest:

TREES: we are planting a new intentional forest to be planted by 2028 in the UK, marking connection between women, activism and trees. Trees are fundamental to our existence on this planet and part of our cultural inheritance. We are gathering seeds, stories and saplings as we go. The trees will be layered with meaning and stories connecting to local and global activism, resilience, justice and restoration. We are working as lead creative partner on a three year interdisciplinary research project funded, MEMBRA, by UKRI 2021-24 (UK Research Institute) as part of Future of UK Treescapes. MEMBRA is focused on research into tree memory, resilience and adaptation of tree species to climate change and the ethical standing of trees in law and policy working with University of Birmingham and University of Exeter.

GIFTING SEEDS: In 1908-1912 a Suffragette Wood was created in Batheaston by over sixty suffragettes to honour acts of individual courage and to inspire onward action. One last Suffragette Tree stands sentinel today in Batheaston – a magnificent Monterey Pine, planted by activist Rose Lamartine Yates. We are propagating seeds from Rose’s ‘Mother Tree’ and seeds from the tree have been gifted to international activists at the Katowice COP Climate talks in Poland in 2018, Climate Talks in Bonn, 2023 and Glasgow COP in 2021 along with other activists and artists visiting the UK.

Thank you, your moment of holding, and seed for life.. In turn I found myself holding negotiators hands minutes after leaving you. Your care and vision are needed and appreciated.” Lindsey Fielder Cook, Representative for Climate Change, Quaker United Nations Office, Katowice, Poland 2018.

RESIDENCIES & CAMPS: Site-specific creative, practical, restorative and regenerative activities take place in specific localities, catalysing new local/global connections and relationships and amplifying marginalised voices. Including online camps in Glasgow and South Devon, and a woodland camp and residency in Coventry as part of a commission from Season for Change and Coventry City of Culture 2021.

MASS CREATIVE ACTIONS: Inspired by the ‘moving grove’ in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, where the unimaginable becomes a reality, mass creative actions involving trees and restoration as we stand with our planet. Actions in Coventry (City of Culture with felled tree from HS2), Glasgow (COP climate talks working with Glasgow School of Art and Galgael, 2021). Smaller actions include the Radicle Rose cycle tour linked to The Big One in London, 2023 and Cheapside Plane activist walk linked to XR October Rebellion, 2019.

MYCELIUM NETWORK: Drawing inspiration from the forest floor and mycelium connections, Walking Forest creates active links amongst diverse UK and international communities, artists and activists, creating new momentum and appetite for linking practical action with culture and creativity, connecting artists with communities, situating local work in a global context and supporting marginalised voices. Please get in touch.

See Walking Forest website for more details