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The Garden Shaman

This project started as a painting on a piece of black satin fabric done in the Springtime and based on the primroses growing in my garden, which was like a way to honour their beauty and signalling of Spring. As I was preparing for my last large solo exhibition at Oriel Theatr Clwyd, I wanted to grow the artwork into the tools I use for gardening, and make the painting into a cloak that 'grew' into the tools that were used, by attaching latex casts of garden spades, rakes, trowels, forks etc. Once the cloak was made and as it was exhibited I realised that I had to make a performance in it which signified the actions of gardening and dying and living and growing - in a kind of probing and expressing of these activities and changes we experience. The film revolves around the regular gardening activities of weeding, planting, pruning, raking, harvesting and composting, around which is woven a thematic expression of the mysterious and hidden activities of growth and change.

I asked Michelle Wright, artist and videographer, to film the performance and she worked closely with me to technically develop the video into its final form, creating a multi-dimensional video experience which is a visual movement poem on gardening and dying, growing and living. The result is a 20 minute long video art piece that will be shown in galleries this year. Those interested to show this work can contact me directly on eli_acheson@hotmail.com

Video Excerpts from The Garden Shaman

Photo: Michelle Wright.

Photo: Michelle Wright.