Dialogues with Nature podcast

Dialogues with Nature

Hanna Varga

Conversations with creative practitioners about how we live, learn and work in dialogue with nature.

11 Episoder

  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Anna Laurent on botanical art through history and photographing seeds

    44:22

    In this episode, Anna Laurent is my guest talking about her work at the intersection of science and art, researching botanical art through history and photographing seeds. She is passionate about'understanding plants from the plant's perspective and plants from people's perspective'Anna is an award-winning flora-focused writer, photographer, and artist. She traveled the world, researching the visual history of plant depiction, as well as collecting specimens for 'Dispersal', a series of photographs, portraits, exploring the form and function of seed dispersal.In our conversation, we delve deeper into the world of seeds and Anna's creative journey, exploring them through photography.'The reason for a flower is the fruit and the seed. A flower has evolved its form and its scent, its colours to attract pollinators, to produce a seed. And the seeds are really the future of the plant. The seeds are the whole purpose of a plant.'Her work has exhibited internationally, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard university and the University of California Botanical Gardens at Berkeley, as well as gardens in Amsterdam, Italy, Gibraltar, Sydney, and New York city. In 2018, the Royal Botanic gardens Kew commissioned a series of seed portraits to be permanently displayed alongside living plants in the Temperate House, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world.Her first book, Botanical Art from the Golden Age of Scientific Discovery (University of Chicago Press, 2016) examines the art and science of plant biology in 19th century wall charts. We also talk in this podcast episode more in detail about this book she wrote and the role botanical art plays in history, as well as Anna's current research and next book.Anna was born in Boston, in the USA, and studied at Harvard University. She holds a Master's degree  in History and Philosophy of science from the University College of London. Currently, she lives in London and was awarded a UK visa as an Artist of Exceptional Talent.I first came across Anna's work in 2017 at the Chelsea Flower Show where her seed photographs were exhibited and caught my attention. Later that year, we met at her solo exhibition in London. Then in 2018, both her work and mine were featured in the same issue of INKQ, an independent publication at the intersection of art and science by a mutual friend of ours, Jessica Shepherd.We recorded this podcast episode in December, 2019, since then a lot has happened in the world, but more significantly earlier this year, back in March, When I approached Anna with my idea to set up Dialogues with Nature Network, she agreed and became one of the Founding Members . It's been wonderful to work together over the past couple of months, setting up this creative support network centred around nature.I hope you will enjoy listening to this podcast episode we recorded!—Links from this episode:Follow @anna__laurent on instagramwww.annalaurent.comhttps://harvardmagazine.com/2014/01/the-sorcery-of-seedpodshttps://www.kew.org/read-and-watch/secrets-kew-temperate-househttps://www.seedcultures.com/#/anna-laurent/—About Dialogues with Nature Network here.—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe,leave a review or share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.And if you are interested to hear more about Dialogues with Nature Network, please follow the new instagram account @dialogueswithnature here and sign up to the mailing list here.—Ways you can financially support this podcast now:One time donation of a virtual cup of coffee hereBecome a regular patron supporting me with a recurring donation of £1 per month via Patreon here—The music for the podcast is by Band of Burns ‘Now Westlin' Winds’ song that was recorded live at Union Chapel in 2017. I used this song with the band’s permission.Follow Band of Burns on instagram here and their website for tour dates is here: https://www.bandofburns.com/
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Mugdha Sapte on holistic healing, ayurveda, and rituals

    1:19:57

    ___________ ‘Trying to connect to nature itself is healing in a way, because it kind of gets you out of your own, I guess, worries, and thoughts and problems in your own mind and asks you to observe something.’In this episode, Mugdha talks about an urge to connect to nature in a more sensory manner: smelling things, touching things and feel them that is different from simply walking in the park and breathing in fresh air. We also talk about Ayurveda, holistic healing and what ritual means to us.Mugdha’s online shop Kindred + Wild and Instagrama blogpost Mugdha wrote about Ritual v/s RoutineCreative CountrysideRecommended books we talk about in this episode:Second Skin - India FlintEco Colour - India FlintThe Thinking Hand - Juhani PallasmaaThe Enchanted Life - Sharon BlackieIf Women Rose Rooted - Sharon Blackie—Dialogues with Nature Network has just launched. Find out more here.—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe,leave a review or share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.And if you are interested to hear more about Dialogues with Nature Network, please follow the new instagram account @dialogueswithnature here and sign up to the mailing list here.—Ways you can financially support this podcast now:One time donation of a virtual cup of coffee hereBecome a regular patron supporting me with a recurring donation of £1 per month via Patreon here—The music for the podcast is by Band of Burns ‘Now Westlin' Winds’ song that was recorded live at Union Chapel in 2017. I used this song with the band’s permission.Follow Band of Burns on instagram here and their website for tour dates is here: https://www.bandofburns.com/
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

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    Ali Mackie on painting, joy and the art of bright

    1:12:47

    _________In this new episode, I’m talking to Ali Mackie, who is, a painter and mixed media artist based in the Chilterns in the UK. We talk about wide ranging subjects, encompassing all what it entails to live and work as an artist, including motherhood and how that experience influenced and informed our artistic journeys and how in its own magical way has given some weight to what we do now and, what we pursue as artists. We also talk about Ali's work in great detail.Her main subject is nature and her inspiration comes from the landscape that captures her attention. She uses lots of unexpected colours in her work that is, part of her unique way of not only translating into artworks what she sees but expressing joy and beauty of her subject. Nature portrayed with bright colours plays an essential role in her paintings, collages and mixed media work. She also comes from, an interior design background, which, she tells me more about in our conversation, and how she draws on those experiences in her current work, both as a small business owner and as an artist.Ali’s website and InstagramArtists Support PledgeAli’s Artist Support Pledge pageRecommended resources to read by Ali:Elle Decoration Michael Morgan RI in WaterstonesOutlander - Diana Gabaldon in Waterstones—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe,leave a review or share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.And if you are interested to hear more about Dialogues with Nature Network, please follow the new instagram account @dialogueswithnature here and sign up to the mailing list here.—Ways you can financially support this podcast now:One time donation of a virtual cup of coffee hereBecome a regular patron supporting me with a recurring donation of £1 per month via Patreon here—The music for the podcast is by Band of Burns ‘Now Westlin' Winds’ song that was recorded live at Union Chapel in 2017. I used this song with the band’s permission.Follow Band of Burns on instagram here and their website for tour dates is here: https://www.bandofburns.com/  
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Bex Partridge - Everlastings, An ode to the art of drying flowers

    1:01:02

    _________An ode to the art of drying flowers.In the latest episode here, available today, I talked to Bex Partridge, a floral artist who you may have come across on instagram as @botanical_tales. She recently published her first book:  Everlastings.In this interview she talks about her creative practice in great detail: all aspects of growing, foraging and drying flowers.  I asked her what the word everlastings meant to her. What she responded to that question is one of the reasons what makes this episode a great one to listen to! There are lots of gems here in this episode worth hearing.—Bex’s website and InstagramOrder a copy of her book: Everlastings from here.—Recommended books by Bex  in this episode:Wilding - Isabella TreeWild about Weeds - Jack Wallington—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review or share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.And if you are interested to hear more about Dialogues with Nature Network, please follow the new instagram account @dialogueswithnature and sign up to the mailing list here.—If you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making this ad-free podcast, you can financially support this podcast now:One time donation of a virtual cup of coffee here : £3Become a regular patron supporting me with a recurring donation of £1 per month via Patreon here —The music for the podcast is by Band of Burns ‘Now Westlin Winds’ song that was recorded live at Union Chapel in 2017. I used this song with the band’s permission. Band of Burns on instagram here and their website is here: https://www.bandofburns.com/
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    How can I be of service through my creative practice?

    40:28

    ________As we find ourselves in the midst of these uncertain and disorienting times, I keep asking myself this question that probably many of you ask yourselves, too:- How can I possibly be of service  with what I have? through my creative practice?________Dialogues with Nature podcast is back.In this episode I’m pondering about where I am now, where we are all, the changes I’m going through and what we are experiencing at a global scale. I’m talking a lot about hope, how nature and a creative practice can be a solace, especially in our current times. Thinking through how creative work can continue in our dynamic times, how I could nurture more resilience through my practice and what possible ways there are moving forward.________References from this episode:On Being podcast episode with Rebecca SolnitThe entrepreanour, Tara Macmullin, whose work I find inspirational, the host of What Works podcastThe poem by Emily Dickinson I refer toThe piece titled ‘Lockdown’ that was originally posted on instagram by the author that I read aloud at the end of this episode________Ways you can support this podcast:Donate me  a virtual cup of coffee hereBecome a regular patron supporting me with a recurring donation of £1 per month via Patreon here Interested to hear more about Dialogues with Nature Network I’m setting up?Watch the replay of a live virtual presentation I did on Monday here.Read my presentation notes from it here. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share it with a friend. You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter. And if you'd like to receive a newsletter, sign up to the mailing list here. 
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Eleanor Cheetham on independent publishing and seasonal living

    58:57

    :: Dialogues with Nature Network has launched and is currently open for new members to join until 16 July. Find out more here.:: If you feel the flowers and trees are calling, the grasses are whispering your names, come and join us in the Meadow, our Foundation Course here.__________‘The everyday can be extraordinary. These small and seemingly normal things going on outside are extraordinary. That connection what can bring us so much joy for so little.’Today I’m talking to Eleanor Cheetham whose work is rooted in nature and the seasons. She is a writer, editor and independent publisher. She was publishing Creative Countryside magazine in the past two years that you may know. Eleanor lives in the Lincolnshire countryside with her family. She talks about her work and journey through Creative Countryside, publishing the magazine, and the inception of the seasonal community that has naturally evolved over time, realising the value of building in-person connections. Providing a platform where meeting others who love and feel inspired by nature has also become an important part of her work. Nurturing connection with nature in a group resulted in a collaborative partnership this year with another wildhearted women with whom together they launched Folk + Field, a creative nature inspired community. Eleanor finds her inspiration on a daily basis in the local landscape, the fields and the hedgerow she walks past daily. In her words - ’it seems like such a simple thing, that really roots me but going the same way everyday, means that I see the exact moments when the rosehips turn, or the moment the hazelnuts are ready, or when the elderberries have fallen..' - Noticing these tiny moments are key and inspire her writing. ‘What we do won’t immediately yield instant results. It’s about the journey and connecting with nature, ourselves and like-minded others.’ Eleanor talks about her future plans. She is currently writing a book and also publishing a chapbook this Winter with poetry with hope to bring joy to people’s everydays throughout the darkest season of the year. Drawing on her own experience, she is also about to begin offering mentoring for creative writing projects and self-publishing. She emphasises going at our own pace.She also tells us about following the sun and the moon and cycles. the Celtic ‘Wheel of the year’ festivals and how these markers in the season reminds us of bigger cycle of the earth.We are ending this episode on a note of awareness of transformation around and within us.—Recommended books to read by Eleanor:- Glennie Kindred: Earth Wisdom - about the cycles of the Earth- The English Year by Steve Roud - local landcape of folklore and traditions in England- Soil · Soul · Society: A New Trinity for Our Time by Satish Kumar[For the sake of transparency, I’m receiving a tiny percentage if you order a book from Amazon through one of these links above.]—You can follow Elanor on instagram @creativecountryside.http://www.creativecountryside.com/https://www.folkandfield.com/—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share it with a friend. You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.Also, if you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making this podcast you can buy me a coffee here.
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Monica Griesbaum on natural tea growing in Scotland and making tea

    1:13:59

    :: Dialogues with Nature Network has launched and is currently open for new members to join until 16 July. Find out more here.:: If you feel the flowers and trees are calling, the grasses are whispering your names, come and join us in the Meadow, our Foundation Course here.__________In this episode I'm talking to Monica Griesbaum from Windy Hollow Tea Farm in Scotland who tells us all about how she lives and works in dialogue with nature through her beautiful relationship with tea, natural farming.Monica generously shares her knowledge and experience about tea growing and tea making. She learnt traditional tea making techniques in Taiwan and took that back to Scotland with her, where she started her own tea farm growing her tea plants from seeds. Monica has a great respect for nature and the ecosystem in her farm and places a big emphasis on only using natural farming technique. She also tells us about organic and biodynamic farming and her passion to care for all living things. ‘Sometimes labels separate us, but we have so much overlap, similar aims and we can work towards we wish to achieve.’ Furthermore, we talk about the new tea culture in the West and legacy of the East. There seem to be an important thing that kept reappearing in our conversation, the connection between the farmer and the plants, between the leaves and the tea maker during preparation, the connection between the dry tea leaves and person preparing and drinking the tea. Also, the connection between tea farmers, tea makers, tea houses and tea drinkers seem to be a symbiotic one. They mutually depend on one another, just as much as the growth of healthy tea plants depend on the natural predators and the fertilisers in the soil, the temperature and water. The nuances of fine naturally grown tea can bear witness to a specific historic moment in time, whether the season was dry or exceptionally hot, how much rain there was as much as it has the fingerprint of the maker who plucks, rolls and dries the tea with their skill, care and patience.Monica gives some wonderful advice to those wishing to embark on their own tea journey and encourages us to be open and keep learning.—Recommended book to read by Monica:One Straw Revolution by Masanobu FukuokaRecommendations from me:The Life of Tea: A Journey to the World’s Finest TeasThe Book of Tea (Penguin Little Black Classics)[For the sake of transparency, I’m receiving a tiny percentage if you order a book from Amazon through on of these links above.]—You can follow Monica on instagram and on twitterhttps://www.windyholloworganics.co.uk/and you can also listen to Monica's new podcast Tea, Mud and Hope—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share it with a friend. You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.Also, if you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making this podcast you can buy me a coffee here.
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Tiffany Francis on nature writing and its role in our current ecological times

    34:58

    :: Dialogues with Nature Network has launched and is currently open for new members to join until 16 July. Find out more here.:: If you feel the flowers and trees are calling, the grasses are whispering your names, come and join us in the Meadow, our Foundation Course here.________I’m talking to Tiffany Francis in this episode who is a nature writer and illustrator from the South Downs in Hampshire. Her third book Dark Skies was published this autumn with Bloomsbury. We discuss her published books and how they came about. Tiffany shares a lot about her journey to nature writing, current projects and about a transition to be more in control within her own creative practice. We share our passion for nature and the seasonal cycles. We talk about the contemporary nature writing scene and how it relates to the current environmental crisis we face.‘We can’t just leave it scientist to solve the climate crisis, it’s a burden for us all to bear. The role of art and literature in conservation is becoming more and more important. The new wave of nature writing is being so personal reflects the fact that we are part of nature and nature is part of us.’Tiffany was also chosen this year as a writer-in-residence for Forestry England. She talks about this and the work she produced as a result, when and where it will be first presented.—Some references from our conversation:- Tiffany's published books: https://tiffanyfrancisbaker.com/books- The blog post she wrote I refer to | 5 Things I've Learnt Since Becoming an Author: https://tiffanyfrancisbaker.com/blog/2019/10/30/5-things-ive-learnt-since-becoming-an-author- about her Forestry England writer residency: https://tiffanyfrancisbaker.com/forestry-commission-residency- Kendal Mountain Literature Festival:https://www.kendalmountainfestival.com/events—You can follow Tiffany on instagram and on twitterhttps://tiffanyfrancisbaker.com/—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.Also, if you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making this podcast you can buy me a coffee here.    
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    Catalina Christensen on collecting pigments and painting - working with the memories of landscape

    47:29

    :: Dialogues with Nature Network has launched and is currently open for new members to join until 16 July. Find out more here.:: If you feel the flowers and trees are calling, the grasses are whispering your names, come and join us in the Meadow, our Foundation Course here.__________In this episode I’m talking to Catalina Christensen who is an inspiring painter and pigment collector. Her work centres around a personal connection to landscape through the colours she finds and extracts from nature in the places she visits. Her inspiration comes from her early years, hearing of the great Italian Renaissance painters, of alchemy and the inherent human need to be creative and leave traces. She talks about her journey through many countries, coming from an architectural background and how she arrived at her current art practice in great detail. How and where it all started and what techniques and materials she uses in her work.‘A painting begins with collecting the rocks for the pigments. The gathering and processing of pigments is an artistic endeavour in itself’Catalina is also the co-founder of Wilderness Art Collective, a platform for artists whose work responds to the environment, for discussions about beauty and diversity in their creative work.—Some references from our conversation:- The place with the rock paintings in Colombia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A1chica- Landlines exhibition at the Royal Geographical Societyhttps://www.rgs.org/- Wilderness Art Collective https://www.wildernessart.org/- Cornelissen - a quaint old place in London where you can buy pigments if you don’t want to make your own. https://www.cornelissen.com/ You can follow Catalina on instagram and on twitterhttps://www.catalinachristensen.com/—If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram and on twitter.Also, if you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making this podcast you can buy me a coffee here.
  • Dialogues with Nature podcast

    My story

    17:23

    :: Dialogues with Nature Network has launched and is currently open for new members to join until 16 July. Find out more here.:: If you feel the flowers and trees are calling, the grasses are whispering your names, come and join us in the Meadow, our Foundation Course here.____________The 1st solo episode is with me, where I tell you my story and how I arrived at the place where I am now. My life and work are closely intertwined. Here, I talk about some of the contributing events in my upbringing, education and working life that had an impact in my current creative practice.---'Once upon a time there was a girl who was born into a family as the youngest of three sisters in a faraway land, in the middle of a continent where the summers were hot and dry and winters white and cold. This was the land where the nomad Huns settled down travelling from East to West over a thousand years ago. In this small corner of the world folklore and traditions are still alive to this day. She had a grandmother who was old and wise. She taught her all she needed to learn and equipped her with the skills needed to seek her treasure beyond the borders, the seven seas and the peaks of glass mountains. The day came for her to embark on her lifelong adventure. Her blessing and curse was living without age and compromise. She walked on a path less travelled, free, while wearing her heart on her sleeves, doing what she loved most.'---If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share it with a friend.You can find me as @walkinglantern on instagram or on twitter.Also, if you appreciate the time and effort that goes into making this podcast you can buy me a coffee here.

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