The peripheri project is a series of workshops run over a period of six months in Portobello with ArtWalk Porty. These workshops will combine walking arts with drawing and foraging, bringing attention to urban plant life as it develops through the seasons through drawing and mapping. We will walk between and spend time in selected sites where built up habitats are having a conversation with unmanaged nature. Through engaging with these sites we will spotlight some of the plants which find their way and even thrive in cities, looking at what is possible between the cracks. Within each site there exists an echo rippling through to one and other, in the plant life and in the interplay with man made structures. There will be drawing exercises in each site and we will also share relevant reading texts.
Peripheri will explore how the unmanaged edgelands of cities are creative spaces which allow for different narratives of how we might live with other species in developed areas. We are not biologists, botanists or experienced foragers, we are learning as we go, with and from the participants of the walks. This blog is a space for the ideas explored in these workshops.
There will be one workshop per month, and in returning to the same four sites we hope to observe the seasonal developments and changes they will have undergone. Participants will be invited to return to each site more than once. Each walk will start where the last finished the previous month, meaning we will be able to note the changes that have taken place over a month. Over the second half of the project, the walk will be repeated in reverse. In this way peripheri opens up a dialogue with the passing of time in a specific landscape. A landscape that is subject to alteration. The project will therefore remain flexible to the changes that may occur over time within these specific sites.
Over the course of the project, we will work with carefully considered drawing materials, using recycled, handmade and repurposed paper, and drawing with sustainably sourced inks and charcoals, as well as creating works using materials found on site.
The guided activity of each session will be responsive to the site, allowing for an artistic care of place. The group will be invited to explore a practice which acknowledges its active participation in a landscape, ecosystem, and community. Forming a group over a period of six months and sharing in the experience of walking together; we hope to develop a little walking community. Transient, but held together through repetition and intention.
To spend time paying attention to the changes taking place – at times, unwantedly so – speaks to the larger growing global concerns of climate change and the decisions being made within urban spaces. By gathering and focusing, we hope to hold space for discussion surrounding the local-global impacts we are facing.