This discussion chaired by artist Katie Spragg will draw upon knowledge and experience of creative urban activist Carole Wright and community herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad, considering ways that we can care for the natural world and the ways it cares for us, as well as what plants can teach us about how we approach care, thinking back to the insights shared by the young carers who took part in the Garden Museum’s 2019 Lambeth Wilds project.
A series of stop-frame animations made by Lambeth Young Carers will also be screened as part of the event. The Lambeth Wilds book will be available to purchase on the night.
In 2019 Katie Spragg facilitated the Lambeth Wilds project which resulted in a permanent artwork currently on display at the museum. Through this project she worked with Lambeth Young Carers to consider connections between wild plants and being a young carer. The project aimed to celebrate both wild plants and communities that live close to the museum that may be overlooked by wider society. The Lambeth Wilds book shares the work created by the young carers and the stories and research that arose during the project.
Working predominantly in ceramics, I create artworks that peer into our interconnected relationship with nature, questioning the evolving patterns in which humans and plants co-exist. I am interested in the tension and space between managed and cultivated landscapes and the resourcefulness of nature, through my work I pull focus to the margins and intersections. By creating imaginary worlds, enlarging or miniaturising specific compositions, I hope to encourage a deeper investigation into how plants behave and how their behaviour can help us reconsider our own approach to communities and landscape.
I often create work in response to participation of other people, most recently through Arts Council funded projects Plants, Porcelain, People with Norwich International Youth Project and Caroline Fisher projects and Lambeth Wilds with Lambeth Young Carers and Clay for Dementia group at the Garden Museum.
Katie’s catalogue of work includes a piece in the V&A collection, a permanent installation at the Garden Museum and commissions for the British Ceramics Biennale and Sotheby’s. She has exhibited with the Craft Council in London and Miami, at Make, Hauser & Wirth and with solo shows at Blackwell, Arts and Crafts House the Garden Museum and Pi Artworks. Katie is a tutor at the Royal College of Art and a founding member of Collective Matter; an outreach group pioneering collaborative practice through clay
Carole Wright is a creative urban activist, community gardener and beekeeper. Wright is a founding member of Blak Outside, a multidisciplinary creative collective providing culturally diverse and inclusive events. The collective host the Blak Outside Festival, an annual grass roots, intergenerational event supportive of working class social housing residents and the QTIBIPOC (queer, trans, intersex, Black, indigenous, people of colour) community. Wright currently works with Tate Modern, Landscape Institute, Urban Tree Festival (UK) and Peabody Trust. Wright has previously worked with Tate Britain, The Showroom, Whitechapel Art Gallery and St Mungo’s to develop creative community projects, lead workshops and walks. Wright regularly works with primary and secondary school students, housing estate residents and housing managers, church users groups and local councillors. Wright currently manages two community gardens in Southwark, South London.
Rasheeqa (Hedge Herbs) is a herbalist in her community in Walthamstow in north London. She has been practicing since 2012, offering treatment with herbal medicine and teaching about its many aspects, alongside a wider mix of work whose aim is connecting us as communities with the potential of this knowledge and craft as a way to develop healthier living systems and relationships. She is inspired by her early involvement with the Radical Herbalism Gathering in exploring how to make plant medicine accessible and restore balance to its practice in the contexts of systemic inequalities and oppressions that are part of our shared histories.
Rasheeqa is part of the Community Apothecary in her locality, a CIC that brings community members together around a patchwork of medicinal herb gardens where they can learn about growing, wildcrafting and making medicines together, exchanging knowledge and peer support and seeding the model in other neighbourhoods so that we create landscapes of healing everywhere! She is also involved with the Mobile Apothecary in Bethnal Green, a street medicine distribution project bringing solidarity herbal healthcare to people from rough sleeper and less well resourced communities.