Living Coast Residency 2022
Spooler interactives filmed at Benfield Valley, Coldean and Waterhall. App development Neil Manuell. Best on a touch screen.
As resident for The Living Coast, Rachel went looking for "shimmer*," natural phenomena that catch our eye and hold our attention, a shorthand for intangible ways biodiverse environments act on our physical and mental health.
She walked with local land guardians who work with their communities to defend nearby wild, mapping what3words /// locations to these conversations.
*Since coining the term during the residency, Rachel read of the Yolngu term bir'yan, long-described by Australian Indigenous authorities. Bir'yan can be translated as ‘shimmer’ or 'brilliance,' and describes the way the eye is captured by the ‘rippling intra-activity’ of lively relationships honed over millennia. (Deborah Bird Rose, 'Shimmer,' Edinburgh University Press 2022)
Full text and video works were published as an Insta takeover for Fabrica and shown on ONCA Barge.
safe island.little paths
off.blackbirds in conversation
trees all the way to the sea.grasses headbanging at a concert.strawberry moon rising
Benfield Valley Project:
green equigenic infrastructure for Brighton and Hove
Helen Forester from Benfield Valley Project tells me its hard to put across the value of a green space in terms of its health giving qualities, despite research that quantifies the levelling effect easy access to green space has on income based health disparity.
"Society's understanding of mental health issues locates the problem inside the person - and ignores the politics of their distress...If we were a plant who was wilting, we would look to its conditions..." Dr Sanah Ahsan, clinical psychologist
Coldean Community Organisation:
defending ancient chalk grassland
"It's your own small landscape that you can actually enact change on. I think microcosm is the right word to describe the shimmer and that touches an emotional place that not many things do." Lawrence Leather, climate activist and chalk grassland restorer
anthill.Rockrose.Cistus Forester.chalk grassland seedbank
Waterhall: wilding a former golf course
Do biodiverse landscapes give of more of a shimmer? Could the shimmer index of a site be a shorthand for its health-giving properties?
"You never feel alone out here." Kim Greaves, Friends of Waterhall