Plot 105 formed the focus of my practice-based research for my MA in Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University and became the start of a long-term engagement with site and material.
My allotment plot has become a source of materials for my work and I am exploring the potential of what grows there, planted and wild, as well as other materials found on the plot. My plot is run as a normal allotment, therefore the crops grown are mostly for food. Plants are being used for natural dyeing and botanical contact printing as they are available or being harvested anyway. Plants are also being used to make ink at appropriate harvesting times. Plant fibres are being explored for their potential for cordage making. These are mostly what is growing on the plot by way of weeds and food crops but also include flax planted specifically for processing into linen fibre. Other materials in the sheds are being explored for their potential in terms of making: paper, cloth, plastics, wood, ceramic. Some materials lend themselves to my textile-based skillset and some are less familiar. Each material poses a new set of technical challenges. By working with similar materials in sequence there is an accumulation of experience which means that informed judgements can be made about how to work with each fibre, which ones are worth carrying on with and which not. Alongside the physical actions of making there is an influence of the wider personal experiences of the location where it was made: sensory stimulation, reflection and personal experience all become tied up in the making process so that the material is somehow imbued with those aspects.
A book that tells the story of my creative engagement with Plot 105 through written and photographic essays is available to buy here.
This is an on-going project and you can find more images over on my Instagram account.