AFTERMATH: things to do
Knepp Castle Estate
How about a visit to the Knepp Castle Estate? 3,500 acres just south of Horsham, which since 2001 has been rewilded by grazing animals to create a mosaic of habitats. Once intensively farmed, now herds of Long Horn cattle, Tamworth pigs, Roe Deer and wild ponies roam and graze, creating species-rich scrub, pasture-woodland and parkland landscape which is evolving over time, in what is called a ‘process-led’ approach. There are also several streams and a wonderful mill-dam lake with extensive reed beds, which supports a population of kingfishers, ducks and geese.
Once rare species such as Turtle Doves, Nightingales and Purple-Emperor Butterflies have returned and are breeding. Other species such as owls and several rare species of bats are resident, as well as introduced species such as White Storks (imported from Poland). This year the storks raised five chicks and it is hoped that 50 breeding pairs will be restored in the area by 2030.
You can walk on several well marked public-footpath routes of different lengths through the estate and pick up a free map from the visitor carpark. If you wish to stay longer, there is a small camp site with a wild-swimming pool for the brave and hardy; the small farm shop stocks homegrown produce and books.
AFTERMATH: sewing seeds
Would you like to join a St James's sewing bee? Do you enjoy sewing or embroidery? We are hoping to make a SEED TIME wall-hanging and altar frontal for the side-chapel during the summer and autumn. A range of sewing skills will be required from measuring and cutting pre-printed designs, patchwork, appliqué to sewing-on lots of small beads and hemming.
Five alternative designs have been developed - all based on mono-prints by Sara Mark of the seeds on our list of ’weeds‘ prepared by Professor Salisbury in the aftermath of the Blitz in 1940s.
Please vote for your favourite at email@example.com
Dandelion seeds blow across three panels of pale gold and grey coloured sheer-fabric panels, printed and then scattered with small black glass beads. Lit to create a floating effect on the wall. While under the altar, seeds of Musk Mallow and Dandelion settle into the dark - ready to spring into new life.
A Dandelion seed has floated to earth and without delay thrusts its tap root down into the soil of its new home. The wall hanging is made of three grey sheer fabric panels depicting Musk Mallow seeds. The green tap-root forms the dramatic focus for the altar frontal with two Mallow seeds.
3. WEED PATCH
A Variety of seeds: Speedwell, Chickweed, Knotweed, Corn Chamomile and more, create a patchwork-quilt wall hanging and frontal. The seeds would be digitally printed onto cotton and then hand stitched and quilted in the traditional manner.
The inspiration for this design is the Japanese tradition of making and mending clothes called Boro. Worn and tattered fabrics are repaired and patched together, often many layers thick to form warm, practical work-clothing. This is the ultimate re-cycling of clothes elevated to an art-form. It seems an appropriate technique for weeds and their ability to make-do and thrive in difficult circumstances. The inside of the garment could be lined with green silk perhaps - a metaphor for new growth emerging from the old husks of seeds. It is a crucifix of sorts ...
5. SEED DROP
Loosely based on the wonderful Grinling Gibbons reredos behind the main altar, this hanging is made up of 4 sheer panels of pale-gold cloth digitally printed with a variety of St James's weed-seeds. All falling to earth to spring up from where they fall. The cross could be a shadow projected from a hidden light-source behind the altar. Hundreds of tiny glass-beads are sewn on to simulate a scattering of wind-blown seeds.
Are you a Crafter, Sewer, Artist, Gardener, Botanist, Theatre-maker, Traveller, Author, Historian, Scientist, Story-teller . . . ?
You are warmly invited to participate!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the mailing list or suggest collaborations.
Keep an eye on this space and the blog for opportunities.
As you can see, the scope is very broad; we hope you are as excited as we are!