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Foraging as an Artform, as an Environmental and Social Action

By Samuel Arnold Keane

Foraging is multifaceted. An act of self-reliance, self-care, reflected on a universal scale of care for the environment and sustainable resilience of communities. To forage a piece of land is inevitably to take responsibility, to become a custodian of this parcel. The coast, the meadow, the ditch, are not only witnessed in the greatest valour but as we trespass the boundaries from observer to a fully participative fauna in the landscape, our footstep is welcomed. In the wake of the forager’s hand, there is a new space for sunlight to reach the younger leaves, flowers, berries, algae… 

Our ‘disturbances’ when walking off trail, are an opportunity for spores or seeds to attach to our clothing and drop in the most unlikely places where new life may arise. This ancestral knowledge lies within our muscle, as we bend to pick a stem, our hand cups a dried flower releasing seeds, and the fragrance reaches our nostrils beginning the digestive process. Our stomachs hunger for the same plants our people picked millennia ago.

With the simple gestures of being alive and aware in the great outdoors, the forager is equipped for gazing, touching, picking, smelling, walking, wading, climbing. The diversity of movement is reflected in the diversity of plants, algae and fungi springing forth from varying terrain. Our mind-set remains open. It's been a long winter, we are ready to blossom, take and receive, grow and forage. 


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