Soil Culture Residencies
Anne-Marie Culhane connects food, ecology and art to create a series of participative activities, in the project Campus Almanac which raises awareness of the seasons, climate change, wild food and fauna on the University of Exeter Steatham Campus.
She worked in conjunction with staff and students, creating activities and carrying out research and exploring the potential of planting new edible fruit and nut trees on campus. The project also reached out to the local community with events which welcomed the public onto the Campus.
Anne Marie said, “I’m setting out to listen, to explore the campus over a calendar year through a year of observation, enhancing connections and crossing boundaries. I’ll be sharing my discoveries on site and on line in the Campus Almanac. I‘ll be organising participatory events and getting to know some of the human and other-than-human inhabitants and communities on campus.”
Image: Rob Darch
This project is inspired by a similar project she initiated and co-ordinates at Loughborough University called Fruit Routes/Eat Your Campus, which uses new edible landscaping as a way of engaging students, staff and the local community there in cross-disciplinary arts, horticultural and ecological performances, events, talks, walks and celebrations. The project won the Guardian University Award 2014 for Sustainable Projects.
Anne-Marie draws inspiration from the cycles of nature and seasons; permaculture, environmental and ecological concerns or questions and listening and responding to people, landscapes and particular sites (urban or rural). She is motivated to work with others to reduce the harm we are inflicting on our planet; to increase understanding of our place in the family of things and to bring to life positive visions now and for the future. Past projects include the award winning Abundance urban fruit harvesting project.
The residency came together with a Wassail which was attended by over 70 people and took place on a clear cold January night on the edge of Streatham Campus. People attending were a mix of undergraduate, postgraduate and foreign students, university staff, local community and people from further afield. The Wassail featured on BBC television and radio. James Crowden wrote the words for Singing to the Trees, the new wassail and created two new poems Vernalisation and Biennial inspired by the project and its themes. Tim Hill wrote a new Wassail tune and worked with musicians and singers from the university and the local community. A new Wassail bowl was created for the event made from recently felled cherry wood from the campus.
Learn more about Anne-Marie Culhane’s residency Campus Almanac here