Nature – our traditional interpretation and associations of the term – features quite frequently in my work from my Time and Place mini-project exploring the ‘nature’ and identity of a place to my current larger project looking at the sea.
The sea could well fall into the category of the sublime in the manner Burke prescribes. The sea is certainly untamable, awesome (in the true sense of the word), wild, unpredictable and can prompt feelings of emotional awakening – the all encompassing power of Mother Nature at its most base.
This impact on our emotions and our calling to the sea as humans is something I am trying to explore in the project. I was also interested in the concept of edgelands – those peripheral spaces which resonates with my interest in thresholds and transitions, the liminal in between Staes and in between moments. I’ve added Farley and Symmons Roberts’ book Edgelands – Journeys into England’s True Wilderness to my reading list as research material for the IRP.
But in the broader sense of nature, wherein humans are included rather than excluded from the classification, my work also looks at the nature of us as beings and individuals – our shared and individual experiences and identities. When I consider my projects on motherhood, digging deeper, the concept is really about the nature of that transition in identity – the natural processes we go through not just physically – which so much of preparation for and discourses on motherhood focus on – but the mental, psychological and wellbeing adjustments of motherhood: all of which are equally part of the natural process of becoming a mother.
I hadn’t paused to think beyond the traditional concept of natural versus manmade in any great depth before now, though I think it does underpin a lot of the concepts I am interested in and how we as humans are placed within our landscape and environment.