So when down at Dartington Hall spending time ‘Hothousing’ what non-capitalism might look like, I was interested in working on the Tiltyard, a pristine area of grass visible from most of the surrounding paths.
A place of exposure, any activity would be seen
A place where leaves would easily be caught by the wind and blown around
A place where I might make a leaf drawing to an enlarged scale of the Lane Room conference table
I asked the gardeners’ permission and began to gather leaves where I first entered the space at one edge, slightly stealthily because I felt self conscious. Then as I continued to gather the leaves they became the focus of my attention. Why did I chose one rather than another? Why did I not pick up the dowdy leaves buried more deeply in the grass? Was it size, or colour or ease for me? If I was making a conference table surely the democratic thing was to include all the leaves? Then I was asked by child what was I doing, my reply was that I was using the leaves to make a drawing to try to understand the muddled thoughts in my head. The muddle came from a day of subverting the formality of the Lane Room in an attempt to make a piece of work in the space I found myself in which represented non-capitalism.
Today I have been gathering leaves to compose them in my own garden and I suddenly became aware of the different e way I viewed and handled the leaves. Today’s leaves are actual capital, for me, saved energy that will, in time, turn into rich compost to feed the plants in my garden, some of which will, in turn will feed me. Yet I gathered today’s leaves greedily, in armfuls with the excited thought of compost to come not considering what else they might offer. It was a different way of relating to the time I was on the Tiltyard. Then the leaves directed and informed my thinking, guiding new work.
The value of dead leaves.