In the speaking halls of that university my understanding of what art is was blown open. Down the labyrinthine corridors, behind the studio and practice room doors disciplines merged - photography, sound, poetry, painting, film, sculpture, performance, dance, drawing, movement, installation, exhibition, boundaries between art and life were questioned, our art spilled onto the streets, into the caves beneath Nottingham and beyond the boundaries of the cities edge.
Contemporary there meant a constantly evolving conversation with existence, something responsive, eclectic, of the moment. The art created was a raw gaggle of sensory responses to the state of being human.
Contemporary Arts Degree
By the end of my third year the veined lines of my interests had woven themselves into a twisted braid - trance states, dreams, Jung, art as therapy, as ritual and as glue for communities.
I spent the following years involved with community projects - town sculptures, subway murals, a thousand junk modelling workshops, child lead performances, a festival of giants, and a Butoh performance, these things happened between art groups, poetry performances and work as a mental health and learning disabilities support worker, youth worker and a play leader in a variety of settings.
After this i travelled first to India and then around Spain, France and Ireland, before eventually settling, where i still live now in Totnes, near Dartmoor in England.
Here my love of ‘nature’ expanded into a love of the land. My father was in the army when i was a child and all the moving to various countries meant that i had never truly considered England my home. My travels gave me a deeper love of England and of English people and our idiosyncratic ways!
Community Artist, Support worker, Performance Poet
During my time here in Totnes i developed a deep love for fairytales and their capacity to work magic on our subconscious; be the voice of the land and a chattering place for societal ideas and struggles. I have been in a wonderful warren of self lead study of folk and fairytale writings and tellings for the last 15 years.
Whilst continuing to perform poetry i began to work worth a group of other poets and musicians in a collective called Bone Song. Under my orchestration we shared stories woven with poems and songs.
The Hermit Artist
Since my son was born i have found it harder to place myself so strongly under the gaze of others as in a performative situation. Suddenly i felt shy and could not remember the long reams of words i once could. I often joke that part of my brain left with the breast milk, those other mothers amongst you, may very well understand this!
So for the last 8 years (my sons life span) i have been a hermit artist working from my home studio and offering my creations out into the world via the internet. I’ve learnt a lot about creativity during this time - about the depth of the unconscious, about the energetics of creation, ways that spirits come through, what it means to deliberately contact the muse. I think artists are initiated through doubt, perseverance and finally the joy of creation and reception.
My time as a hermit artist is now coming to an end as my love of the land and story call me to move to a different level of engagement with the world and my community.
My art is changing it seek to be ever more land based and low impact. It seeks to connect humans with the more-than-human world. It seeks to explore the paths
of story ever deeper into the forest.
I completed some training as a Nature Connecting Facilitator and am so excited to see where this new fork in the road leads. I plan to weave together my love of story and poetry with Nature Connection experiences. I have a strong desire to share my love of the land and be part of the spreading wave of re-enchantment that we, as humans, are experiencing.
"Jade's deeply rooted connection to the Land flows through her veins and pours out her fingertips and lips. She passes this connection effortlessly through her lessons because you can feel and taste the magic through her words and voice in a palpable way."