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Memory Garden

To enter the garden please click HERE

In the context of ‚The Hut‘ as a part of Moving in November in Helsinki, ‚Memory Garden‘ is a long term research project that is part of an larger energetic network of fungi, humans, soil, wood, forests, lands, seasons, institutions, gardens, homes, plants, pollinators, movement, music, money, memories, intentions, ideas, inspirations that (might have already existed but) have taken a uniquely defined shape  are all grounded in a 100 year old, fungi inoculated, wooden hut placed in a city square. Over the past 2 years, these elements have become more interwoven, more entangled, more defined and clarified along the way.

The memories shared here have been collected throughout the last year. Originally this practice was intended as a way to open up a workshop on re-connecting ourselves with Nature. It was also a way to share our personal realities by attempting to describe, in our own unique way, a bit about the places we come from with the hope and intention to possibly understand each other just a little bit better. During this practice, I was always so moved to wander through a sea of memories mixed with many different emotions, sensations and of course plants. I listened to how different plants and different lands held unique memories for each individual that were never forgotten, how gardens could come back to life inside of us (and outside of us) by simply remembering them. The act of remembering out loud recreates forgotten or lost connections to those land, the soil, the plants and the beings that inhabited it. The gardens remembered here are portals into hearts, minds and histories of the Earth and their human and non human collaborators. They are manifestations of our co-creative partnerships with Nature. Some of these gardens still exist in the physical realm, some have transformed unrecognisably and others are simply gone, living on only in memory form.

For me, a garden is one of the most direct and simplest way to work in a partnership with Nature. Gardens are homes, partners, providers, classrooms, friends, havens, sanctuaries. They can be portals into the heart of the Earth. This garden of memories is just that; a portal or many portals into the Earth’s heart. And with every memory and every listen, that portal grows stronger and clearer. This garden has been in the works for decades, maybe even longer, and will continue to grow in the coming years.

From Susan
'When I was a little girl in Rochester New York we had a beautiful patch of lilies of the valley in our backyard. Their fragrance was lovely and I remember my mother, of blessed memory singing a song called white coral bells. ****
My other memory it’s of a beautiful tulip garden planted by my father along our driveway. Each spring the bulbs which had been hibernating all winter, would burst forth in many beautiful colors. We often picked them and took them as a bouquet to our elementary school teachers at number one school.'

****White coral bells, upon a slender stalk
Lilies of the Valley deck my garden walk
Oh, don’t you wish
That you can hear them ring
That will only happen when the fairies sing

In this particular moment, it is more important than ever that we find ways to articulate our relationship and participation in and with the Earth and Nature in order to re-enmesh ourselves more fully in complex ways. Eco-philosopher Glen Albrecht (who died this past year) has ‘invented’ new words to help us describe our emotional responses to the emergent state of the world in hopes of reintegrating us with it. He has coined the term ‚Solastalgia‘ which describes in his book ‘Earth Emotions’ as “the pain or distress caused by loss or lack of solace and the sense of desolation connected to the present state of one’s home and territory. It is the lived experience of negative environmental change. It is the homesicknesses you have when you are still at home.” ‚Symbiocene‘ is another term created by Albrecht. He defines it as “the era in Earth history that comes after the Anthropocene. The Symbiocene will be in evidence when there is no discernible impact of human activity on the planet other than the temporary remains of their teeth and bones. Everything that humans do will be integrated within the support systems of all life and will leave no trace.” Another inspiring word is ‚Eutierra‘ which is “a positive and good feeling of oneness with the Earth and its life forces where the boundaries between self and the rest of nature are obliterated and a deep sense of peace and connectedness pervades consciousness.”

The Memory Garden is working to recognise and honour our possible and probable solastalgia in hopes that we might remember, cultivate, experience or re-experience a sense of eutierra that can be nourished and continue to grow and grow while preparing us for the symbiocene.

This garden is being presented in the raw format they were received in. Please adjust your volume accordingly.  I invite you to download or stream one or more memories as you walk down the street to your next appointment, as you sit on the train going home, or while walking through a park on a rainy autumn day. Each memory is unique like a flower or a root system. Each memory is a gift: to the rememberer, to you, to me, to Nature.

If you feel inspired, you are welcome to send me a recording of you remembering a garden from your childhood to be included here. Here is the invitation:

Dear you,

I invite you to close your eyes and remember out loud, a garden from your childhood. It can be any garden. Your neighbor’s garden, your grandparent’s garden, a garden you passed by every day on your way to school, your family’s garden, even the one potted plant in your childhood home can be considered a garden.

I ask you to record yourself on your phone or any other device in a quiet space.

While we prefer English, you may record your garden memories in whichever language you feel most comfortable with.

With your eyes closed, take five minutes to describe that garden in whatever ways you remember. Start your timer (5 minutes), press record, state your first name, close your eyes and remember a garden out loud. When timer ends, please press stop on the recorder.

By sending your recording to this email …… you are agreeing to allow me to use your recording in its public presentations and potential sharings.


Thank you to all the rememberers, all the memories, all the gardens. The grandmas and the donkeys. The apples and the nettle. The storms, the swings, the beets, the soil, and the seeds…The memory creators.The deva of remembering and remembrance.Barenzwinger Gallery, PACT Zollverein, Tian Rotteveel, Claire Vivienne Sobbotke, Stefan Rusconi and Moving in November and its team.


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