‘half-hidden, moss-driven, cloud-like’
(work in progress)
Through the daily revisitation of 6 sites in her local park, artist Marit Mihklepp started to nurture an intimate relationship with her direct environment, perceiving its subtle changes with all her senses. Creating relationships with our local landscapes helps us to start caring about them; it allows us to see how they change with the seasons or which species are depending on it, using it as their habitat, breeding, feeding or mating grounds. This exercise is something anyone can do, training the senses and making notes of change or stillness. A meditation that is born from simplicity, yet enables to perceive complexity of place. Each day of March 2021, I went for a walk in Westduinpark, The Hague. I moved on the same route, took notes and made photos of the same six spots. It was a simple exercise to understand how a more persistent practice of meeting the same landscape would tune and connect my body to different rhythms than my own. Rather than looking for something specific or entering with an existing plan, I tried to walk with an empty head. I had no idea if this stubbornly systematic way of phone-photographing made any sense. The writings marked the observations of encounters, mental states or anything I picked up on the way. It was a struggle not to (over)think and not to fall back into the built-in patterns of having to produce something immediately. Perhaps also because the dunescapes started as human-made places where now the multisensory languages of weather and dune beings – pines, rain, highland cows, marram grass, blackbirds, sand, clouds – are once again creating their own order and chaos. All 31 days of March met in a single image of each chosen location. The writings became a reading, shifting away from the landscape that triggered them, to any landscape where the listening might take place.