Project: Overstory + Understory Workshop
Role: Workshop creator + facilitator in collaboration with Education Coordinator Collin McMichael/TreeFolks.
Approach: Defining a framework for prolonged attention and collective sharing.
A couple months into the pandemic the Odditree Society was invited by TreeFolks to propose an online/creative workshop that engaged people around the topic of trees from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The resulting workshop invited community members to pay closer attention to something they are familiar with/see everyday and create an interpretive work to share. The concept: Observe a tree in your yard for 1 week and create something akin to a travel guide to document the experience. Participants were briefed during the first workshop, and presented their findings/projects a week later at the second workshop. Final work could be done in any media/format and participants were encouraged to subvert the assignment to suit their needs. The outcome--participants got to know their trees better and saw things they would not have otherwise noticed. And all were able to share/learn about each other's trees. Main takeaway--if you watch something you're familiar with at a closer range over a period of time, it can reveal new and unexpected things about itself/its surrounding environment.
Related article shared by workshop participant A.Scofield: Observing nature in your backyard is not dull but radically significant