Botanical storytelling: plants, medicine, food & lore
A Scottish Herbal Storytelling Project
In July 2016 I was lucky enough to be awarded a Tasgadh, traditional arts small grant from Feisean nan Gaidheal , to research and develop a project which collected and created stories around the traditional plant use mentioned in some of the archive material found in Tobar an Dualchais.
As part of the project I delivered work with intergenerational elements, to a range of groups including older people, community members and local schools and compiled a set of resources, relayed via my blog in order to preserve some of the plant stories and other material which I hope to build on over the next few years. Many of the sessions with Doune and Deanston Primary Schools involved the children collecting memories from older family members and incorporating them into visual art works, using them to build on and illustrate the stories using natural, seasonal and found objects.
These beautiful pictures, some of the stories, photographs of the project in action by photographer Jane Sumner and the Kist itself are heading to The Scottish Storytelling Centre as an Exhibition running from September 7th to 6th October 2017. (entrance free)
There will also be the opportunity to join Amanda for a family workshop 'Herbal Magic and Potent Potions' (a Kist Scottish special) on September the 16th to hear the stories and try out some of the potions revealed in the project and explore the kist. The workshop is by ticket only available through the box office here: http://www.tracscotland.org/scottish-storytelling-centre/centre-events/7691/herbal-magic-and-potent-potions
If anyone would like to share their favourite Scottish herbal stories as part of the project, or if you would like to book a session based around some of the work I've been doing as part of the project then please get in touch. For more details on some of my work on A Kist in Thyme please visit my blog http://www.botanicafabula.co.uk/apps/blog/show/44163449-a-kist-in-thyme and check back or get in touch for more details or to find out about related forthcoming events. I'll also be tweeting and adding material on my facebook page (see home page for links ) with the hashtag #KistinThyme Amanda Edmiston July 2017
Botanical storytelling works on a number of levels and in many ways, from the simple sharing and passing on of folklore, a glimpse through the garden gate at the way we've worked with plants throughout history to a fun and dynamic way of exciting interest in herbs, food, foraging and the environment.
It can also be a way of connecting with ourselves and our flora - a bit of what used to be called magic - that we now explain with ideas of creative visualisation, scientific theories and energetic medicine...I'm still working on a nice intelligent but beautiful explanation that shares the dreamy magical quality whilst appealing to my practical nature, I'm not totally there yet but this blog is at least a start! http://www.botanicafabula.co.uk/apps/blog/show/44018983-verbal-herbal-magic
When my first child was born everything fell into place I could take key elements of my years spent running restaurants, my first degree in law and passion for human rights, my knowledge of plants and the way they serve to connect us to each other and our planet, benefit our physical and emotional health, my heritage as a storytellers daughter and my love of history and folklore and turn it into my career.
It was a real turning point, I could combine everything I loved and even better, it seems to really resonate with other people too.'
Amanda Edmiston researches, collects, writes and retells stories which feature the way we interact with plants.
Workshops, writing, performance and interactive storytelling sessions available for all ages. Amanda has created sessions for international gatherings of herbalists, Achamore Gardens Trust, Herbfest in Dorset, Battle of Bannockburn Physic Garden, Chelsea Physic Garden in London and Edinburgh International Science festival amongst others.
She is currently working on an intergenerational project with Rutherglen based community gardening group Grow 73 developing a story, sculpture and nature trail in Overtoun Park, the project seeks to connect restory and regrow our land and communities, more details and the stories can be found here;