Somerset Reacquainted was a project created by Somerset Art Works in 2020 aimed to engage and support artists across the county in response to the unprecedented challenges they faced during lockdown. ‘Somerset Reacquainted’ arose from conversations between the artist Sara Dudman and Zoe Li, Artist Development Manager at Somerset Art Works. It encouraged artists to refocus their practice by refreshing their engagements with nature, locality and community, using the idea of reacquaintance as a starting point for rediscovering the excitement and purpose of making art. Artists were invited to explore the rhythms of their daily life and surroundings, responding in ways which suggested new engagement with familiar places and activities.
During the months of isolation, I have found myself exploring new paths in our local woodlands. One of these paths led to a human made hide or shelter set high on a hill with far reaching views. The place felt sacred. It was also a fortuitous discovery as I had been invited by the artists known as ‘Fourthland’ to be part of their ‘Cosmic Council’ project, the ‘PORTAL’.
Sat alone on this ancient land I called in the energy of my Great Grandmother’s land, I called to Muma Pădurii the old, old, goddess who is said to live in the forests of Romanian. She came in the form of a beetle with two unturned, golden, crescent moons upon her back. This encounter resulted in a sound piece called ‘The Anointment’ which can be heard via the ‘Fourthland’ website.
I experienced a reacquaintance with the Somerset landscape as a portal to my ancestral home.