Communication and conversations – really these are at the heart of collaboration, inspiration, and creativity. Our ‘In Conversation’ pages will feature people whose work and personalities inspire us. Oh, and they're not short - conversations do tend to twist and turn. So pull up a chair, make a cup of tea, and settle down for a few minutes to read on ... we will update this periodically but do bear with us as we add to the list when we have a bit of free time :)
We start with poet Anne Stevenson, whose poem 'Still Life in Utah' has given us our name. Anne shares her thoughts on her own and others' poetry, the place of art in the 21st Century, Wordsworth's legacy, and the current environmental crisis.
"At my most pessimistic, I believe we're facing a post culture dominated by technology that doesn't know where it is going and may well get out of control. A lot of people feel there's much to be optimistic about, and there may be, but with the world's population growing at the rate it is, and global warming becoming the threat it is, and religious fanaticism being the danger it is, I fear the 21st century will host more holocausts and witness more genocides than the 20th."
To read the transcript, download the pdf of our conversation with Anne Stevenson.
James Rebanks burst into the limelight with his book A Shepherd's Life in 2015. In that year, we caught up with him on a dull December day, and talked about writing, farming, the Lake District's bid to gain World Heritage Site status, and what he really values in life. In 2020 James published 'English Pastoral: An Inheritance' which reveals the development of his thinking and his practice. The article here was written following our conversation in 2015.
'I think the degree of disconnection from nature has happened amazingly quickly, in about two generations. It’s fundamentally good for people to have some kind of connection with the vitals of life.'
To read more, download the pdf of our conversation with James Rebanks.
In May 2017 we were very fortunate to meet sculptor David Nash, who is known around the world for his stunning pieces. We spent the morning in his studio and walked with him through Cae'n-y-Coed, among the living land works he has created. While we sat in a hut, just beyond the Ash Dome, he shared his thoughts with us about wood, living trees, art and nature, and what it is that drives him to work with trees.
'The Ash Dome is a token of working with nature, it’s a collaboration. I wanted to grow a simple space. I was also looking for a way to have a sculpture outside that was genuinely of where it was – a tree grows with the energy, the nutrients, the light, and all the natural circumstances that it needs, of that particular place.'
To read more, download the pdf of our conversation with David Nash.