(Click HERE for writing relating to seasonality.)

Exploring objects through the Seasons, though seasonal stories and the pleasures they bring; through natural history and through exploring their connection to place through earth, water, air & fire…

In our increasingly atomised and urbanised lives how do we keep track of the passing Seasons and their rhythms? For me it’s not just about seasonal fruit and vegetables or noting the natural cycle – the budding leaves or falling leaves – in any greenery close at hand, it’s also about acknowledging and celebrating objects through specific cultural or natural events. And, it’s about being prepared to listen to history, respect and engage with tradition and open my mind and eyes to folklore. To me, the term seasonality describes actions, events and activities that define the character, beauty and mystery of objects. From canalside flora and woodlands to campfires and blackberrying; from seasonal journeys inland by old boat to standing and staring and taking the world in; from maypole, to mummers; from Green Man to guisers; from well-dressing to the Common Ground approach and earth-water-air-fire. The Seasons and seasonal stories set up a dialogue with objects and can, through that dialogue, put us in touch with the archaeology of our own histories. After all it’s not so many generations ago that we’d have been defined by the Seasons to a degree that’s hard to imagine today.

Any account of the traditional festive year and the passing culture of the seasons could be criticised as mere nostalgia – a morbid affection for the remembrance of times past, an elegiac form of cultural genealogy, and unhealthy fascination with roots and origins; in short, a typical symptom of the English malady of melancholia. I could also be accused of being more sentimental than analytical in my attitude towards folk traditions. Yet even now those same traditions remain fluid as well as knowing and, sometimes, ironical. The festive calendar is diverse and often antithetical, always changing and perpetually reinvented, elusive and fugitive…

p326 The Seasons by Nick Groom

(Click HERE for writing relating to seasonality.)

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