Back on the farm … another instalment on Make:Believe

I was lucky enough to be able to get away for a couple of days the beginning of this week to do a bit more work on Make:Believe; the time away, however short, was exactly what I needed.


I am always a little awestruck by how quickly things grow out here; summers are short, and there’s an intensity and urgency to the growing season. This year is no exception, and the drama of these rapid changes has been enhanced by the wet Spring we’ve had so far.



I got out to the site early afternoon Monday, and couldn’t believe how lush the caragana – and everything else! – was. Lilac in full bloom, the last of the yellow flowers on the caragana still vibrant against the new green leaves; wild rose blooming in the woods; birds singing everywhere; swallowtails getting so drunk on nectar they were running into each other. A riot of fecundity.




I also discovered, much to my delight, that the work I had done over the May long weekend had begun to “take” – the branches I had worked into new and existing structures had at least 6 inches of new growth on them, and were growing into the weaving I had shaped. Gaps were filling in, each of the structures and tunnels between them were lush and green.



It was also an ideal time to see where remaining gaps were, and to add more living work into the walls of some of the partial structures that I had begun over the previous series of building sessions.

half-done-jn-2013 evolving-framework-jn13I also had just enough time to start on some new structures.


The work is really taking off, and taking on a life of its own – which I really enjoy.  The more work I do in this place, the more I see that can be done. It’s most definitely a dialogue between the land and trees and myself, but I’m being guided, rather than imposing any strict idea of outcome on the work as it evolves. I literally don’t know what will happen next, or how the work will finally resolve itself … and that is incredibly freeing.

I’m hoping I can get out again late in the summer to do more, before travel and other commitments take precedence.  And if not, Make:Believe will continue to do its own work on its own, until I can resume the conversation in person. In the mean time, I can wonder what I will find when next we meet.


5 thoughts on “Back on the farm … another instalment on Make:Believe

  1. Pingback: Making Believe, Once Again | sydney lancaster: hand & eye

    • It really is fascinating to see how the personality of the work changes with the seasons, and as it develops too, of course. Certainly dramatic to see the change in just a few weeks! Oh wet! Yes it’s been that … though nothing like what Calgary’s been facing. Counting my blessings and wishing all the very best for people in the south of the province right now!

  2. Yes they do! Lovely little yellow blooms that look a little like sweet pea blossoms in shape. The tree is actually a legume, Caragana arborescens or Siberian peashrub. It is an introduced species, native to parts of China and Siberia; considered an invasive species by some. In the autumn, the seed pods pop as they dry out – it’s like tiny fireworks!

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