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What can we learn about love from lichen? 
Isabel Lewis the occasion of an afternoon at Palmhuset for Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2015.
Image by Attila Urban

16-19 June 2021
Guided Walks and Hosted Occasion
A Project by Isabel Lewis

ATLAS Arts and Art Night are delighted to announce that “What can we learn about love from lichen?” will take place across Skye from 16-19 June as part of the UK wide Art Night festival.

For the project in Skye, Isabel Lewis builds on research and conversations produced in collaboration with local agents Lucy Cooke, Richy Carey and Nick Hodgetts, to choreograph a series of guided walks - at Achnacloich, Scorrybreac, and Coille Ìosal, Braes. Led by these local agents - a wild forager, a composer, and a lichen expert, the walks weave a circuitous narrative about interspecies bonds and the potential for ecological attunement, brought together in a final hosted occasion at Braes Hall on Saturday 19th June.

With sound, song, touch and taste "What can we learn about love from lichen?" tunes into more sensuous forms of knowing the landscape and the society between species - through taste, smell, song, sound - and thinking with lichen. 

Isabel Lewis’ 2021 Art Night project is curated by Helen Nisbet, Artistic Director of Art Night as a co-commission with ATLAS Arts, with support from Goethe-Institut. What can we learn about love from lichen? was produced in collaboration with local agents Lucy Cooke, Richy Carey, Nick Hodgetts and Producer Shona Cameron. Made with the support of Callie's, Berlin.

About Isabel Lewis:
Isabel Lewis' work often centres around music, choreography, food, and the building of focused gatherings, occasions and spaces where the knowledge held in our bodies can become more apparent to us. Across all of her work is an interest in interrogating Modern ways of knowing, categorising and being social. Her work invites us to re-approach the sensuous knowledge of the world’s inhabitants in contemporary ways, to recalibrate how we relate and assign difference.

Take Part!

To take part, you are invited to join one of the three different walks (listed below) and to book a time slot for one of Saturday's Occasions, where you will join the three walk guides and the ATLAS team to weave together the knowledge, stories and attunements from the prior days walks in a final gathering of sounds, tastes and discussion.
You will also receive a specially created book of scores designed by Isabel and the walk leaders that include reflections, conversations between the collaborators, and instructions for tasting, singing and communing with the landscape.

Lichen Walk 

17 June 11am, 17 June 2pm, 17 June 5pm
Free, spaces limited, all ages, no pets, booking essential

Join botanist Nick Hodgetts on a lichen walk at Achnacloich, exploring native lichen around the woodland and the shore, and discussing the symbiosis and physiology of lichen species, inviting us to reflect upon our own interspecies bonds.

Nick Hodgetts is a local botanist specialising in mosses, liverworts and occasionally lichens. After gaining degrees at London and Reading universities, he worked in local wildlife trusts and governmental conservation agencies before becoming a self-employed consultant in 2001 and later moving to Skye, where the mosses, liverworts and lichens are amazing. Since then, he has contributed numerous surveys to conservation projects and developments such as small-scale hydro schemes. Nick has broader interests in music, literature, wild places and the relationship between science and religion. However, most of his spare time is spent doing family stuff with his wife Gill, children and grandchildren, and attempting to grow vegetables.

Foraging Walk 

16 June: 3pm, 17 June: 11am
Scorrybreac, Portree
Free, spaces limited, 16+, no pets,
booking essential

A beginner’s guide to foraging. Learn with the land with local forager the Wild Cooke, with prepared tasters on route. Lucy will lead a walk along the Scorrybreac coastal path, ebbing and flowing with the direction of those taking part, and finishing on the shoreline. 

Lucy Cooke is a self-taught forager interested in how wildfoods can revive connections to nature, place and rhythm. She lives on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula but regularly works on the Isle of Skye and enjoys exploring its wonderful natural larder. With a history of working in the community, food and environmental sectors she loves to combine her experiences and enthuse others by sharing her foraging journey. 

Walking Singing Listening

16 June: 11am, 17 June: 4pm,18 June: 2pm 
Coille Ìosal, Braes 
Free, spaces limited, all ages,
booking essential

We do not just hear sounds; we hear in sounds. Sound is like a smirring rain, a hazy,swirling continuous song that we are a part of, and apart from. There are lots of different ways of listening to sounds, each of which open up different ways of hearing the world, because listening is listening and responding. Listening, like lichen, is symbiotic.

Composer Richy Carey will lead a series of listening and singing walks. Take part by performing a series of instruction scores – short, semi-improvised compositions about listening, which anyone can perform, using our voices to sound out the world around us, and to listen for what we hear echoed back. 

Richy Carey is a composer who lives in the Isle of Skye. He works collaboratively with artists and communities to create soundtracks and soundscapes - making communal sounds that explore ecologies of authorship, agency and empathy through listening and sounding together. He was Glasgow’s UNESCO City of Music artist in residence 2018, has a BAFTA New Talent award and is finishing a PhD about film sound at Glasgow University.
Isabel Lewis, Dia Beacon 

Hosted Occasion

Saturday 19 June, 12noon, 3pm & 6pm
Braes Village Hall
Free, spaces limited, no pets, 
booking essential

Book a time to assemble with others and collectively move through a score written and prepared by Isabel Lewis and her collaborators Richy Carey, Lucy Cooke, and Nick Hodgetts. Come along to one slot at either 12 noon, 3pm and 6pm, come along ready to participate with your whole body, with guided exercises led by each of the local agents, and prompts to move through the space. Immersive sound, singing and foraged refreshments build a crescendo of interspecies learning and loving in the surrounds of Braes Village hall.

About Art Night

Art Night is London’s all-night free contemporary art festival. Curated by Helen Nisbet, Art Night 2021 marks the festival’s fifth edition. To celebrate this, Art Night is extending its run-time to a full month of night-time events from 18 June to 18 July (coinciding with the Summer Solstice), that will be taking place throughout the country. Art Night is reimagining its model: working with more national partners by expanding its geographical reach and moving away from the dominance of London – unseating ideas of ‘the centre’ and embracing an ethos of “we’ll come to you”. Visit for the full programme of works across the UK.
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