First Fridays happen (surprise!) on the first Friday of every month. First Fridays is a gathering place for artists or anyone interested in the arts, an opportunity to share food and talk. Each month, after lunch, there is an informal presentation of work in progress by one or two artists who may be local or from far away. We start at 13.00 and finish promptly at 14.00.

June’s First Friday has sharings by Jo Callaghan, Camilla Nelson and Mary Waltham.

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Video of June First Friday


Chat transcript


Camilla Nelson

BECOMING is a creative enquiry into the relationship of human and nonhuman organisms expressed through the medium of poetry, theory, soundart, fine art and performance. Building on the heightened sensitivity and commitment to finding a better way to live with rather than in spite of or at the expense of other life forms developed during the first year of the pandemic, this project investigates what it is to BE fungus, plant, insect, bird and animal in a shamanistic effort to better integrate these different ways of being within our human selves.

BECOMING is fundamentally collaborative. This First Friday sharing presents the evolution of the project so far, from Soundart radio show to movement, mark-making, hand-bound books and poetic experiments for underGROWTH, Coventry Biennale 2021 and the Vienna Biennale for Change 2021 before inviting you to becoming part of this creative mycelial network as a participant, collaborator or potential co-host of a Becoming event. The Becoming experiments will soon be online with handbound booklets and other goodies available by signing up to the Patreon initiative launching this June.

Camilla Nelson is a British language artist, small press publisher, creative programmer and freelance academic.  She has a PhD in Performance Writing from Falmouth University/Dartington College of Arts (2012). Her work explores the materiality of language in embodied and ecologically-engaged poetry, soundwork, installation and performance.



Joanna Callaghan

Joanna Callaghan is an artist, weaver and woodland manager and is currently studying for a Masters in Fine Art at Hereford College of Arts. As an artist she works collaboratively with conservation organisations and directly with members of the public to construct a creative art experience that explores connection to local ecology and landscape. 

Her personal art practice is an intuitive creative response to woodland life. She works with and processes natural materials to create images and sculpted objects as a form of bearing witness to the woodland habitat.

She will discuss her current work: a collaborative project with Will Hodson, a dancer with 2Faced Dance Company – .  Together they are exploring the gestures taking place in the woodland Joanna Callaghan lives in and manages Moreton Wood.


Mary Waltham

I am based in Princeton NJ, USA and Selborne, Hampshire. My background is as a biologist and publisher – formerly the Publisher of Nature and before that The Lancet. I have now returned to my early passion for art. My main concern is environmental degradation but especially climate change. The opportunity to translate and communicate visually in a variety of media about a major issue of our time is what excites me. Science underpins my art and I am keenly interested in interdisciplinary collaborations.

I will be sharing a continuing body of work about Saxon ponds around me in Hampshire.

Ponds are a common feature of the landscape, and in early human settlements they were a shared water resource for humans and animals. On areas of common land used for grazing livestock, ponds were essential. Ponds are not connected to each other or to other water bodies; they are only fed by rainwater or groundwater.

The rich and complex ecosystem that relies on each small pond becomes especially threatened during the more frequent summer droughts in Southern England. The ponds I focus on are Anglo-Saxon and because they are on or near common land have been relatively undisturbed. I have help on local landscape archaeology from the National Trust warden who knows the ponds and the area exceedingly well.

In engaging my audience I have explored what Saxon farmers in Selborne might have done in response to drought, through an on-site installation of runes. 


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