Felicity Bristow + Susie Wilson
Plot 55b | ‘The Seed Library’ - Postal Seed Exchange 2021
When access to their Plot 55b at Craigentinny Telferton Allotments was limited due to lockdown in 2020, Felicity Bristow and Susie Wilson started a postal seed exchange. This has blossomed into ‘The Seed Library’, receiving generous donations of seeds from plot holders at C&T allotments and the network of people taking part in their project ‘growing together; alone.’
The seeds are now ready to post out to anyone that would like to take part and each package is packed up carefully and quarantined for 48 hours before posting out. If you are interested in receiving some seeds, please email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to request seeds suitable for your growing space (window boxes and pots to gardens and allotments!).
There is a rich variety of seeds from Runner Beans to the Bearded Iris flower …… all collected in the UK, for planting 2021. If you would also like to update Felicity and Susie about what you grow, please send them a photo by email or tag them at @Plot55b on Facebook or Instagram at @plot_55b.
Should you wish to collect seed to add to the library please download this Seed Library Zine with printable seed packet for collecting any spare seed.
Felicity Bristow and Susie Wilson first began their residency in 2019 working the land from their garden shed at Plot 55b at Craigentinny Telferton Allotments. However due to the lockdown in March 2020 the artists continued to work together, though apart, developing a growing project sending seed to each other and other participants to grow, later harvest, and collect seed from. Out of this their 'Growing in Isolation' project developed involving a postal exchange. Touching the earth, planting the seeds and tending the growing plants was something positive and hopeful for many people in the growing community, in such an uncertain and anxious time. The seeds became the focus to their work and made them realise the importance of ‘the seed’ to this commission. A small number of the visitors from AWP 2019 also accepted the offer of seeds from the project to try and grow at home also.Felicity & Susie have since set up ‘The Seed Library’, which comes out of the generous exchange, or growing tips from plot holders and visitors and connections made sending out seeds. The delight and quiet of spending time growing something and protecting it as it matures was felt to be very rewarding by many people growing in isolation, as well as also mirroring the frustrations of lockdown restrictions when a plant was unsuccessful or a cornucopia of slugs had ransacked the seedlings planted out! It is hoped that the Seed Library can occupy a physical space post-pandemic supporting plot holders as a communal place for sharing seeds and seedlings.
In the meantime they continue to develop their ’Tilth & Tillage' journal which originally began in Sept 2019 recording the weather and wildlife observed at their plot, noting tips from visitors about working the allotments and recording the health of the soil and growing conditions in the surrounding area. Gardening advice will continue to be collected and referred to during their year long residency which will also involve researching the history of the allotments, talking to plot holders about their experiences growing on the site and recording changes and challenges they have overcome while resident at the allotments.
We will update this page with information about future community engagement events should lockdown conditions enable this to happen, hopefully in the relatively near future.
You can also follow the AWP residency on instagram at: @Plot_55b
#Plot55b #CTAllotments #AWP2019
SUN 8TH MARCH 2020, 2.30-3.30PM
A celebration of planting two new apple trees on Plot 55b. With apple themed verse, song and toast to the new trees followed by a walk to wake the trees at Craigentinny & Telferton Allotments for a bountiful growing season in 2020.
Felicity’s site-specific work is an exploration of line, narrative, material and the pervading spirit of place or ‘genius loci’. Felicity is fascinated with words, with making, researching and exploring the physical structure of books and buildings site specifically.
Felicity studied architecture at Edinburgh College of Art (1993 – 99) and qualified as an architect, practising in Edinburgh until 2008 while also teaching part time at ECA (2003 – 07). In Summer 2016 she completed a MA in Contemporary Art Practice, with Merit. She now lives and works as an artist in the Scottish Borders developing her own research-based practice in her WASP’s studio (Selkirk) and works part time for the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN) in Selkirk and North Light Arts in Dunbar.
Susie's work examines the relationship between the hidden and the seen both metaphorically and physically. Exploring the book form enables her to combine print, paint and collage in a more sculptural way. The intimacy of holding the book, each page hiding then revealing the next, creates an atmosphere that is deeply personal. She is interested in this sense of revelation. Layers of translucent paper, stitched and cut into, obscure the forms and images creating a tension between the various areas reflecting the delicacy, fragility and subtlety of the subject.
Susie Wilson graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1992 with a BA (Hons) Degree and PostGrad. in Drawing and Printmaking. She won two scholarships to Athens School of Fine Art (1990) and to Seville School of Fine Art (1992) to study printmaking. In 2001 she gained a place on the CATS course (Creative and Technical Skills Programme) run by the Print Studio at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Her work has been shown in many group exhibitions in Scotland, most recently at WASPS, Patriothall, Edinburgh (2012), MacNaughtans Bookshop, Edinburgh (2011), Society of Scottish Artists (2012),Visual Arts Scotland (2012), Andrew Grant Gallery (Edinburgh College of Art, 2011), Dundee Contemporary Arts (2002) and Meffan Gallery (2002). Her books and prints have also been exhibited abroad in India (2010) and the USA (2011). Her work is in the collection of the City Art Centre, Edinburgh Fine Art Library and Edinburgh College of Art. She has taught Printmaking and Artist Books at Edinburgh College of Art for ten years and also teaches in adult education and schools in and around Edinburgh. Recently awarded Sally Schofield Memorial Prize, (Visual Arts Scotland, 2015) and Nancy Graham Memorial Book Prize (VAS, 2014)
Images by: Elle McMaster