This is an invitation for you, to go in your own time, and to sit in an outdoor green space near where you live. It could be your balcony or garden if you have one, or a nearby park or canal or another green space.
And once you’re there, set a timer for 20 minutes (or less, if you need to), then take 3 deep breaths, and just spend that time sitting in this spot, paying attention to what’s around you:
What you can see,
What you can hear,
Perhaps even taste.
And also to notice how your body feels, and if any parts of it are holding tension.
And yeah just stay there for a while, paying attention to what’s around you.
And if you notice your mind wandering off to something that’s not in your immediate environment, just acknowledge that thought, and then let it go and bring your mind back to where you are.
So please have a go, and you might find that you’d like to repeat this in the same spot, or to practice that kind of mindful listening when you’re walking for example.
Over to you!
Juliet Davis-Dufayard is a French artist/organiser/facilitator, based in Manchester (since 2013). Her practice has performance and liveness at its core and takes many forms from participatory performance and performed lectures, to sound and video.
Integral to her work is making/holding space for others to experiment. She has co-founded several artist-led projects/spaces including MUTO, TOAST, and LEGROOM (2015-18, with Amy Lawrence) a DIY choreographic curatorial project, curating/delivering a series of international/local artists residencies exploring movement and liveness across disciplines.
From 2017-19 she was an active member of New Longsight Housing Co-op, increasing her understanding and expertise in community-led planning and community development, skills she's since applied back into artistic settings. She is passionate about building a cultural sector based on love/care/radical honesty rather than burn-out/competition, bringing independent artists and institutions together to achieve this.
She co-runs PoC/migrant-led Let’s Keep Growing gardening project with community worker Mo Blue, bringing different growing cultures together for climate justice, with self-determination and sustainability at its roots. She strives to facilitate collective ownership and explore what role artists can have in creating greener, fairer communities.
She recently completed a-n supported Nature Facilitation Training to work with groups outdoors and catalyse positive change in this pivotal time and have started weekly fresh water swimming in 2020.
She believes that “the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible”. (Toni Cade Bambara)