ar an deasghnátha


“The eco-somatic concept that body sensibility and conscious action can facilitate planetary awareness”

This research process is seeking to explore what Deborah Bird Rose refers to an ‘emplaced ecological self’ that is permeable where, ‘place penetrates the body, and the body slips into place’ (2002: 312).

My entire practice is seeking to explore the possibility of somatic practice to generate a process through which I can articulate the specific natures, narratives, and sensations of the landscapes which I traverse. The real question; one familiar with all disciplines remains constant:

How do I embody and articulate my experience of time and space?


This form of somatic practice does not always have tangible outcomes; as East asks: “What does this kind of somatic research contribute towards the world of knowledge? Can we seek to understand habitation of previous others to a place through our own experience and imaginings? Eco-somatic research lies somewhere amongst this quiet action and contemplative stillness.

There is a need for stillness in this ever faster world; the need to tread very slowly; to count the grass stalks and to watch the woodlouse cross the wooden table as I write these words. Dance to me is a form of learning; of knowing and of deep listening. This is very much on a personal level and when this is applied with a more socially conscious stance and this process of deep listening is applied to a wider cultural context; as Fraleigh explores: “Dancing can be employed as a language promoting change in the Anthropocene.


Through my habitation, working and workshopping in particular landscapes of Donegal; I seek to explore the idea that it is indeed: ‘possible to move beyond something called ecological or sustainable performance to a consciousness of regenerative performance.

This means aspiring not simply to leave things in as good a condition as we find them, but to create the conditions in which they can begin to revive, regenerate and thrive.
I use the process of making films and workshops in these particular landscapes as a mechanism to develop an ecologically aware dance practice which supports, nurtures and enriches a sense of place.

In her seminal chapter Ritual is everything, Chappelle asks us to question: “How can we learn from the Salmon” Taking specific parts of an ecological system and tracing how their habits and routes can expand and deepen our understanding of a particular landscape or place and eventually that of ourselves.


As Heidegger explains: ‘Dwelling is not primarily inhabiting but taking care of and creating the space within which something comes into its own and flourishes.’ It takes both time and ritual for real dwelling.”
Light of sun
Radiance of Moon
Splendor of Fire
Speed of Lightning
Depth of sea
Stability of earth
Firmness of rock

This search for the possibility of deep peace.

I return to standing still in the fern.
My feet buried deep into the earth.
I am listening to the sound of trees
welcoming the light of the day.


Gary Snyder calls this practice ; “the real work” the work of really looking at ourselves and becoming more real.

As he most aptly states:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

Let us consider this term; Learn the flowers. I equate this to a strong summary of the deep investigation of self in Landscape which can be linked to the explorations of the self in the Eastern Taoist study. Taoism tells us there is a way of unfolding which is inherent in all things.

The poem; Recovering our Roots in the Tao Te Ching further develops this;

And see
Now all things rise
To flourish and return
Each creature coming home
To recover its roots.

To give a wider context to the term deep ecology: David Rothenberg describes the term as a way of transforming society; exploring how in order to do this we first need to transform ourselves. Arne Ness also describes the ecological self as: “that with which this person identifies. This key sentence emphasis here is that rather than definition about the self-shifts the burden of clarification from the term self to that of identification.

bj l 4

This work can be seen a ritual pilgrim; a journey of transformation which was a personal ritual and process to overcome the grief of losing my close friend to suicide. In some ways, this all began in the process of running away; from turning to landscape in search of answers and healing. Akin to Buddhist practice exploring the transformation of suffering into healing and relating this to the principles of deep ecology; sensing nothing can be changed and everything can be done. There is a strong optimism and inquiry within my work exploring the concept of healing earth and self through practice.

This work was shared at CIG 2018:

~ by beatricejarvis on May 18, 2018.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: