afonydd dwfn / deep rivers / uku mayu / los ríos profundos, 2014 -
Since 2014, I have been developing my long term project trofannolismo at Elan Valley reservoirs in mid Wales in partnership with APTElan supported by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Elan Valley Trust and Arts Council of Wales. While Elan Valley in many ways is a typical microcosm of upland Wales with traditional hill farming culture as depicted in the archive film Glanhirin and Bodtalog Shearings July 1962, the valley also has particularly high levels of biodiversity and species rich meadows due to the fact that during the 20th century, farm land around the reservoirs was left 'unimproved' to protect the watershed from agri-chemicals and pollutants. Through talking to Elan Valley farmers and ecologists, I discovered complex interactions between local production, grazing, water management, plants and pollinators. One farm is turning invasive Molinia Caerulea Purple moor grass into biochar, an ancient Amazonian method of soil improvement that also has the potential to sequestrate carbon and support biodiversity, including the rare Tormentil mining bee. I am making a beeswax Tormentil plant model as part of an assemblage of mixed media artworks and Youtube playlists relating to Elan Valley, Bardsey Island and communities in South America that are known to me.