Annie Albers at Tate Modern October 2018 to January 2019

The Event of a Thread

            Though I am dealing in this book with long-established facts and processes, still, in                        exploring them, I feel on new ground. And just as it is possible to go from any place to                  any other, so also, starting from a defined and specialised field, one can arrive at a                        realisation of ever-extending relationships. Thus tangential subjects come into view. The              thoughts, however, can, I believe, be traced back to the event of a thread.

( Albers 1965 :15)

On visiting this exhibition of the work of hand weaver and artist Anni Albers, it is immediately apparent how contemporary the work seems, as if the intervening eighty plus years have been erased through one artist’s vision, innovation and persistence.

Albers began her career at the Bauhaus School in Dessau, Germany, moving disciplines until settling in the weaving workshop, where, amongst other talented students, all women, she made her mark as an experimental and technically accomplished weaver of inventive textiles, produced for various purposes and even as art pieces in their own right. She was the first weaver to have a significant solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1949.

At the Bauhaus she came across teachers such as Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky.
She was fascinated by thread and its implications, seeing not only a practical material but she became aware of a deeper sense of meaning and relevance. For Albers:

One of the outstanding characteristics of the Bauhaus has been, to my mind, an                            unprejudiced attitude towards materials and their inherent capacities’.


In 1947 Albers began to sketch and paint entangled, linear structures.

Drawing for a Knot
Gouache on Paper

The subject and the abstract shape of the study of the knot had resonances with the way Sarah and I had been looking at knots at the first workshop we  participated in at the the Repair Acts seminar at Penryn in October 2018 (see earlier post).

In one of the quotes from the exhibition Albers describes her closeness and innate connection with her materials, even when working with print and paper, when she states:

What I’m trying to get across is that material is a means of communication. That             listening   to it makes us truly active, that is: to be active, be passive.     (Albers  cited in Tate Modern Exhibition 2018)

Thus Sarah and I have decided to call one of our exhibits in our forthcoming exhibition in Penryn  an ‘Event of a Thread’, in acknowledgement of Alber’s insistence that to see a particular yarn as an object is not the whole story. The   thread is  precursor to what it may become in reciprocity with its maker. As as  a ‘happening’, an event, a thread  holds  potentia:  it is  a process of material beginnings and becomings, emphasising the ‘ever extending relationships’ that Albers describes at the beginning of the post.

                                                     Alison Harper and Sarah Chave

Media: Crisp packet , paper and hand-spun wool yarn






Albers, A. (1965)  On Weaving . London: Studio Vista.)

Invitation to The Creative Exchange Deep Materialism and Care-Taking Residency (13th-16th May 2019) and Exhibition (16th May to 14th June 2019)

Please do join us during our Residency and Exhibition Opening

 in the Creative Exchange Space, Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), University of Exeter Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE.

Opportunities for ‘hands-on entanglements with materials’.

No experience needed! No charge! All ages welcome!

Supported by the University of Exeter Creative Exchange Programme



Monday 13th May 2019        2.30 to 4.00          Exhibition Set-up

Tuesday 14th May 2019        11.15-4.00             Paper Day 

  • Momigami – making paper feel and look like cloth
  • Making handmade paper, paper hearts and   bunting from single-use paper coffee cups
  • Folding and binding paper/notebook making

Wednesday  15th May 2019   11.15-4.00          Textiles Day    

(No drop-in between 1.30 and 3.00 as this time is reserved for a visit by nursery children)

  • Making and using crisp and coffee packet yarn
  • Hand spinning and using yarn from local wool
  • Rainbow labels

Thursday 16th May 2019 

2.00 -4.00

  • Sample of above activities
  • Rainbow colouring and stamping

5.00-7.00      Exhibition Opening

The exhibition will run 16th May to 14th June 2019

Opening hours – Monday to Friday 8.30 -16.30 (excluding Bank Holidays)


Our Project explores current human use and abuse of the material world. We propose that if we develop our relationship with matter, with materials, so that they become closer to us, become us and are seen as a part of us, then we will care for, and feel responsible for, their journey in and through the biosphere. Our shared investigation seeks ways to encourage the development of such close and caring relationships with the material world through the sensory, the experiential and consideration of the implications of such relationships in the ways we act in the world.

We look forward to seeing you!


Rainbows as a symbol of repair and ‘take care of these materials’

When Alison visited the exhibition A Quest for Wellness – Contemporary Chinese Art by Zhang Yanzi at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, she learn that in Chinese mythology rainbows are a symbol of mending!

When the heaven was damaged, goddess Nuwa melted 5 coloured stones to patch up the sky which became the rainbow (Zhang Yanzi, 2018). Coloured capsules, bunched together like a rainbow around a wrist, are modern assurance to restore health.


In Celtic tradition the rainbow is a symbol of fertility.In  Norse, Navajo and Maori  mythology rainbows are bridges between two world worlds – our world and a world beyond our realm.

In Greek mythology Iris, (whose  name is found in the word iridescent (luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles)  is the personification of the rainbow, and a messenger linking the gods to humanity. There was often a dark side to these messages, as Iris often brought messages of war and death. Some traditions emphasise this darker side for example in indigenous Australian tradition rainbow are, we believe, understood as serpents.

In Jewish and Christian  traditions the rainbow appeared to Noah after the great flood as the sign of God’s covenant that he would not destroy the earth inhabitants again – a positive, hopeful sign. However, the rainbow is also a reminder to us of the darkness of the great flood and the destruction it brought. This can cause us to consider  humans’ roles and responsibilities for  climate change, modern day flooding and sea level rises. and highlight  the need for humans to reconsider their actions, their consumption levels and their relationship with  and valuing of, all matter.

We are currently thinking about rainbows as basis for a visual stimulus and reworking of existing recycling symbols, in order to raise awareness of humans relationships with materials and a pointing towards ‘take care of these materials.

                                     Rainbow over Celtic Burial Site, Northern Ireland

Marine Plastics and the need to rethink consumption – Dr Ceri Lewis

On a recent visit to Chagford in Devon, Alison was lucky enough to catch a talk by Dr  Ceri Lewis  of the University of Exeter . Dr Lewis is a senior lecturer in  marine biology and has been working on the impact of microplastics for ten years. She is part of the team which received the 2018  NERC Science of the Environment Social Impact Award.

Her talk was a sobering realisation that micro-plastics have entered even the smallest organisms in the marine environment.

Dr. Lewis suggested a new set of ‘re’ words to instil different behaviours in our consumption patterns. Not just of plastics, but our whole lifestyles need to change.

These words are:

Rethink   Refuse   Reduce  Reuse   Recycle




Recycling is at the bottom of the pyramid, an action of last resort, rather than a first response, an easy way to salve our conscious; that we are doing something positive for the environment. We need to challenge  ourselves to be out of our comfort zone and  commit to different and more sustainable ways to live in the world we share.


Feminist Ethics of Care: A starting Point – Ideas from Carol Gilligan

The fundamental premise of our collaborative project is our proposal that if we develop our relationships with matter, with materials, so that they become closer to us, become us and are seen as a part of us, then we will care for, and feel responsible for, their journey in and through the biosphere. Feminist ethics of care foreground close and caring relationships. Deepening our understanding and practice of the  various ideas in this strand of thinking seems an important step in our collaboration.

In this blog we will explore the ideas of Carol Gilligan, a landmark  feminist thinker, who drew on her personal and professional experiences, (commencing in the 1980s) to argue that ethics and care-taking can emerge in and through our relationships and interactions with others rather than by reference to abstract principles applied universally. To put this another way, universal abstract principles take a principles such as ‘x is wrong’ and apply this to different situations. A relational approach argues instead that the appropriate ethical response arises in and through different situations and relationships. This relational approach  can often be identified be  by phrases such as ‘ well it depends on the circumstances for that person, it depends on the situation…’

Relationailty is an important part of such feminist thinking on care. Relationality  emphasises and values that  who one is characterised/constituted in and through one’s relationships with others. As Gilligan comments (online)

the ethics of care starts from the premise that as humans we are all inherently                  Relational , responsive beings and our human condition is one of connectedness and    interdependence.

Bringing Relationality and Ethics Together: Gilligan’s In a Different Voice

Gilligan, an academic, mother and psychologist, worked at Harvard University as a research assistant for Kohlberg. Kohlberg (1958) had developed a widely used model of stages of moral development[1 in which the highest level of moral development is based on developing awareness and using   reason and  abstract ‘universal principles’ to make ethical decisions.

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Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development 


Gilligan was dissatisfied with Kohlberg’s model. For her, it did not fit with her experience as a mother living in an international community where she noted females tended to focus on responding to individual situations and fostering and  maintaining interpersonal relationships.

Relational approaches to ethics and care-taking appear at the ‘conventional’or  middle stages of Kohlberg’s model (see diagram above). Moreover, these approaches  are described using disparaging  terms(i.e.  such as wanting to please the other and be seen by them as a a ‘good boy/girl). For Kohlberg, relational approaches are as  a weakness compared with the higher level moral position of applying universal principles to situations.   Women, who have a greater tendency to emphasise immanent ethics emerging in and through relating and responding to the other and their particular situation, are thus placed  in a deficit position compared to similarly aged males (both adults and children) who do , as was observed by Kohlberg ,,have a stronger tendency to move through Kohlberg’s hierarchy to a position of using rationality and universal principles when faced with ethical decisions.

Gilligan (1982:484) highlights how:

The very traits that have traditionally defined the goodness of women, their                                    care for and sensitivity to the needs of others, are those that mark them out as                              deficient in moral development.


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Gillingham also identified that Kohlberg’s early research for the development of his model was carried out only with white males. She therefore carried out research of her own drawing on studies of children and university students and published her results and analysis in  In a Different Voice (1982). She argues that that women are not deficient in moral reasoning. Rather, they use a style of reasoning that was not being valued by Kohlberg. Women’s have a stronger tendency towards an ‘ethics of care’: an approach in which ethical decisions respond to and build from on caring for others rather than from appealing  to ‘seemingly’ universal reason and codes of behaviour (but which are instead codes based in particular ways of understanding the world and different power structures). Whilst this ‘ethic of care is not itself limited to females she argued it was more common among her female participants. She emphasis that such an ‘the ethic of care is as not designed to replace Kohlberg’s theory of morality, but rather to complement it’ (Ball 2010) and consistently argued that she would like to see psychology ‘free itself, both in theory and in methods, from the gender binary and the gender hierarchy’ (Gilligan cited in Ball 2010: online).

In a Different Voice was a landmark for the development of ‘difference feminism’ which ‘highlights the different qualities of both men and women but asserts that no value judgment can place upon them’ (Ball 2010). The approach was controversial. For example, some thinkers with accused the approach as essentialist i.e. women as having certain essential characteristics and tendencies.

In discussing these ideas Alison expressed surprise that relational approaches were still be disparaged in the 21st century, and women’s approaches seen as deficit to men’s. She asked is this really still the case? Sarah responded that, speaking from her own experience,  she had until recently  taught Kohlber’s stages of moral development as part of the teacher education curriculum. She also noted that she had done this without really questioning the high status afforded to the application of universal principles and the possible gender bias this can introduced.

What can these ideas contribute to our collaborative research which seeks new, more sustainable  material relations for the 21st century?

Gilligan’s argument that women build ethical responses based on relationship and  ‘care for and sensitivity to the needs of others’ opens new ways to value the other, both human and other- than-human. This can open up the possibility, through the material, the sensory, as well as the spoken word, to find new caring ways to be together in the world we share.


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In future blogposts we will continue to look at different  ideas developed in  feminist ethics of care , including how these ideas can be extended into a new materialist framework where care extends not only to ourselves and other humans but also to the interdependent ecosystems  currently facing unprecedented challenges.



Using different media to communicate ideas: Short film accepted for Nordic Geographers Meeting 2019

As artists and educators we are interested in using a variety of formats and media to explore and communicates issues of how we can encourage a more careful engagement with the material world we share.  One such format is film, so we were very pleased to have a film accepted for the Nordic Geographers Meeting 2019, in Trondheim, June 2019.


Houses along Nidelven in Trondheim. Photo.

Making a film, however is not something we can do on our own as we lack the required skills and knowledge. This opens up opportunities for collaboration: an important skill to encourage develop in general if we are all  to make a shift to living more sustainable in the world. So we were delighted earlier this month to meet a bath based young film maker Zenna Alsop-Howard. Zenna is going to help us put together a film using pictures and commentary drawn from Alison’s artwork, followed section of Alison and Sarah discussing key aspects of this year’s project on Deep Materialism.

The reflections in the film will include an exploration of how feminists thinking on care can contribute to the caring and material relations needed in n the 21st Century: time of ecological crisis. We will be sharing our exploration of feminist thinking on ethics and care in future blogposts!

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Sarah, very much a technical novice, has also managed to put together a short film on the National Woolen Museum in Wales  using the  iPad memoirs feature as a starting point and then editing this in media player to add music and change speed of transitions. Using a variety of formats is more accessible than one might think!


As well as the Deep Materialsm film being shown in Trondheim, both films will be included in our forthcoming  residency and exhibition 13 May to 23 June 2019 at the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter Penryn Campus, Cornwall You are very welcome to come along! More details of the residency and exhibition coming soon!


Our abstract for Trondheim.

Matter and life become, and become undone. They transform and are transformed (Grosz 2011)

This presentation takes the form of a film exploring a collaborative arts-based research project undertaken in 2018/19. The film reflects on the final exhibition and workshops held at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), University of Exeter, UK, during May/June 2019.

Alison, an environmental textile artist and Sarah, an educational researcher, sought to find ways to deepen connections with matter/the material world, through making, through experiential processes, and through highlighting forms of creative thinking which could and would inculcate a ‘shift’ in our relationships with matter: proposing less harmful ways to be in the world we share. This shift is a re-appraisal of the value of all matter, seeing no matter as ‘waste’. In accepting that we too are made of matter, it follows that if we denigrate the material world then we too are diminished. We propose that if we develop our relationships with materials, so that they become closer to us, become us and are seen as a part of us, we will feel responsible and care for their journey through the biosphere.

Notions of textile craft, encompassing elements of thrift, resourcefulness and the domestic, and the relationality we propose with the material have drawn us toward a revisiting of the (problematic) role of care and caring relationality in feminist thought (Tronto and Fischer 1991, Noddings 2013, Puig de la Bellacasa 2017). Feminist, new materialist and complexity thinking inform the outcomes of the collaboration.


Waste, Want and Overabundance: Inspiration from William Morris

We have been reading and discussing  Elizabeth C. Miller’s (2011) article  Sustainable Socialism: William Morris on Waste, The Journal of Modern Craft, 4:1, 7-2. This is a fascinating article exploring  William’s Morris ideas and comments on waste. Morris was remarkably prescient, with his ideas as relevant as ever in this time of ecological crisis.
Miller highlights how:
 Struggling with the problems of overproduction and superabundance that characterize capitalism, Morris pinpoints capitalism’s ideological reliance on a faulty conception of waste, wherein material goods are imagined to be capable of disappearing without consequence (p.10).
in Morris’s own words,
                                         “the very essence of competitive commerce is waste.”
 Morris’s socialism was predicated on a balanced distribution of goods. Unequal societies are characterised by overabundance for some juxtaposed  with want for many. For Morris, ‘inequality and wastefulness go hand in hand’. Want is an issue of distribution not scarcity.
Morris imagines  a utopian future society in his book News from Nowhere.
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Morris  argues for careful making, more equal distribution and ‘fighting  envionmental degragation and overproduction by thoroughly internalizing the values of craft, durability and preservation'(Miller 2011 p. 18). These ideas were central values of his Kelmscott Press. The Press produced high cost books, somewhat at odds, some would argue, with his socialist principles. However, Morris also produced ‘penny pamphlets’ to share ideas at a reasonable price. 
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 We are drawing inspiration from Morris’s penny pamphlet ideas to develop our own pamphlet! This is a development from Alison’s ‘Little books of lost knowledge’ made using the material from one single-use cup.
Alison reflects

My work continues to interrogate and question the relationships with the material world we so often take for granted. In order to make I first have to ‘unmake’, revealing the qualities and the quantity of materials implicit in single use objects. This is a reparative and transformational process, concerned with the ‘disposable’ detritus of everyday life in post-industrial ‘wealthy’ nations. I found the way that Morris discusses issues of wealth and waste in the same sentence as being inspirational in adding to thoughts around the vast quantities of stuff that some see as waste, some see as treasure. What is wealth – material wealth? What is waste – unwanted wealth? Our ethical compass points in the wrong direction, towards recycling, towards making technical solutions and fixing problems that don’t need to be there in the first place.

As artists we hold the world in our hands, a position of privilege which is easily abused, coerced by the allure of a commercialism which is difficult to avoid. By using the material from these single use objects, which otherwise have no obvious destination; their end of life not having been considered by their producers,  I am examining and emphasising the seemingly forgotten connections  with our material world, and how this has a bearing on our responsibility towards others, the wider biosphere, and ourselves. These humble books have no text, no print; their meaning and message is contained within their materiality,  seeking to communicate in a different way. The knowledge that is lost is the ability to live in a sustainable and caring way; knowledge that Morris could see being overtaken by industrialisation and exploitation of people and the natural world. Having visited the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow and discovered more about his campaigning and political activism in his later years, it seemed appropriate to explore this thinking further and call my next exhibition by the title of this post.

Waste, Want and Overabundance, inspired by Morris’ Socialist ideals, is the title of an  exhibition of my work to be held as part of Salisbury International Arts Festival in May/June this year.

See Miller’s article here

 Visit Alison’s site here
Miller, E. C.,  (2011) Sustainable Socialism: William Morris on Waste published in The Journal of Modern Craft, 4:1, 7-2
Morris, W. (1915) Art under Plutocracy,” Collected Works of William Morris vol. XXIII :London: Longmans,180, 1
The University of Maryland (Online)The kelmscott Press       
The University of Maryland (Online) William Morris; His politics

UK Fashion Industry is Unsustainable and must Change: Parliamentary Inquiry produces interim report

In October we contributed to the Parliamentary Inquiry on the sustainability of the Fashion Industry (see blog post below).The Inquiry has now produced its interim report

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Picture Source: 

Parliamentary Inquiry Interim Report Summary

1.As part of our inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry, we heard evidence outlining the urgent need for the fashion industry to address its labour market and environmental sustainability issues. In autumn 2018 we wrote to sixteen leading UK fashion retailers to ask what steps they are taking to reduce the environmental and social impact of the clothes and shoes they sell. We used data on market share published by Global Data in its industry report, The UK Clothing Market, 2018–2023 to identify the top ten fashion retailers. We also asked four leading online retailers to answer similar questions following evidence at our first hearing about illegally low wages for garment workers and the disposability of some ‘fast fashion’ garments. Several of these retailers had been named in evidence linked to low pay in Leicester but the committee also used data on ‘share of voice’ compiled by Pi Datametrics. In addition, we wrote to two leading luxury UK fashion brands, Burberry and Kurt Geiger, following reports of stock burning by luxury brands.1

2.We were impressed with the level of engagement by some retailers. Others expressed openness to engaging on these issues and have taken some small steps. A few retailers, unfortunately, do not seem to consider social and environmental responsibility as a priority. One, Kurt Geiger, did not reply at all. We acknowledge that some retailers have not signed up to the specific initiatives which we have considered but are taking other measures to address these issues within their organisations.

3.We believe that there is scope for retailers to do much more to tackle labour market and environmental sustainability issues. We are disappointed that so few retailers are showing leadership through engagement with industry initiatives.

4.This is an interim report on the sustainability of the fashion industry. We will publish a final report shortly.

see more of the interim report here

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Picture Source: Fashion Revolution

Parliamentary Inquiry Interim Conclusion

34.We want to see a thriving fashion industry in the UK that employs people, inspires creativity and contributes to the overall economic success of the UK. We are surprised that there is no one body that speaks for the UK textile industry. The fashion industry’s current business model is clearly unsustainable, especially with a growing middle-class population and rising levels of consumption across the globe. We are disappointed that few high street and online fashion retailers are taking significant steps to improve their environmental sustainability. The current exploitative and environmentally damaging model for fashion must change. We believe retailers have an obligation to engage with these issues and recommend that they show leadership through engagement with industry initiatives. We will publish a final report in the coming weeks setting out recommendations to Government for policies to encourage a more transparent, fair and sustainable fashion system.

1 Global Data, (July 2018) The UK Clothing Market 2018–2023; Pi Datametrics, (October 2018), Q3, Pi Leaderboard Report, UK, Fashion Retail, September 2015 – October 2018.

Unmaking Waste 2018: Transforming Design, Production and Consumption for a Circular Economy

It was lovely recently to meet up with Bath and Bristol based photographer David Bone. David is interested in interested in harmful human impacts on the environment, for example current waste cultures. We are hoping that David will be able to work with us on the deep materialism project to produce professional photos of Alison’s work. In addition, drawing inspiration from William Morris’s ‘penny pamphlets’  a small book exploring ideas and artworks from our collaboration and individual projects.


David and Alison both recently had entries in  the  exhibition Unmaking Waste in Adelaide, South Australia! .

From the Foreword  to the Exhibition Catalogue

The world is full, and increasingly full of waste, much of it destructive of the environment we depend on. This is an insight especially significant in art and design, creating both new responsibilities and new opportunities. This exhibition is the collective response of many individual makers, from many creative disciplines, to this now unavoidable challenge.
The range and depth of this work, assembled together…We hope that viewing their work will provoke you, the visitor, not to anger or despair, but to more thoughtful reflection. Indeed, we would like to encourage you to consider with us the possibility of a more ‘circular’ future, where everything useful can enjoy some kind of second life, and where the need to deplete, poison, entangle or burn up the natural world to satisfy our needs is much reduced, if not entirely eliminated.

David’s Entry in the Exhibition

The Ghosts of Consumption
Materials: Print

A visual enquiry into consumer culture and a reflection of the geological footprint we are to leave behind. With estimates of more than 12 million tonnes of plastic being dumped into the world’s oceans every year, and with more microplastics in our seas than stars in the Milky Way, plastic waste is the ecological destruction of our time. Early 20th century perceptions of human affairs being wholly ‘separate’ and ‘other’ from nature is something that is endorsed throughout an era of conservation and preservation. Yet in this modern age of consumerism, the growing economic need for goods and the waste we produce has a profound effect on a changing environmental landscape.

The Ghosts of Consumption examines the contemporary archaeology of household commodities, through to its hostile convergence with the natural landscape. The work looks to
question the profound impact of contemporary culture on our ecology, challenging the
viewer to question their own personal impact. These questions of how we, as a commercial
generation play a monumental role in the permanent intrusion of plastic waste is juxtaposed against an unseen intervention and optimistic resilience.

Alison’sentry in the exhibition


 Book of (lost) knowledge (series)
Two found paper cups, one deconstructed and made into a concertina book 

The work comprises of two found paper coffee cups, objects currently discarded in their millions in our sophisticated modern lifestyles. One cup has been deconstructed and reconstructed to form a small concertina ‘book’. The title of the work refers to the intuitive ‘knowledge’ we used to possess to enable us to live in harmony with our environment, so that mutual flourishing was an accepted part of existence. Unfortunately exploitative practices have endured; capitalism and globalisation have taken their toll, hence my practice seeks a realignment of the material world, a reconsideration of what waste is and an equalisation of our relationship with it.


See the full catalogue here



So what is deep materialism?

We were recently asked this question!

Sarah  reflected:

We have created the phrase ‘deep materialism’ by drawing on the word ‘deep’ in ‘deep ecology’ (for example as in  the work of Arne Naess) and the word ‘materialism’ from ‘new materialism’(for example as in the work of thinkers including Karen Barad, Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz and Jane Bennett.

Deep ecology emphasises that all parts of the natural world, of which we are a part, have a deeply intrinsic value, and are not just  a resource for humans to use and own. By using the word ‘deep’ we also wish to emphasise and highlight that how we engage in the world we share needs to be addressed profoundly.

New materialism emphasises the liveliness or agency of matter, rather than seeing matter as inert and only humans as having agency. Many Indigenous cultures and knowledge systems around the world already have this conception  so using the word ‘deep’, rather than new has the advantage of avoiding the error and hubris of contemporary Western ways of thinking when something seen as ‘new’ has really been in existence but, being unacknowledge, has been ignored, denigrated or suppressed. 

In our collaboration we are exploring what bringing these different ideas together can contribute to caring for the world we share.

Alison elaborates:

Deep Materialism is a term that we are using in order to expand the lexicon of materiality and new materialism with a view to describing and promoting a shift in our relationship with the material world. This shift encompasses a reappraisal of the value of all matter, seeing no matter as ‘waste’ and accepting that as we too are made of matter, if we denigrate the rest of the material world then we too are diminished.


Deep materialism is  an acceptance of the responsibility of the micropolitical agency of the individual to seek out the provenance, and hence the ecological impact of, for instance, the material goods we take for granted, whether it be paper coffee cups, our clothing, our food, our furniture, as the   resources for the materials we use come from the natural world.

Deep materialsim also encourages engagement with circularity. For example, this small maple tree is growing in a pot. It has dropped its leaves after the first frost onto concrete below: leaves that would normally, if planted in the earth,  replenish the soil and feed the tree in the coming year.