How to Care; an Essay
Ingredients of Care
Practices of Care
Ingredients of Care
Ingredients of Care is an interactive installation that I built for the Radical Care conference in Silandro, a small village in the mountains of Italy. This event was organised by the MA Eco-Social Design, who had selected my work as part of the exhibit during the conference. In the installation, two visitors sit opposite one another and massage their own or the others' hands with a chosen healing herb oil, from which each herb represents a different need.
How do we care, collectively?
Collective care is where our care for self is interconnected to the care we give and receive to and from another/our community.
In order for our individual forms of care (self care) to become part of a collective act of care (self + community), it is so important to be conscious of our own needs and those of others. When we find safe and open ways to communicate our needs, to ourselves and the world around us, we make space for others to do the same.
Collective (self) care is not about getting your needs met while disregarding all others things. It is about making space for yourself AND others to get their needs met holistically (mental, physical, spiritual). And, in between that space of centering your and other(s) needs, is where we find the collective care that this world desperately needs.
The Installation "Ingredients of care" researches and supports these collective ways of caring (and healing). The visitors of the installation have five different handmade healing herb oils to choose from, each representing a different need:
~Stinging Nettle = Boundaries and mental + physical detox.
~Blackthorn & Cherry Plum blossom = Letting go of heavy (winter) feelings.
~Magnolia flower = Resillience + balancing feminine energy.
~Calendula = Comfort + Positive energy.
~Olive oil = Insert own need
One person applies the oil with a droplet on the other persons hands, massaging it in, or holding space for the other to it do it themselves.
This installation is part of a larger research project on collective care.
In my essay you will find some of the references that led me to creating this installation.
Below you will find the photos and video from the installation.