Unearthing Common Knowledge: Herbal Tea Tasting and Meditations on Urban Ecology
7 - 9pm, Tuesday September 12
$25 suggested donation
“The more something is shared, the greater the value becomes.” - Robin Wall Kimmerer
There are an average of 250 edible or medicinal plant species growing within New York City, many of which are thriving unintentionally. No matter how big or small an urban green space, plants in New York City contribute oxygen, sequester carbon, strengthen and remediate soils, while also providing a habitat for hundreds of species. Healers within many cultures around the world dedicate themselves to identifying every edible plant within a 100 mile radius of where they are living, which in turn helps them to define the idea of place and the origins of culture itself. On the other hand, those of us who live modern, urban lives tend to create a separation between the city and the natural environment, preventing us from recognizing a sense of our own ecological belonging, and disconnecting us to the wealth of knowledge which is thriving right under our noses.
Common Knowledge is a project created by artist Alyssa Dennis which promotes urban ecology and a deeper understanding of the plant world through interactive and participatory learning tools. In this unique collaboration with Inner Fields, Common Knowledge will explore the significant role plants play in New York City's urban ecology by offering a silent, herbal tea-tasting ceremony and meditation, and creating a communal herbal mandala consisting of edible and medicinal plant samples found within a 2 mile radius of the Inner Fields studio. Through this intimate experience with these locally-living, wild plants, we can nurture our awareness of the ecology of the city, and develop a more conscious, symbiotic relationship with the natural world to which everything belongs.
Common Knowledge is a project which promotes the language of wild edible and medicinal plants through a visual vocabulary of illustrations accessed through interactive and participatory learning tools designed for both children and adults. This project is an idea rooted in “green” philosophies, alternative pedagogies, nutritional activism and the principles of a gift economy. With our ever-increasing interest in alternative and natural healing Common Knowledge intends to propagate multi-cultural conversations around our ages-old relationship with the plant world, which provides us with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sustenance. This venture is about bringing an increased awareness of our natural environment through guided plant tours and workshops and through our card games, and activity-based coloring books. Our aim is to nurture the idea that plant knowledge should once again exist as common knowledge. All of our printed imagery contain common healing plants that are found in the environment in which the workshop or installation is held or wherever a Common Knowledge product is sold. www.commonknowledgeplants.com
*Photo via Robert Atkinson's blog (www.robertatkinson.net)