Cultivate

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.” -Oscar Wilde

Many of us spend our time doing for other people. We work, we care, we check and fuss, worrying over the state of those around us. But what of ourselves? What of the state of our own body and mind? This must be tended just as carefully. It is true what they say, that self care is the first critical step toward the care of others. During a difficult time such as we find ourselves in right now, we need to be doing the things that feed our bodies, minds and souls. Only then can we approach others with our whole selves.

Andrej Bereta spoke to us from Bosnia where he is a curator and art historian. For the last two years he has been involved in a geography project that is connected with land management and policy, working alongside the EU. There is a cultural component to this work as well as curatorial thinking, but this has been a departure from his usual curating work. Bereta sought this work for a number of reasons including the need for a change and self reflection. To hear more about this work and some of the rationale behind this curator’s decision to seek it out, listen to the complete interview.

Thea Matthews lives in Brooklyn but spoke to us from San Francisco where she was born and had traveled to spend some time during this difficult year. When the lock down began in March, Matthews was already in San Francisco and in the process of applying to graduate school. She then moved to New York but finds herself navigating a relationship with someone in San Francisco and so she travels there frequently to see her partner and her family. Matthews is a poet and educator whose debut poetry collection is titled Unearth [The Flowers]. Through poetry, Matthews self-affirms her body and her life as well as breaking stigma and silence and claiming things such as survivorship visibility. She interviewed survivors and activists – those who have overcome sexual violence – infusing this thread with nature and the symbol of flowers – the first medicine. Each poem embodies a particular flower and through that flower flow the memories. To hear more about Thea Matthews writing, including some live reading of her poems, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Tend your own garden, nurture the blossoms in your own heart – this will give you the light and strength to help others tend theirs.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Andrej Bereta is reading A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman. Thea Matthews debut poetry book is Unearth [The Flowers]

Deadlines

The Hopper Prize awards $1,000 to five artists twice per year. The fall cycle is now open for applications. In addition to granting, artists from each cycle will have their work exhibited digitally through the Hopper Prize online platform. Applicants can select to have their work considered for additional exposure via the Hopper Prize Instagram channel. For full details, visit the website. Deadline is November 17.

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