As part of our Earth Week Festival, the Cumberland Forest is presenting Weaving with the Unwanted: Decolonizing the Land through Stewardship and Restoring Kinship with environmental artist Juliana Bedoya.

English & Irish Ivy (Hedera helix & Hedera hibernica) are introduced plants considered invasive in our bioregion. They inhibit the growth and regeneration of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees. But these plants have formed relationships with the inter-species that are part of this ecosystem that now sustains them. Calling a plant “invasive” or “noxious” can limit us from discovering the gifts intrinsic to its existence and eliminate the possibility for a relational exchange. In places where these plants are considered native, they have ecological importance, cultural significance and have been used for their medicinal properties too.

Join environmental artist Juliana Bedoya and the Cumberland Forest Society for a full day workshop where we will actively practice land stewardship as we remove invasive plants for ecological restoration and harvest the fibres for basketmaking. We will explore different weaving techniques and processing of the fibres to create a functional random weave basket that will remind us of the importance of our reciprocal presence in this territory we call home. We will also explore how we can support ecological balance and restore diversity from a decolonial approach that restores kinship while also providing a sense of belonging.

This is a two-part workshop that starts at the Cumberland Forest area to work along with the Cumberland Forest Society in the removal of invasives. We will discuss the ecological impact and cultural considerations around some of the main invasive plants in this area to then learn how to harvest (remove), process and prepare the fibres for basketmaking.
This will be followed by a potluck lunch and some hands-on time to unpack the gifts, attributes and creative possibilities of English and Irish ivy and put the plant material to good use. We will learn how to shape, assemble and weave a medium sized functional random weave basket using all the plant fibre we gathered earlier.

Register to attend:
$50 for Cumberland Forest Volunteers & Donors
$100 General Public

Juliana Bedoya, Community Engaged Environmental Artist
Juliana Bedoya is a community-engaged environmental artist who supports individuals and community groups to establish their own cultural significance through skill sharing, including all stages of ethically harvesting and processing raw plant materials for art-making and environmental art practice. Respectfully using ancestral skills and traditional knowledge that navigates across cultures, and mainly working with garden trims or the so-called “invasive plants”, this work also aims to support local ecological restoration that fosters native ecology. Through Plants Are Teachers, she invites individuals to seek opportunities to creatively connect with their local landscape while cultivating reciprocal relationships with the land and people. Providing educational opportunities as entry points to interact with plants as teachers and more-than-human beings who carry intrinsic knowledge, Juliana invites people to explore different technologies to interrelate with the territories they inhabit for an ongoing search for relationship with the natural world.