My research delves into the woodlands and forests of contemporary fiction where these ancient biotic spaces radiate with warping pressure. I am especially interested in how modern authors reimagine mythic and folkloric roots, twisting them into contemporary tales that lead to the blending of the human and the more-than-human through contact with trees. I am developing a thesis that examines the affect of trees, how they metamorphose both the human and the text – I am exploring this symbiosis as an imaginative rewilding.
Currently I am researching our often imperceptible, yet ever present, reciprocal respiration with trees. The dual meaning of respire – to breathe and to recover – lends itself to a discussion of texts that confound vegetal and bodily processes all the while engaging in a recovery. To select texts that are themselves a form of renewal makes them analogous to the woodland space they engage with and create – for woods are self-renewing. I hypothesise that forests and woodlands respire in our art. They aid the recovery and retelling of tales that in return provide a respite for our rapidly depleted woodlands.
My research covers the writings of Richard Powers, Annie Proulx, Daisy Johnson, and Sarah Hall. I also hope to engage with sculpture, particularly the work of David Nash.