Back to our Roots - Seeing the Whole Plant!

Dear all, let’s change the way we look at plants and the livelyness and consciousness in soil. The roots are not just something dangling off the bottom of a plant - they are arguably the most conscious part of a plant! Entangled with fungal networks, they have been described as forming the neural networks or, in woodlands, the 'wood-wide web'.


'Strawberry Roots', oil painting, June 2020, by David St Maur Sheil


I have often felt deeply depressed at the damage done to our mother earth, however In recent years our understanding of soil and soil biology along with many other green solutions has developed in leaps and bounds, to the point where it seems that we can and must now move confidently away from chemical agriculture and fully adopt a natural organic approach to growing - and in addition soil holds a powerful key to solving climate change! However, it seems that the advances in agriculture also need to be supported by a big paradigm shift.



'The First Strawberries of the Year', oil Painting, May 2020 by David St Maur Sheil


Through this lockdown as well as growing food on my allotment, back in East Sussex, I have been studying a world leading course on the soil web of life. Painting has also been a way for me to explore my feeling of connectedness to soil and I have been focusing on roots as it demands some imagination to see the whole plant and it's interconnection to the soil rather than just that part above ground, and through this painting of a strawberry plant I hope to influence the way we all think about plants, and this is why I am sharing my painting with you today.




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