The Mutable Book: Intra-Leaving & Sewing Wildflowers

Laura Donkers, Jan Johnson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Borrowing leaves out of nature’s book, Laura Donkers and Jan Johnson cross over the form of book through the performative nature of intra-actions. Using tissue thin skins of paper and cloth, they re-tell a narrative using touch to inscribe marks onto a surface page, enfolding matter and meaning. As interdisciplinary artists conducting place-based research, they read and respond to the environment with a text of nature writing and sympoesis. They propose a collaborative panel presentation of their work as mutable open books. From their respective discipline camps, they traverse boundaries, remake borders and entangle edges and surfaces from above and below. Laura Donkers employs frottage as a kind of mirroring of the hand and the object, in which there is a separation and revealing of subject and object over time. Similarly, Jan Johnson’s sewing and embroidery mirror the hand and mind, subject and object as an entanglement always already becoming. The notion of text is embedded in marks that favour biosemiotics over words. Their slow method of understanding landscape, place and environment intersects with environmental attitudes, activism and policy. An attempt at Posthuman is instead a collaboration of makers, human and non-human, that brings poetic insights on nature, culture and ethics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2017
EventBiennial ASLE-UKI Conference 2017 : ‘Cross, Multi, Inter, Trans’ - Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield , United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sept 20178 Sept 2017


ConferenceBiennial ASLE-UKI Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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