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Nine Herbs Charm

The Nine Herbs Charm was first written down around the year 1000, but it is believed to have been passed on through verbal traditions for generations prior. The charm tells of the uses, cultural significance and identification markers of nine herbs selected for their usefulness to cure a broad spectrum of ailments. Common to many even today, the plants have formed a special bond with humans with a tendency to thrive close to human settlement. Because of this they are found in many parts of the planet – some even on every single continent.

The work at Louise Dany was constructed during a 10 week- long residency in collaboration with Hannah Mjølsnes (NO). The herbal garden was tended to every day and consumed in tea; one for each week. On Sundays the experiences made during the week were shared in daytime tea ceremonies and performative presentations, where the space had been reconstructed to fit the plant in question. Special guest contributions by Alexandra Dragne (NL) and Marthe A. Andersen (NO).

An element to Nine Herbs Charm is the constant translation of the experience from using the plants into language that traditionally have followed them: the charm is at both times the somatic qualities of the herbs and interpretations of them as poems that are written and re-written over and over based on the writer’s subjective interpretation.

A series of translations happened over the course of the residency; into actions, writing; drawing; wood carving; ceramics; motion; and web-publishing.

The nine herbs charm is also an ongoing work by the artist collective by the same name consisting of Hannah Mjølsnes (NO), Eric Kim (US), Saewon Oh (US) and the 9 plants from the charm.


Photo : ayatgali tuleubek

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