A Map of Southcombe Gardens

Gouache on Cotton Rag with accompanying audio (10 mins), 2024. Commissioned and curated by Southcombe Barn & Radical Ecology

Movement is Natural: A Map of Southcombe Gardens (2024) invites viewers on a journey through movement, imagination, and reorientation. The work serves not only as a portal into the exhibition’s themes of migration, invasion, and belonging, but also as an immersive exploration of Southcombe Gardens.

The map encourages viewers to observe and reorient themselves around five key ‘invasive’ plants growing  at Southcombe - the eucalyptus, silver birch, fern, gunnera and rhododendron. An accompanying sound piece, also created by Iman, invites visitors to engage with the landscape through their intuitions, feelings, and tacit knowledge. This enables deeper reflections on the historical and political significance of mapping, categorising and ordering, and its implications for the intimate relationship between land and bodies.

Moving beyond binary categorisations of “native” and “invasive, how might we consider the vitality and agency of the landscape, to explore the multiple histories and interactions that define a species, regardless of origin?
© Iman Datoo