The Trickster – a folklore character that exists all over the world, that stirs things up. In Brazil, Saci Perere is the trickster of the forest, a one legged little man in a hat who protects the forest by playing tricks on anyone that causes damage. Robin Hood is our own Sherwood Forest trickster, with his hood, bow and arrows and merry men (and women), protecting the poor of the fair city of Nottingham and surrounding forest.

Who are todays tricksters? Artists? Anti-fracking protestors? Water protectors?

Time Capsules – a place to contain wishes for the future, but in some ways it is a container of sacred objects from the past. What exists now as present becomes past when placed in a box that will carry it into the future. What does this mean for the present? How do we mark time in the here and now? When you bury a time capsule does time disappear until it is dug up and re-opened? How do we watch time passing between the present moment (the act of burying the time capsule) and the future moment of looking back at the past (when the time capsule is dug up)? What happens in the distance in between?

Sacred Time – throughout history there have been times and places deemed to be sacred. Sun dials, temples, stonehenge, stone circles, light festivals. What is our own personal sacred time? What moments do we want and need to mark, track to keep time, keep in time.

One of the key discussions around time between Juliet and I was looking at how we personally navigate time, how time passes and is kept by us as individuals and then shared collectively, for our own biological clocks, physical needs and cicadian rhythms. Particularly as we get older how time is effected as our physical abilities, limitations and our health change. For Juliet this is a fundamental part of her navigation of the here and now, where her time is often different from modern world time. For me, time is effected by geography as I live across three different places, in some ways managing three timelines that work in parallel, one of which is a narrowboat where time is also slowed. How does our time connect with world time?

Flow chart with themes from Oxfordshire artist lab with Juliet Robson - heading including Trickster, Burying, Ritual and a list of the watches

We buried watches in Juliet’s garden and mapped where we buried them, in the hope that when we next meet we can dig them up and see how they responded to time passing and the place where they were buried deep in the soil and leaves falling from the trees above. We buried a wooden, plastic and gold watch. Thinking about materiality and time, the impact of these different materials on our lives and the environment. Burying plastic in a time where scientists have shown that plastics is ubiquitous across all life on earth and can be found in the deepest oceans, in the sand on beaches, in the rain and even attached to the very elements of life – within the carbon cycle.

Map of where the watches are buried in Juliet's garden