STAR-GAZING, YARD-SHARING, IMAGINATION & COMMUNITY ACTIVATING, OLLY COSTELLO DRAWS US TOGETHER
This week on Cultivating Place we return to the artistry and also the activism of our plant loving and garden growing lives in conversation with Olly Costello (formerly Molly Costello). Through their remarkable colors and forms and interconnections made visible - from the life of the soil to the lives and forms of plants and humans right on up to the myriad stars in our galaxied-night skies – artist and compassionate caring human Olly Costello draws us all together.
Olly is a white non-binary queer illustrator, food grower, honey bee tender, and a seeker of mysticism. Through their creative work – which includes both visual arts and community building and reimagining, Olly explores themes of interconnectedness, cosmology, reciprocity, queer ecology, biomimicry, and emergence. They are perennially interested in cultivating our radical imaginations to help us all shape our emergent new world – in and out of the garden.
All photos courtesy of Olly Costello, all rights reserved.
You can follow Olly's work on line at Olly Costello Art & Design: ollycostello.com/
and Instagram: @mollyccostello/
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JOIN US again next week, when in this Autumnal season of endings and beginnings, we welcome back writer and gardener Margaret Renkl to share so much about her newest labor of love that is a book: The Comfort of Crows, A Backyard Year.That’s next week right here.
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Thinking out loud this week....
If you do one thing following this week’s episode, please do this: go look online at Olly’s artwork. I think you will see what I mean about their beauty – the whole cosmology and caring world view of them – alight with stars and the star dust that we all ARE – it gets me at the knees.
Olly’s work reminds me how much I want to live up to their vision of all the best that we can be – as gardeners, as humans, as carbon waiting to be cycled back around. I hope it does the same for you – we all need a boost of hope and big bad ass thinking around what we are truly capably of. Thank you for just that this week, Olly.
I love how – without design or intention, this week’s conversation complemented so nicely my talk of community in and around our conversation with Joe Lamp’l last week. Expressed and perhaps built differently – the ideas of growing and community are integral to both of these humans’ cultivating.
I spend a lot of time in my work sitting in front of desk with my keyboard and the garden view out of my front window keeping me company, or with headset on a mic in front of me looking into my black recording box in an effort to reach out to you all each week. I don’t know most of you, will never see your gardens or share tea or produce with you throughout the seasons.
But I will tell you this, when I am on the road which is both reenergizing and exhausting and one of you reaches out to me to say hi, it means everything to me. You all in your general natures and your specific lives companion me daily on this work, and to know that I companion farmer Earl Hampton early on Saturday mornings as he makes his way to Covington Marker, that I companion Yvette Weaver as she does her gardening work on the High Line every Monday morning, of Johanna Garrison of Saratoga Springs, NY after a long week at school doubles down on my own purpose and passion. So thank you all for sharing with me – thank you to Shobha and Chandra in New York, and to Lesa Lane and Jan Burnham in California for reminding why I do what I do, and why it matters to me to show up.
Thank you for being out there listening and growing along with me.
Oh and Hey Portland, Oregon friends! Please come and say hi when I am in your area on October 19th at 7 pm at the Powell’s Bookstore at Cedar Hills Crossing. A joint event of Powell's and the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, I will be in conversation with Loree Bohl of the Danger Garden and I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun and seed and plant love. Hope to meet and see you there!
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The CP team includes producer and engineer Matt Fidler, with weekly tech and web support from Angel Huracha, and this summer we're joined by communications intern Sheila Stern. We’re based on the traditional and present homelands of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria. Original theme music is by Ma Muse, accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan.
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