Reading list

Deep ecology for the twenty-first century

Front Cover
Shambhala, 24 Jan 1995 – Nature – 488 pages
Every day, in newspapers and on television, we read and hear about the ongoing destruction of the environment: the greenhouse effect, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, and air and water pollution. Deep Ecology offers a solution to the environmental crisis through a radical shift in human consciousness—a fundamental change in the way people relate with the environment. Instead of thinking of nature as a resource to be used for human needs, Deep Ecology argues that the true value of nature is intrinsic and independent of its utility. Emerging in the 1980s as an influential philosophical, social, and political movement, Deep Ecology has shaped the environmental debate among leading activists and policymakers—from former Vice-President Al Gore to Dave Forman, cofounder of Earth First!Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century contains thirty-nine articles by the leading writers and thinkers in the filed, offering a comprehensive array of perspectives on this new approach to environmentalism, exploring:•  The basic philosophy of Deep Ecology.
•  Its roots in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson.
•  The relationship of Deep Ecology to social ecology, ecofeminism, the Greens, and New Age futurism.
•  How Deep Ecology as a way of life is exemplified by two important environmentalists: poet Gary Snyder and Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess.
•  The philosophical dimensions of this environmental movement by its leading theorist.
•  The politics of ecological sustainability and the social and political implications of Deep Ecology for the next century.

Ecofeminist Natures:

Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action

Front Cover
Routledge, 1997 – Social Science – 260 pages
Examining the development of ecofeminism from the 1980s antimilitarist movement to an internationalist ecofeminism in the 1990s, Sturgeon explores the ecofeminist notions of gender, race, and nature. She moves from detailed historical investigations of important manifestations of US ecofeminism to a broad analysis of international environmental politics.

Race, Gender, Feminist Theory, and Political Action

Front Cover
Indiana University Press, 1996 – Social Science – 270 pages

Here feminist philosophers and ecofeminist scholars pursue the connections between feminism and environmentalism. Topics include the ecofeminist ethic; the role of patriarchal concepts in perpetuating the domination of women and nature; the grassroots origins and character of a thoughtful ecofeminism; the “ecofeminism-deep ecology debate” in environmental philosophy; deep ecological treatment of animal rights and the omission of ecofeminist analyses of the domination of animals, abortion, and nuclear deterrence; and ways ecofeminism and the science of ecology are or could be engaged in complementary, supportive projects.

The contributors are Carol J. Adams, Carol H. Cantrell, Jim Cheney, Chris Cuomo, Deane Curtin, Victoria Davion, Roger J. H. King, Stephanie Lahar, Patricia Jagentowicz Mills, Patrick D. Murphy, Val Plumwood, Catherine Roach, Robert Sessions, Deborah Slicer, and Karen J. Warren.

Women healing earth:

Third World women on ecology, feminism, and religion

Front Cover
Orbis Books, 1996 – Religion – 186 pages


Front Cover

Greta Gaard

Temple University Press, 3 Sep 2010 – Nature – 304 pages
Drawing on the insights of ecology, feminism, and socialism, ecofeminism’s basic premise is that the ideology that authorizes oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, physical abilities, and species is the same ideology that sanctions the oppression of nature. In this collection of essays, feminist scholars and activists discuss the relationships among human begins, the natural environment, and nonhuman animals. They reject the nature/culture dualism of patriarchal thought and locate animals and humans within nature. The goal of these twelve articles is to contribute to the evolving dialogue among feminists, ecofeminists, animal liberationists, deep ecologists, and social ecologists in an effort to create a sustainable lifestyle for all inhabitants of the earth. Among the issues addressed are the conflicts between Green politics and ecofeminism, various applications of ecofeminist theory, the relationship of animal liberation to ecofeminism, harmful implications of the romanticized woman-nature association in Western culture, and cultural limitations of ecofeminism.


Women, Culture, Nature (Google eBook)

Front Cover

Karen J. Warren

Indiana University Press, 22 May 1997 – Nature – 472 pages

“… provides readers with a much-needed cross-cultural and multidisciplinary perspective on ecofeminist activism and scholarship.” — Iris

“… a very important contribution to the literature on ecological feminism.” — Ethics

“I think the unique collection of so many different perspectives will help to push readers out of their disciplinary views and work to bring theory and practice together in meaningful ways…. an excellent resource for scholars and teachers…” — Teaching Philosophy

Here the potential strengths and weaknesses of the growing ecofeminist movement are critically assessed by scholars in a variety of academic disciplines and vocations, including anthropology, biology, chemical engineering, education, political science, recreation and leisure studies, sociology, and political organizing.

Timeless Simplicity:

Creative Living in a Consumer Society

Front Cover
Green Books, 1 Jan 2001 – Nature – 107 pages

This is a book about simplicity – not destitution, parsimoniousness or self-denial, but the restoration of wealth in the midst of an afflence in which we are starving the spirit. It is a book about the advantages of living a less cluttered, less stressful life than that which has become the norm in the overcrowded and manic-paced consuming nations. It is a book about having less and enjoying more, enjoying time to do the work you love, enjoying time to spend with your family, enjoying time to pursue creative projects, enjoying time for good eating, enjoying time just to be.

The Joy of Stitch

Glimpse of the Graduation Show

Glimpse from the Graduation show
Glimpse from the Graduation show

Here are the first glimpses from the Graduation show! what pleases me most, is that people have been in acting with the embroidery and added their stitches to the large cloth which was started at the Event at the Exchange, Penzance.

Soon there will be more photos and reflective writing. The Show comes down on Friday, 21. June.

The Joy of Stitch

Stitch or Embroidery

On theTrain
On the Train

I was spending a morning with my friend Mark Leahy, a lecturer and performance artist and pondering about the question, why I preferred the term “Stitch” to ” Embroidery”. Mark responded immediately in saying the later one is loaded with associations of decorative, historical, and expectation of skill. In a way I hadn’t really thought about it, only became aware, that I had preferred to use the word ‘Stitch’, calling the project ‘Time and Stitch’ and the pieces of the project ‘Stitch samplers’. The event was called ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’. Strangely only on the collaboration with a musician, I had called the documentation ‘Music and Embroidery’. Musing about Mark’s remark, I thought, he got a point; the word ‘Stitch’ feels open and freer, feels free of expectations and I often had to explain this to people, who took part in the project and the event, that I didn’t expect fanciful or skilful embroidery. My emphasis was to share the experience of stitching with other people and inviting them to share their experience with me. 

And they did! Through their writing and talking to me about their experience.

Sometimes someone would say “Oh, it is about Cross-Stitch??” and I had to say, that it was about the process and the experience of Stitching. 

Why do I use Cross-Stitch? I like to stitch with Stitches which cover the stitched surface and are simple. Cross-stitch does that for me; it gives me a framework to work in the pattern, starting in the middle and working my way to the edge. It is simple, I don’t have to think too much about it, can enjoy the rhythm and the movement. When I am on my own, I can pay attention to my breathing and be in the present moment. When in company, I can still share the conversation and carry on stitching.

I was curious what people would stitch and had no expectations. Still I was surprised that no one referred to any pre-fabricated pattern from books, magazines or websites. People really worked with, what they knew and enjoyed and wanted to share. 

On the event ‘Coffee, Cake and Stitch’ some people asked me at the beginning: “What do you want me to do?” and I just said:”Stitch!” and they did!

As having receives permission to play with cloth and yarn, it enabled them to enjoy the process and the sharing in company: quite a few said on leaving:”When you do another one (Stitch Event) let me know!”

The Joy of Stitch

Time, Purpose and Companion Pieces

Time, purpose and companion pieces

Over Easter I spend two week in Germany with my mother (who will be 85 soon) and friends.

There were  moments of dialogue and reflections.
28. March 2013, before the Church Concert
For quite some years now, I tend to have some kind of needlework (knitting, crochet and these days again embroideries) with me most of the time.

Taking work around with me, started when my son was born. Embroidery provided a practice of expressing myself, which allowed me to pick it up in any spare minute, with no need for a special place like a workshop or a studio. I realized then, how much I enjoyed working on my pieces in public. My friend Sue Dove agreed that she found Embroidery suitable for a transient life. She had been a weaver before. (More about her in an extra post)

IMG_0060Knitting in Marazion

 I regularly meet with the question:” how long does it take you to finish this?” or if I wear one of my favorite knitted triangular shawls the question is:” How long did it take you?”.

It is rare for me to be in a hurry to finish something.
Like today, in 2 hours I crocheted a gray woolly barrette, because I had forgotten to take a warm hat with me to Germany.

 I bought 2 balls of very thick yarn and a matching crochet hook and ca. 2 hours later the problem of cold ears was solved.

 It is the legacy of my mother; if we need something we make it (within reason!).
My shawls are my companion pieces; they are with me, until they are finished. It is a special comforting moment, to sit down and work a few stitch, it is quieting  the mind, creates a moment of purpose, relaxes, I breathe deeper.

 Often I am actually a bit sad when they finally come off the knitting needle.


29. March 2013
My embroidery piece also have become what I call “companion’ piece.

I’m writing this in my mother’s sitting room.
When my mother gave the piece, I am working on, at first glance, her immediate response was, the stitch were untidy.

 The upper stitch and the lower stitch have to face the same direction in one row.



to create



My mother trained in the late 1940 as a tailor/dressmaker and did her Master in the early 1950’s. After she retired in the early 1980’s she took up Danish cross-stitch and Hardanger Embroidery.

It’s intriguing to make a connection now how much this generation was in so many aspects of their life’s trained to follow the rules and things had to have an end to their means and a purpose.


The Middle One (On the train, March 2013)

Later in a Cafe
Her following questions were:
“What will it be?”
“How big will the embroidery be?
” How long will it take you?”

And all I could do is today:
” I don’t know and I don’t need to know now.”

I feel, there will be a moment, where feels right to say: ” Here I will stop working on this piece. “


In her honor I am now incorporating at times the “right” way of cross stitch, first the row of the under stitch and then the top stitch. I can choose between the traditions and honoring them and following my own way of doing it.

The pieces will be part of my graduation show; it feels like inviting friends round.


Because for these pieces of embroidered cloth will tell about all those moments they have been with me, on my travels, on trains, in cafes.

Even if I cannot relate to a particular section a certain event, they still hold the memory of the time spend with them.



The Chinese One (Miss Peapod, March 2013)


The Appletree Cafe Knitting Group

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/53324522 w=500&h=281] <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/53324522″>The Appletree Cafe – Knitting Group</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user11511171″>Christiane Berghoff</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

On Thursday the 08 November I visited the Knitting Group at the Appletree Cafe in Sennen (Penwith, Cornwall). http://www.theappletreecafe.co.uk/

One of my previous students Susan Thomas (she is a retired occupational therapist) had told me about this group;

Susan likes this group because the members, to her mind, are more inventive, creating their own designs and  are more concerned about the material (quality of wool etc.) they are using.

I received a warm welcome and when I introduced myself and my intend to film them, while they were getting on with whatever they were doing, they were happy to let me get on with what I wanted to do.

It is an interesting group, some younger women, who were just beginning to learn to knit under the emphatic tuition of some of the more experienced knitters. It was a general, very animated, lively atmosphere, lots of laughter and friendly banter. 

In the middle of the table was a stack of books, some had brought along to share

At the end I talked with  the two women, who is organizing this group, Pat Furley and Jenny Strickland. 

Their business name “the unravelled sleave” is taken from a Shakespearquote: 

the raveled sleave’– a woven or threaded skein of yarn
Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2: ‘Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep” – The innocent sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care…….’

As it happens they had only recently thought about that it would be interesting to research  old knitting songs can be found.

It is known, that in a time when people, not only women would get together to spin, weave, embroider, sew and later knit that there were songs sung.

This is another thread to follow up for me!

Women like these, revive the tradition of women getting together, to be sociable, meet friends exchange knowledge, help each other out and teach the younger ones. 

There is something, where I can’t quite can put my finger on, why it makes such a difference when being in a group of women and making something with my hands, then rather sitting in a group of friends and chatting away. I am aware the the attention and mostly understated competitiveness in the groups is intriguing. To  receive praise for what is on the needles or around the shoulders is very encouraging and does makes one feel good about oneself.

But also the sympathetic support on receives when things goes inevitably wrong and some kind hand helps you to unravel the bit where one has gone wrong and helps you to pick up the stitches again. Just as we need it in life. 


Embroidery in St. Church

On Saturday, Nigel and I went into St. Mary’s Church, Penzance in order to photograph two banners.Unfortunately I had “lost” the charger for my digital camera and the battery was flat, so we had to resort to a disposable camera!

the balcony
Midday light

While Nigel was sorting out some music (he is the organist) I walked around the balcony. I always loved this church, it feels warm and almost homely, slightly crumbling around the edges. It was around midday and the light came in from the east, soft and gentle, casting delicate shadows. I was taken by the gentle, calm atmosphere. Just stepping one thought back: somewhere in my work, not always obvious, was/is a search for incorporating an aspect of spirituality. I grew up in a Protestant church community and worked in Germany for 15 years for different protestant organizations. Since my early 20’s I have  been on my journey to find my own “spiritual” home. Spirituality is an important part of my life, not necessarily religious belief.  But being in this church and taking part in the church community has given me a physical space, a community and with that a kind of framework. This is only a beginning of a reflection, just a noting of first thoughts. It is less than two months since it has become part of my life again. While I was walking around, the church taking photos, the idea came to start with filming me in this space, embroidering, while listing to music.Working with Textiles has always these two aspects to it, the solitary retreat into something which comes close to meditation and the social situation of being in a group ( knitting groups, working with friends, etc.) At this moment it was the idea of capturing the reflective meditative moment.


Tate Modern – The Tanks – Susanne Lacy

The Tanks Susanne Lacy

The main reason for my visit to the Tate Modern at the end of October was the Tank is showing Suzanne Lacey’s Crystal Quilt.

Suzanne Lacy’s The Crystal Quilt 19857 took place over three years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A collaborative and public artwork, it explored how the media portrayed ageing and what the role for older people in public was. Incorporating many types of practice, from art exhibitions and lectures to community organising and a leadership seminar for older women, it culminated in a performance on Mother’s Day in 1987.

430 women aged over 60 from Minneapolis gathered together to perform in a live tableau, lasting an hour and broadcast live on a public television network. Staged on a series of tables laid out on a huge square rug (designed by the painter Miriam Schapiro), the performers sat four to a table, their hands laid on the coloured tablecloths changing at ten-minute intervals to echo the shapes of different quilt blocks (the quilt being an emblem of the traditional sharing of North American female experience). While the performers discussed their experiences and reminiscences, the audience also listened to a soundtrack by composer Susan Stone mixing the voices of 75 women talking about ageing – personal observations, their own memories, and sociological analysis of the unused potential of older people.

Lacy’s work has often been concerned with social issues, and about including and reaching particular audiences (in this case older women). She is a pioneer of inclusion and participation in her practice, with The Crystal Quilt consciously seeking to represent and include women form diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. She has also set out to deal with the place of art in society:

In some sense The Crystal Quilt was successful politically, in that the work was bigger, it had more social impact in that region, but do one or two events ever change the way people – other than those who directly experience it – see? This raises this issue of whether you can expect art to create social change, and at what point is it no longer art.

You can hear Suzanne Lacy speaking about this project at Inside/Outside: Materialising the Social at Tate Modern 21 July 2012

You can see documentation from Suzanne Lacy’s The Crystal Quilt on display in The Tanks at Tate Modern, 18 July – 28 October 2012

Susanne lacy’s work and writing have been very influential in the writing of my dissertation. I am still getting my head around social Interaction and Art.  Seeing the video  of the installation of the “Quilt” ((time-lapse video) and the real, physical quilt, which was designed by Miriam Shapiro and listing to the interview with Suzanne and the participants of “The Crystal Quilt” was very illuminating and touching.


Tate Modern – Tino Sehgal – The Unilever Series

When I arrived in the Turbine hall, people were coming up, walking almost in slow motion. I didn’t quite realize at once I was walking through a performance art, it really didn’t register at that moment. After lunch, when my partner and me came back into the Turbine Hall we realized, that there was a performance going on; it was touching, mesmerizing to hear in this space suddenly  a kind of harmony singing and see people moving around, then talking to the audience. We went downstairs and observed more. A member of staff told me, that there is no documentation. Seghal intend is concerned with real-time encounter and communication. I couldn’t help but film a few minutes


I will research the artist Seghal more, I only now so far, that he has taking parting in the Documenta in Kassel, Germany.