Profusion was a long-term Heritage Futures collaboration between Encounters Arts Shelley Castle and anthropologist Jenni Morgan.

We collaborated over a period of two years, creating various installations based around the human trait of gathering/collecting.  We wanted to know what it was that people valued in the things they keep for the future, and played with various questions including ‘what sort of future do you want to see?’ 

At Torre Abbey I created an accumulating installation of people’s precious things, entitled ‘The Story in the Object’ where I would also draw portraits of objects to reflect elements of the stories they held. 

For the final collaboration, I took inspiration for the participatory installation from the extraordinary craftwork of the Bower Bird.  These amazing birds gather, curate and exhibit the things they appear to hold of high value outside their extraordinary twig constructions (the bower).  During several session both in Torquay and in Manchester, participant 'makers' entered a conversation with myself and Jennie around imagined futures and value systems, whilst binding the sticks with their chosen coloured thread.  Conversations sometimes lasted over an hour, as we talked about fears and dreams for the future.

‘…. the seed of the future is here and now – I didn’t really get this until I said it out loud’

The Human Bower is on display at Manchester Museum.