This blog captures the manifestations and results of Emma Pavans de Ceccatty and Joanne Matthews explorations into connecting with places, near and far…

(re)Visiting Marizy month-long artistic response and research project by Emma Pavans de Ceccatty and Joanne Matthews, in response to a call out by ONCA Gallery for the Remembrance Day for Lost Species. (re)Visiting Marizy was an experiment, a process, a beginning, a collaboration, which began life with Emma revisiting Marizy, a place she calls home…


What does it mean to understand the history and depth of a place? The layers of a space; a space with orbiting depths of knowledge and wisdom to interact with. How can we look at the connection with the local, the relationship people have built with the land, to become carers, nurturers and guardians of its wellbeing. Their future is dependent and intertwined with the land. Place, tradition, identity is all woven in one.

Each generation of my (Emma’s) ancestors and family migrated to find a place to call home, my roots are shallow in whichever land I visit and chose to live in. My parents felt a strong connection to the little village in Burgundy, Marizy some 20 years ago, and I have been making memories here since as long as I can remember. 20 years on, an oak is still small, it is early days in its long life, but its roots are firmly entrenched in the ground and believe me there is no way you’re digging up that tree. I am here to stay, I commit to this land.

What is it to dream of a faraway land and imagine tales and lose ourselves to the pleasant reveries and awful realities that happen so far away? It is important to dream, to imagine something different and free our minds from the habits and constraints that can incur from ‘getting caught up in the every day’, in our little boxes on a hillside. However, it is just as important to take consciousness of our immediate environments, to value them like we value the abstract (abstract in so much that it remains dreams – that we are not there, but here) distant, and to reconsider our perhaps romanticised view of the distant for the applicable realities we learn from the everyday.

I (Emma) want to commune with this landscape and begin speaking its language.

Species have been extinct, species at Marizy are in danger of becoming extinct, loss of habitat happens and wildlife will somehow have to adapt to, or die. These disappearances are not isolated events, nor is Marizy an isolated island – so how did things change here? What intricate patterns have existed here throughout history and how do they inform the now?

Throughout the month of November 2016 Emma has the intention of developing and nurturing a grounded empathy, and cultivating a sense of wonder. As a starting point Emma will follow four spheres of exploration with two rituals: Opening Ceremony 31st of October / Present ‘Letting my body wander, and my mind wonder’ 1st – 9th / Ancestral & Spiritual Landscape 10th – 16th / Modern Memory & Social Change 17th – 23rd / Shining a Light on the Future 24th – 30th / Closing Ceremony 30th November.

Emma will be in conversation with Joanne Matthews who is based in Brighton, a place she has equally called home.


Joanne Matthews, in response to Emma’s exploration, is dreaming and imagining the distant land. How can we connect and forge links to somewhere abstract. How do build empathy and responsible for a place we have never been to? How do we take the abstract seriously and emote for it, act for it and let it enter our consciousness?

Joanne has been using Emma’s weekly themes and perceptions of Marizy as a starting point for exploration. This has lead to dreaming of other places, including the disappearing Aral Sea, Uzbekistan. This exploration will manifest in drawings, writing, ritual, dreaming, searching and attempts at empathy invoking.


Listen to a longer explaination about (re)Visiting from Emma’s point of view