When the harbingers of spring appear 2022

When the Future Comes is a series of artist’s interventions each witnessed by a mysterious and mystical device – the Future Machine. A newly formed ritual or special occasion will emerge as the Future Machine appears in Oxfordshire, every year – for the next 30 years.

Juliet Robson and Rachel Jacobs have been meeting with the Future Machine in mind, as a concept then as a reality, since 2018. They have collaborated on various projects for the last 30 years and through this project will continue to collaborate for at least 30 years, or until one of us falls off our perch.

Juliet and Rachel will be celebrating the harbingers of spring as winter ends. The snowdrops have emerged, and Lesser Celandines will follow spreading over the warming earth, throughout February and March.

Juliet and Rachel are marking and recording the end of winter and the start of spring as they experience it – Juliet in Peppard and Rachel as she travels between London, Cumbria, Nottingham and Oxfordshire. They will also be following a trail of folklore, folk song, bird song, botany and history to weave a story of the harbingers of spring.

Between Celandine Day on the 21st February and the 20th March, Future Machine will witness the growth of a native plant and flower garden next to Juliet’s studio in Rotherfield Peppard, where so far this winter 150 native green spring bulbs have been planted including Aconites, Solomans Seal, Wood Anenomes, Snow drops, Bluebells, Snakes Head Fritillaries, Wild Daffodils, Star of Bethlehem and Wild Crocus. These sit alongside the emerging Primroses, Snowdrops and the native trees, plants and flowers yet to wake up.

On the 21st February Juliet and Rachel – the companion of the Future Machine – will deliver a greeting from the Lesser Celandines of Peppard (also known as messengers of spring) to 100 members of the parish.

Weather, mud and covid permitting, at the Vernal Equinox (20th March) Future Machine, Juliet and Rachel/Companion of the Future Machine will walk the lanes and woods in the vicinity of the studio witnessing and marking the astronomical first day of spring. They may stop for reflection and a drink outside the Unicorn pub and talk of wintering, seasonal edges, time, light, community, climate, and the past, present and future with a sense of hope of the things to come, while holding the lessons of the past in mind. Inviting people we meet to speak to the future.

More information on how you can encounter the Future Machine coming soon.

Juliet will be doing further blogs as the year progresses, that continue to reflect on these themes.

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