We are a family art collective who live, work and play in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains where we practice and teach classes in art, music, home-scale permaculture, and herbalism. We have worked Individually as Beth Hall, Mark Cooley, and Celia Cooley as well as collectively under various monikers for many years producing and exhibiting projects around the world, including, FADO Performance Art Centre, Toronto; St. Louis Science Center; The Institute of Contemporary Art, London; The World Social Forum, Mumbai; MediaLab Madrid, and many other spots. All considered though, perhaps our biggest commitment these days is to working collectively and locally. Our project, SubHerban Roots, now in its fifth year, is an experiment in occupational realism and community supported herbalism taking the form of a mobile apothecary, which offers homegrown and handmade herbal remedies at local farmers’ markets and other events. Our work together as SubHerban Roots, or any other moniker, is intent on rejecting the notion that imagines a “balanced” life only by putting a fulcrum between our “professional” and “personal” lives, or pitting “career” and “family” against one another. Perhaps, built into the idea of a family art collective is a desire to redefine notions of work and success as necessitating alienation from a core social relation – the family – in its multitude of possible forms. Our latest project, Spora Studios is an attempt to weave together our collective interests in ecology, permaculture, cultural studies, DIWO culture, gardening, herbalism, social and environmental justice, arts education, and of course the art of everyday life.
It’s a big tapestry. We hope you like it!
Beth, Mark & Celia