Leo’s Nature’s Affirmations

What is it?

Nature’s Affirmations series of cards placed around Penglais woods and Aberystwyth, created by Marissa Leo for the 2020 Creative Arts Winter Show. It is a series of cards placed throughout, hilighting the small pleasures and positives of spending time among nature. 

You are also able to virtually join the walk, seeing the cards, and hearing facts and stories about the benefits of nature. While you can sit inside and watch the video of the walk, the audio is generic, and can be listened to on the go, on any ~35 minute walk.

Video walk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKEyw8W1tIw

Audio walk with voice AND nature sounds
https://soundcloud.com/mal110/audio-and-nature-sounds-natures-affirmations

Audio walk with ONLY voice
https://soundcloud.com/mal110/voice-only-natures-affirmations

Where is it?

There are five cards placed along a 2.5k route from Penglais Hill through the woods and around Aberystwyth. Take a break to walk and see all five cards!

Why was it done?

The theme of this semester for us Creative Arts students was ‘Nature’. While there is much focus on the negatives surrounding nature, like pollution and global warming, I wanted to focus on positives. I’ve always gotten joy out of the simple things I see in nature, like little sparrows hopping on the ground or different monthly flowers blooming. I decided on a series of public cards actually put out in nature, so the viewer suddenly comes across them and is encouraged to look closer. I hope that in taking nature walks and appreciating the small things around us, people will be understand the benefits of natural environments and take action to preserve them!

When will it be out?

The cards will be left out until mid January. The virtual walk was presented as part of the Winter Show on 16 December, and is linked here.

The cards

Studies done on nature walks

Facts about these studies are mentioned in the audio/visual version of the walk. See the full studies here.

Berman, M. G., Jonides, J. and Kaplan, S. (2008) ‘The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature’, Psychological Science, 19(12), pp. 1207–1212. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x.

Park, B.J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T. et al. The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environ Health Prev Med 15, 18 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12199-009-0086-9

Olafsdottir, G. et al. (2020) ‘Health Benefits of Walking in Nature: A Randomized Controlled Study Under Conditions of Real-Life Stress’, Environment and Behavior, 52(3), pp. 248–274. doi: 10.1177/0013916518800798.

Contact me

I would love to hear your feedback on this public project! If you would like con contact me, send an email over to mal110@aber.ac.uk