Open Space - September: The Artic Terns

6 September 2021 

Open Space is an approximately monthly meeting in which Cani-net members share and respond to work in progress or nearing completion. Different people present each month and those present speak and sometimes draw or write in response. The process is intended as helpful for those bringing their work for the group to engage with, as well as being inspiring, connecting and educational for others in attendance.  If you would like to present your work at a future Open-Space, please contact with Melissa Dunlop or Romana Turina and tell us what you have in mind.


Sessions run on the first Monday of the month, 5:30pm-7:00pm UK time.


This month, Davina Kirkpatrick, Carol Laidler and Jane Speedy will be facilitating a session entitled: The Arctic Terns…


Davina Kirkpatrick; Carol Laidler and Jane Speedy have been engaged in a writing and art-making project concerning their lives during the current global pandemic, alongside three Australian women, Bronwyn Davies, Susanne Gannon and Sheridan Linnell, since the first lockdown, in March 2020. The two groups have been meeting in their separate pods in their separate countries, on zoom, and also as a group of six, again on zoom, to share their writing and image-making and write into the open inquiry space this work is creating between them. The UK pod called themselves the ‘Quarantine conversationalists’ and the Australian pod, the ‘Corona diarists’- only later wondering if this ‘naming’ process spoke to the slightly different ways that their collaborative practices had emerged. As a group of six they named themselves the “Arctic terns’ after a species of bird whose migratory arc across the world was vast and, like them, took in both the old and the new South Wales.They have all been meeting for over a year, sharing their writing and images, and writing into the ensuing space.


In this session we have only the UK pod, as it is around midnight in New South Wales, and we felt that that would be a ‘tern too far’ to ask. This evening, Davina, Carol and Jane are going to share some fragments out of the writing and images they have been collecting over the past year [they selected this work, earlier, in May, to share at a panel alongside all the Arctic terns, at the 2021 online ICQI (International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry)], after which they are going to invite everyone, including themselves, to write and/or make art into the open inquiry space this process evokes.


We estimate that the initial sharing of their work will take about 20 minutes, and we will then all take about 15 minutes to write and/or make art, at which point we should have another half an hour, or so, for people to read their writing aloud/share the images they have made on zoom and for us all to discuss the inquiry process we have been engaged with.