Thomas Phillips

"Time to Care"

Section MS8, Gabriella Hirst

Keywords: extraction, technology, time

Time to Care illuminates a care-power-knowledge-trust relationship, using the form of a parody wellness website. Starting with the simple idea of collecting plants and distilling their medicinal oils, I sought the help of my grandfather who was an ex-pharmacist and pharmacy lecturer. The project quickly wove into a multi-faceted work examining multiple scales and ideas of care and time.

My development process incorporated a level of care extended to and from my grandfather, via regular calls during lockdown. In considering the extraction remedies my grandfather explained to me, my project started to take on questions of the perceived benefits of folk medicine versus western medicine, and the politics of these questions. In our current epoch of underfunding of National Health Services, individualism and hyper-capitalism, what is the role of folk medicines placed within ever-growing stylish beauty/ wellness markets?

As part of the process, my grandfather passed knowledge to me that he extracted from pharmacognosy history volumes. Furthermore, the plants I have used in my processes of extraction have history, both the species’ proliferation, and the individual plant stories.

The balance I am aiming to strike in the resulting project is that of irony, visual deception and woven knowledge.