Nine Herbs Charm








Nine Herbs Charm is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary artist collective consisting of core-members Hannah Mjølsnes, Eric Kim and Saewon Oh.  Their work generates interactions between humans, their environments and the plant world through tea servings; preparations of the plants served as tea in carefully concidered environments. They use poetry, sculpture, found objects and storytelling as tools to activate and enhance a sensory dialogue in time and space with a given plant.

Nine Herbs Charm collective is a social practice and concerned with community building around the shared and individual recognition and experience of plants.  We find that the opportunity to temporalily suspend  your societal position or constructed or imposed identities, to step into a sensory and imaginative relation to a given plant, can create intimate and nuanced human connections that are unlike familiar and learned interactions.  Nine Herbs Charm is derived from a poem by the same name, which was first transcribed in Old English around the year 900 and was likely passed on through oral traditions for generations prior.  It speaks both to and about nine specific plants and their healing properties, revealing an age old symbiotic relationship between people and the plant world.  The poem itself is an amalgamation of various cultures, ideologies and authors, apparent in the language, but also in the very plants they describe: some migrated to the continent with humans some hundred years prior and have gradually been assimilated in the landscape, others were there as part of the landscape before humans arrived to see them. The charm puts a frame around the excisting wild plants in the landscape at this time of writing. Similarly, while we focus on the plants described in the charm and where they are found today, we also inherit the charms intention of simply looking down to your feet right where you are standing, and observe what you find growing there. This mirrors the practice of the collective aiming to explore the plants as part of various landscapes and timelines, concious of a shared  history of migratory paths and landscapes that transcend national boundaries,  and points to the interconnectedess of a natural and human history. 


Founded in LA in 2016, Nine Herbs Charm built a rooftop garden in Silverlake as the first physical manifestation of the poem. There they continue to conduct tea servings of the nine plants of the charm. Through shared somatic experience, each serving is a new encounter with each plant wherein their unique properties are explored through careful observation.  Each iteration revives the poem as a living text, invoking our bodies as instruments for heightened and intelligent sensory engagement. As the project continues its research and exploration, the meaning and significance of the charm reveals itself to a new generation of participants.  


Most of the nine plants are common weeds that grow all over the world, both crossing international boundaries and adapting into region specific varieties.  Likewise, the collective is also constantly adapting to site-specific conditions, creating inter-connected leylines between communities and international cities.  Collaboration is at the core of our process and with every project we work together and with local multi-disciplinary artists to create scenarios wherein participants co-collaborate on transient shared experiences.  

Communication with the plants is done through listening to ones own senses in unision, the visual does not have a hierarchical higher place in the experience, but is equal to taste, sound, smell, and the signals and sensations of the body as you allow the plant to be assimilated into you and heard through your own senses. It is a deeply subjective experience, while at the same time something that trancends your individual condition, connecting you to a human experience. The nine plants can be thought of as living texts or words we can pick up to read with our senses, as physical poetry. The recital of a learned charm it is both familiar and new everytime we allow our attention and body to merge with the plant and weave our worlds together.


ecklaca@gmail.com
saewon.oh@gmail.com
hannah.mjolsnes@gmail.com




Exhibitions




2019 Silent Noon (Cow Parsley), Brattørkaia, Trondheim, Norway
- in collaboration with Amalia Fonfara -

2017 Leylines (Mugwort), Galleri Kronborg, Bergen, Norway
& Nine Herbs Charm Garden, Los Angeles, CA, US
- in collaboration with Petra Dahlström -

2017 Nine Tea Servings (Mugwort, Plantain, Wood Betony, Chamomile, Watercress, Nettle, Apple, Fennel, Chervil), Louise Dany, Oslo, Norway
- in collaboration with Miriam Hansen -



Commissioned Servings



2020 Midwinter darkness (Mugwort), Symposium of Spiritual Technologies within Creative Practices, Invisible Drum, Rosendal Teater, Trondheim


2019 Plumeria, Paroxysm of Sublime (Plumeria), LACE Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US
- in collaboration with David Horvitz -

2019 A recipe for tea (Ice plant), Current LA, Los Angeles, CA, US
- curated by Human Resources LA -

2019 The little people of the garden (Dandelion), The University of Bergen Botanical Garden, Milde, Norway
- in collaboration with Haruka Fukao, Amalia Fonfara and Ina Devik -

2019 The road through (Plantain, Self-heal, St. Johns Wort) Hvitsten Salong, Hvitsten Akershus, Norway

2018 Conversations with Chervil (Chervil), Kunsthallen offline: Body vs. Tech, Kunsthall Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway
- in collaboration with Amalia Fonfara -

2018 Bamboo meditation (Bamboo) , The House of Dust, The Schindler House,
Los Angeles, CA, US
- in collaboration with Slow Reading Club -

2018 Edelråte (Plantain, Nettle, Mugwort, Apple), Grand Complications
Gamle Rommen Skole, Oslo, Norway
- in collaboration with Andrea Bakketun -

2018 Eden (Mugwort), Coast Contemporary at Rake, Trondheim, Norway

2018  Histories; real and imagined (Fennel, Plantain), Commonwealth & Council,
Los Angeles, CA, US
(in response to “hatefull to the stomach, harmefull to the braine” by Patrick Staff)

2017 Plant Ceremony for an Herbal Antidote (Wood Betony), Poetic Research Bureau, Los Angeles, CA, US
- in collaboration with Amanda Ackerman & Harold Abramowitz -

2017 Wood Betony (Wood Betony), SCIVIAS, Tegnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway
- in collaboration with Petrine Vinje and Cat Lauigan -


  Nine Herbs Charm Garden  



2018 Diaspora (Wood Betony, Chamomile, Mugwort), Nine Herbs Charm Garden,
Los Angeles, CA
(for GYOPO)

2016 Voldemort on Lunesta (Mugwort), Nine Herbs Charm Garden, Los Angeles, CA
- in collaboration with Puppies Puppies -



Lectures



2017 Nine Herbs Charm Artist Talk, Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA


Artist in Residence




2017 Louise Dany, Oslo, Norway


Grants




2019 Project support, Arts Council Norway

2017 OCA 02 International Support



 Contact


ecklaca@gmail.com
saewon.oh@gmail.com
hannah.mjolsnes@gmail.com