In a small woodland, in the Sussex countryside, curious souls Andrew Groves and Emma Hughes seek to know more about their surroundings. Nature is the vehicle of their curiosity, their canvas for ideas and their inspiration for Miscellaneous Adventures – a project that promotes the co-existence of creativity with outdoor living and the production of handcrafted wooden objects.
At Millican, we are curious about our planet and the creative ways people are acting to inspire positive change. Miscellaneous Adventures look at the world with a certain curiosity that is found when you slow down and engage with your surroundings. They have found a connection between their creative output and a well balanced outdoor lifestyle, they actively encourage others to do the same.
More about the project:
Director | Shooter | Editor - Sim Warren | www.simwarren.com
Creative Director | Producer - Jeffrey Bowman
Executive Producer - Jorrit Jorritsma
Concept Development - Jeffrey Bowman & Sim Warren
Production Company - The Contrast Collective | www.thecontrastcollective.com
Production Coordinator | Assistant Producer - Mia Xerri
Thanks to Pete Shuttleworth at Hoi Polloi Media Music - musicbed.com
Shot on a Sony FS7
We’d been walking for four days. We walked through this kind of, you know it had been quite hard going terrain, it was just forever in front of you like it doesn’t really fit in your eyes, so you know it’s hard for your brain to process.
I don’t think nature’s ever made me cry, other than that one time. But, you know, it just can’t, you can’t fit it in your, in your brain. And once you’ve had something like that, it’s like, you know, you can’t really go back (laughs).
You’ve got to do something out there and whether that’s making a spoon or whether it’s going for a hike or whether it’s just taking a book and trying to learn about some of the species, which is, that’s what I’m doing at the moment, that’s how I feel like I’m looking at being better with nature, by learning about all the different things and what they are and what they’re called and how they interact with each other, particularly that sparked curiosity, so that’s why now I’m kind of on a mission to find out what it all is and what it all does and how it all works.
A lot of outdoor stuff is very goal orientated, so even if it’s hiking in the mountains it’s about getting to a certain point at a certain time or getting to the pub at the end of it, but without paying attention to all the little things you might see on the way. It’s forced us to pay more attention really just through spending more time in nature but doing things slowly.
When you start to study wildflowers you have to learn how a plant is formed, you have to learn the names of all the different parts of the plant so that you can identify it accurately. It’s not just about the big vistas and landscapes you see at the top of a mountain, it’s sort of just as interesting to look at how the leaves are arranged on the stalk of a little, tiny wildflower.
If you’re working with power tools, you can get a bit of wood to do almost whatever you want. But when you’re working with just really simple hand tools you have to learn how wood grain works and how it behaves, and you have to kind of learn how to predict what’s going to happen. Each piece is entirely different and then although it’s just an inanimate object it may have memories attached to it of places that, that people have been, so it becomes something sort of special to me.
I’ll spend a couple of hours outside just making one thing and then in that short space of time, nature kind of happens around you and you get to see things if you’re static in nature and notice that there’s just so much going on.
Cooking outside just takes you back to being more human, it’s a very simple and basic way to eat, but it’s much more delicious and much more exciting than eating inside. For us, if we cook outside we can be in the woods by a campfire, quietly sitting, waiting for something to cook and we’ll have a tawny owl fly past or we’ll have a deer, a heard of deer, run through and it’s because they don’t really care that you’re there, because we’re not really making much of an impact and we’re you know, we’re just there with them.
Every day I just want to find out more about how it works, and I want to know what it is I’m looking at. I want to know what’s going on out there.