I work at the intersection of the arts, health and ecology developing regenerative practises that explore collective care, co-liberation, play and flourishing in the face of climate breakdown.
as a human ecologist by training, i approach herbal medicine as form of applied human ecology – where plants and people work together to return the body to a state of health and balance. i believe in the power of plants to heal as working with their medicine is transforming my own lifelong struggles with anxiety + PTSD.
i am currently in my third year of professional training in medical herbalism with the plant medicine school + growing a british african herb garden – an afrofuturist apothecary. this is ancestral + future work, honouring the lineages of ben lewis my sierra leonean grandfather, a farmer who was the grandson of enslaved people + my mixed-race grandmother laureen sylvestre, a kitchen herbalist + artist who grew vegetables covertly on her housing estate in camden in the 1950s.
In 2009 I co-founded The Golden Company, an award-winning social enterprise that addressed wellbeing and structural inequalities around access to nature for people of colour through beekeeping. The work continues at St. Mary’s Secret Garden in Hackney whilst my own practise with bees has evolved into one of non-extraction, emphasising reciprocity and listening to the colony.
Through work at The Royal London Hospital and co-designing and facilitating workshops for the Music and Motherhood research project with Imperial and The Royal College of Music I have developed music for birth and bonding – a programme that harnesses the power of music to support families through the third and fourth trimesters, with a particular emphasis on maternal mental health and postnatal depression.
MUSIC AT HEART (2022)
A collaboration with Creative Futures and the perinatal mental health unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
MUSIC AT HEART (2019)
A long-term Creative Residency at The Royal London Hospital
MUSIC + MOTHERHOOD (2016)
“Singing help[s] mothers to overcome postnatal depression.”
SINGING FOR HEARING IMPAIRED CHILDREN (2015)
THE SONGWEAVER (2014)
BABY BIRD’S JOURNEY (2012)
“It was rather like a sigh, calming and relaxing. The atmosphere on the ward changed perceptively almost immediately…for many dads it gave them the chance to be able to cradle their baby for longer…lullaby sessions support the development of attachment between mum and her baby, as well as helping the whole family become closer.”
Christine Wood – Midwife, The Royal London Hospital
The Royal Society of Public Health awarded our Lullabies residency a Certificate of Commendation.
“The Committee were very impressed by the musical excellence and innovative character of this project and its significant and moving outcomes for all who took part. The public health implications of your work are clear and substantial. The Committee felt that your work deserves replication and objective scientific assessment, and it hopes that further work will be possible.”