Studies in Photography is delighted to announce the new journal Leaves, produced in collaboration with the Astley Ainslie Community Trust.
‘By leaves we live’ – Patrick Geddes
Leaves looks at issues of nature, health, wellbeing and creativity from different perspectives – such as science, medicine, poetry, and photography. Working with experts in these fields, Leaves offers a fascinating and diverse approach to a wide subject. Featuring contributions from over 20 individuals (including writers, photographers, scientists, and curators), Leaves is both verbally and visually rich, containing thought-provoking articles, evocative poems, and stunning images of the natural world.
The journal aims to link specific local and human concerns in the city of Edinburgh to the wide worlds of nature and ecology. Amongst the articles featured are meditations on the history and significance of the Astley Ainslie site – past and present – as well as explorations of the deep-rooted connection(s) between human life and the natural world.
The Astley Ainslie Hospital
Leaves was prompted by the decision of NHS Scotland to sell the land of the Astley Ainslie Hospital, in the south of Edinburgh. We wish to celebrate the magnificent gift of the hospital to the nation by a local philanthropist, David Ainslie, in memory of his adopted son, who died young.
The site has a connection to health going back to Edinburgh’s plague hospital placed there in the 16th century. The area was named Canaan after the Bible lands, flowing with milk and honey. In the 19th century, critical figures, like Professor James Syme, set up their houses in wonderful gardens and brought in rare plants from all over the world, including the magnificent trees still flourishing in the grounds.
In the 20th century, the Astley Ainslie Institution was instrumental in eradicating tuberculosis (then rife in Scotland) and it was responsible for developing occupational therapy to assist in patients’ recovery. But their principal tool in restoring people to health was the green landscape. The NHS took over mid-century and has seen the recovery of thousands of patients.
The site is a part of the green corridor stretching though the city into the hills. The trees – 2,000 at the official count published by the city in the year 2000 – and the surrounding landscape support a good range of life, from badgers and sparrowhawks to tiny insects. It is both an oasis and a green artery promoting life and health in a world filled with problems caused by stress and pollution.
Leaves is currently available to order on the Studies in Photography website. Copies are priced at £10 (exc. P&P) and will be mailed out when the journal officially launches in early August.
Please note: as we are a small organisation, reliant on volunteers, all items purchased from the website are collated, packaged, and shipped on Wednesdays (e.g. if you order on a Thursday, your purchase will not be posted out until the following week). Please bear with us and the postal service!