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"That was incredible! You truly created verbal herbal magic!"
Claire after 'Atropa Nights' performance
Amanda takes people into the stories she tells and brings other worlds, redolent with layers of history into people's lives.
Immersion into one of Amanda's stories involves all the senses and often reveals facts which are often threatening to drift from the everyday consciousness. Each session is a magical experience and often stays in participants memories for years.
Her work weaves together plants, herbs and flowers with traditional tales, facts and her own stories.
Amanda creates an enchanted world to take people into, one that is frequently funny and full of unexpected twists.
Her work illustrates and is inspired by oral traditions, history, food, smells, places, objects and the audience themselves.
Working with people in museums , botanical gardens, libraries, wherever they are, Amanda's work opens up different possibilities and can enhance a range of events and projects.
"Thank you Amanda, for the huge amount of thinking that went into creating such a rich experience.
It was everything and more than we had hoped for, in terms of travellers' tales, applied history, creativity, and imagination with a constructive project to take away"
Dr Anna Groundwater, History, University of Edinburgh on 'Traveller's Tales and Tales for Travellers' a collaboration between schools and Edinburgh University.
As I build up a picture in my audience’s heads it opens up a door into this world of enchantment, built half of reality and history, half magical garden brought to life.
It feels like I’m stood at the edge of our senses….and I can see beyond the periphery and reach in
Imagine we are stood together outside an old stone wall, crumbling and encrusted with ferns……half hidden by ivy is a gnarled oak door with vast iron handle and black keyhole.
Storytelling sessions feel like I have the key and can open that door…some people can see roses clambering rich scarlet velvet roses, clambering over statues, branches of trees hide the view, we can see there are extraordinary things within but we can’t reach them or walk through.
But I can stand in the doorway and reach in and share the stories that the plants are whispering
The art work I create or participants create as part of my sessions adds dimension to the story…taking elements of the tale and bringing it to life. Ancient remedies and tastes of herbal potions help the stories to become real, sensory elements offering you a little hint of something magical taken from inside the story.
As I share a story I start to reveal layers of the place I can see…it builds and grows inside your head…and when the story ends a little bit of that magic stays with you, adding colour and dimension to the world beyond the story revealing things you’ve barely noticed before.
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Once upon a time a long, long time ago...
Amanda was brought up telling stories; her mother is a professional storyteller, her dad was a toymaker, her granddad a sculptor who told her stories and pieces of history as she watched him carve in his studio, Amanda first learnt about plants and recipes from her gran who still remembered traditional remedies and folklore.
So after studying law and then herbal medicine, Amanda found it natural to start bringing together stories, plants, and magical places, drawing on the Scottish storytelling tradition, but in her own unique way.
She has been showcasing her own work for the past 10 years, performing and creating art in museums, libraries, forests, castles, restaurants, and theatres around the world.
'A dyed in the wool storyteller', former student of herbal medicine: Amanda Edmiston, comes from a long line of storytellers, writers and artists.
To be honest I've always been fascinated by plants and the stories around them, I love how they reveal the way we connect to each other and our natural environment through their use.
I love to weave together facts, folklore, traditional tales, history and herbal remedies using traditional storytelling techniques, which I then combine in sessions and workshops creating a rich multi-sensory tapestry which audiences have described as being like ‘an enchanting and dynamic glimpse into a magical garden’.
If you fancy finding out about my storytelling travels, what I'm currently up to, discover a plant story or two and where I'll be working next then do hop over to facebook, where I add photo journals and forthcoming events. HERE