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Joss Allen

Joss Allen

Contact details

Email: Joss dot Allen at warwick dot ac dot uk

Instagram: @gardening_otherwise

Current PhD student


Joss Allen can be found in the garden, amongst the weeds and compost heaps. He is an artworker and amateur gardener interested in how art influences ecological ways of being and practices of care towards more-than-human worlds. Joss's work has been influenced by his time as a support worker for adults with autism, a labourer on an organic farm and a refuse collector, among others. Between 2017 and 2020, they were the project coordinator for the Town is the Garden, a three-year creative community food-growing project run by Deveron Projects (Scotland). Recently, he was co-artistic director of ATLAS Arts (Scotland) with Yvonne Billimore.


Dr Nerea Calvillo (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies)
Dr María Puig de la Bellacasa (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies)

Research overview

Seeding care-ful economies: the seed library as a site for transforming more than human economic relations. How care performed in seed libraries reconfigures economy and ecology through the relational practices of seed saving and maintenance of a material library of seeds. Investigating the role of care in disrupting hegemonic understandings of “the economy” through seed libraries; analysing the role of creative practices and curation in how this care is conceptualised and performed.

Research interests

Plant-human relations, ecological thinking and practices, food growing and foodways, political ecology, commons, alternative/community economies, anticapitalist politics, feminist theory, creative practices and research.

Selected employment

Co-Artistic Director / Alternative Economies Manager (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022). ATLAS Arts, Scotland. With Yvonne Billimore.

Project Manager / Green Coordinator (2015–20). Deveron Projects, Scotland.

Projects, exhibitions, performances

A library of seeds (2021-22), m-cult, Helsinki. Investigation into seed saving practices as part of m-cult's long-term project Central Park Archives

Ballad of the Lost Utopian Meadow (2021), various locations, Finland. Storytelling as part of the live performance of the Ballad of the Lost Utopian Meadow, part of the exhibition Time Machines and Utopia.

A Rye Story (2021), ATLAS Arts, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Storytelling and discussion on seed-human relations, care, domestication and non-human agency. Part of ATLAS’s programme Seed Stewardship.

Town is the Garden (2017–2020), Deveron Projects, Huntly, Scotland. A three-year community food growing project, of sorts.

With the North Sea (2020), Peacock and the Worm, Abderdeen, Scotland. A series of events, workshops, and screenings exploring “what does it mean to think with the north sea?”

Publications and conference papers

Gatt, C. et al. (forthcoming) ‘Are Anthropologists Makers? Towards regenerative scholarship and pluriversities’, in Caroline Gatt & Jan Peter Laurens Loovers (eds.) Beyond Perception: Correspondences with the work of Tim Ingold. New York: Routledge.

Neimanis, A. et al. (2022) Feeling Worlds. Making Publics Press Issues 3. Joss Allen & Yvonne Billimore (eds.). Portree: ATLAS Arts. [online]. Available from:

Gordon, C. et al. (2022) Food Economies. Making Publics Press Issues 2. Joss Allen & Yvonne Billimore (eds.). Portree: ATLAS Arts. [online]. Available from:

Allen, J., Gatt, C. et al (2022) Town is the Garden Chapbooks. Joss Allen & Caroline Gatt (eds.). Bristol: Intellect.

Gatt, Caroline, and Joss Allen. (2019) "Sketches for Regenerative Scholarship." Correspondences, Fieldsights, January 30.

Peer Education, Teaching and Conferences

"Story seeds the garden" lecture (2023). MA Art and Social Practice, University of Highlands and Island.

"Seed Stories, Fugitive Ecologies" (2022). Glasgow Seed Library, CCA, Glasgow. Chair.

"Seeding economies of care: exploring seed-human relations towards developing caring communities for radical change" (2021). Eighth International Degrowth Conference, The Hague, Netherlands. Panel discussion with Katie Dow (University of Cambridge), Laura Pottinger (University of Manchester) and Ainslie Roddick (ATLAS Arts). Co-convened with Dr Rowan Lear (Glasgow Seed Library).

“The garden as a site of resistance and resilience” lecture and plant storying workshop (2020 and 2021). Environment Now: Healing Practices & Resilience Strategies. Visual Cultures, Curating & Contemporary Art Aalto University, Helsinki.

"Performance, Culture and Nutrition" (2019 and 2020) with Yvonne Billimore and Caroline Gatt. Masters of Gastronomy: Culture, Ecology and Education University of Gastronomic Sciences, Bra, Italy.

Architecture and Collective Life (2019). Architectural Humanities Research Association conference, University of Dundee. A roundtable organised by anthropologist Jo Vergunst (University of Aberdeen) on the ecological legacy of Patrick Geddes.

Funding and awards

Leverhulme Trust -TRANSFORM Doctoral Scholarship

Committee memberships and non-academic roles

Peak Cymru, board of directors.