Newton Harrison at Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire (rescheduled)

August 16, 2017 by

Barn Harrisons image

Invitation

The Dee and Don Catchment Area
Creating Resilience to Climate Change

The Barn, Saturday 26 August 2017
7-9pm. Refreshments from 6.30pm

We are pleased to confirm that Newton Harrison’s visit to Aberdeenshire has
now been fixed and we are delighted to invite you to an evening of discussion
in his company on 26th August.

Newton Harrison of the Harrison Studio (USA) is an internationally acclaimed artist, who, along with partner Helen Mayer Harrison, has championed art & ecology across the globe since the early 1960’s.

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The Barn has invited Newton to visit Aberdeenshire to open a conversation, involving local agencies and communities in exploring the impacts of climate change on our local environment, centering initially on the catchments of the Dee and Don rivers. Following the Harrisons’ methodology, we hope to create a space where all voices can be heard and practical strategies can be formulated and shared.

This partnership forms the core of the Barn’s Art & Ecology programme for 2017-19, and will engage with environmental agencies, farming, fishing, forestry, government, academia, local communities and, not least, the creative sector.

We very much hope that you would like to be involved in supporting this project from the outset, and are able to join us for this opening event with Newton Harrison at the Barn.

Lorraine Grant, Anne Douglas and Mark Hope

RSVP to mail@thebarnarts.co.uk tel 01330 826520

For further information on the Harrison Studio please visit
http://theharrisonstudio.net/

Banner image: Chris Fremantle. Photograph: Mel Shand

‘After Coal’ Screening and discussion

August 15, 2017 by

CCAFlyer2Sweb

Documentary exploring climate justice to screen at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow on 3 September 2017

What happens when fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive?

After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and south Wales. The hour long documentary will screen at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts at 3pm Sunday 3 September. Director Tom Hansell will attend a question and answer session after the screening.

The film features ex-miners using theater to rebuild community infrastructure, women transforming a former coal board office into an education hub, and young people striving to stay in their home communities. The stories of coalfield residents who must abandon traditional livelihoods bring viewers to the front lines of the transition away from fossil fuels. Music plays a major role in this documentary essay, linking the two regions and providing cultural continuity that sustains communities through rapid change.

Director Tom Hansell has made a career of documenting energy issues in the Appalachian coalfields of the United States. His previous films Coal Bucket Outlaw (2002) and The Electricity Fairy (2011) screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts is Glasgow’s hub for the arts. Their year-round programme includes cutting-edge exhibitions, film, music, literature, spoken word, festivals, Gaelic and performance. At the heart of all activities is the desire to work with artists, commission new projects and present them to the widest possible audience.

For more information, contact the CCA box office at  boxoffice@cca-glasgow.com, phone 0141 352 4900 or contact the filmmaker directly at thansell@gmail.com

To book tickets electronically, go to: http://cca-glasgow.com/programme/after-coal

Jonathan Baxter: Murmur – Artists Reflect on Climate Change

August 4, 2017 by
Sea Tangle - John McIntyre - by Sarah Gittins

Sea Tangle-John McIntyre – by Sarah Gittins

Sarah Gittins, Chloe Lewis, Ellis O’Connor, Meg Rodger and Saule Žuk

5th August – 16th September 2017
10am – 5pm, Free Entry
An Talla Solais, West Argyle Street, Ullapool, IV26 2UG

‘The word “urgency,” rather than crisis, is an energetic term for me. Urgency is energizing, but it’s not about apocalypse or crisis. It’s about inhabiting; it’s about cultivating response-ability.’
(Donna Haraway in conversation with Martha Kenney)

When thinking about this exhibition – the reality of climate change, the devastating impact it’s having and will continue to have on the ecosystems that we all, human and non-human, depend on – the word ‘urgency’ comes to mind. So why is this exhibition entitled Murmur – Artists Reflect on Climate Change? Shouldn’t these artists – like all of us – be shouting out a warning or taking direct action?

It’s tempting to think that action is what we need. (And, of course, we really do need action to address climate change.) But before we act we need to notice there’s a problem. And before we notice there’s a problem we need to notice the wonder: the abundant multiplicity of lifeforms and living systems that make up this teeming planet.

One way to take notice is through art. Both the making of art and the engagement with art. Indeed, as Anne Bogart has written, ‘the true function of art’ is ‘to awaken what is asleep’.

This chimes well with the artists who have made work for this exhibition. When asked what they hoped the exhibition might achieve – knowing full well that art is only one part of a multifaceted response to climate change – their individual answers, although nuanced, were of a piece.

In the interests of opening up the conversation I share some of their responses here (edited and in the order in which we exchanged them):

Saule:

I would like the exhibition to be a space to stop/slow down, to listen to ourselves deep inside and to listen to our environment, to feel what is truly important to us, to feel nature’s impact on us. The only way my work can create a feedback loop is through people, if it pokes or touches them in some meaningful way so they can carry on the ripples … For me, the process of making work for this exhibition does create ripples in my life, and I hope that the workshops and talks will do a similar thing for the audience.

Sarah:

I would like it if my experiences and explorations during my research residency were in some way shared by the viewers of ‘the book’. My conversations and encounters opened up some understanding of what it can mean to work for your livelihood on, in or with the sea. I began to understand how this work depends on a finely balanced ecosystem, how it is being and will be impacted by climate change and how changes in the marine environment set off a chain reaction that is so complex it cannot be fathomed completely, and this complexity is a source of wonder that inspires respect.

With Murmur as a whole I agree with Saule that the exhibition could be a space to slow down, listen deeply and consider. What I wouldn’t like is for the exhibition to temporarily awaken an awareness of climate change that is so gentle as to wash over a person and fade away again quickly. I would love it if it was strong and deeply affecting in a way that makes the questions alive and ignited for the long-haul. If the exhibition inspires deep engagement then that will be a success I think.

Ellis:

I would like people to be challenged by the idea of what they think environmental art should be. I want Murmur to be about communicating climate change through various mediums, creating a dialogue in which people can connect with and understand that there are many layers to the question of climate change and sometimes it’s not about the macro but the micro. The smaller details, the stories, the layers of evidence that are often overlooked are sometimes the most important part of creating a conversation and conveying the evidence of climate change.

Chloe:

I’d like people to make a connection with the natural wonderland, kind of like bridging the gap, reconnecting and reminding the viewer of natural beauty in a positive way. For the exhibition as a whole, I like the idea of people ‘slowing down’ and allowing them to be drawn into the work. But I also think the exhibition should be a place to inspire conversation and interaction between the viewers, to create a buzz of opinions and questions revolving around climate change. Art about climate change can often be negative and uninspiring, leaving people feeling helpless and unmotivated. I hope the exhibition, workshops and talks are going to make a fun and uplifting experience for everyone involved.

Meg:

My work is not political, it is not a call to protest. However, so much of contemporary life is caught up in work, sitting in cars or at desks, taken up with a digital lifestyle. I guess my work is simply a call for us to spend more time outdoors. To breathe the air, to sit quietly and listen, watch, smell and touch … to be. To look closely at small creeping insects and delicate fungi, to watch the clouds and predict the weather, to listen to bird call. By doing so we may start to be more appreciative of what we have around us, what it gives us and what we are set to lose through climate change. By caring more, maybe we can all make changes to how we lead our lives and collective change can make a difference.

It seems unnecessary to add further interpretation. The artists have stated their aims. The rest is an invitation: to slow down, sit quietly and listen, to watch, smell and touch, to ask questions and enter the conversation. Each work is a ripple to inspire further ripples, a murmur growing louder with each call and response.

Jonathan Baxter, Curator


Accompanying the exhibition are a series of workshops and related events. For full details see http://www.antallasolais.org/activities.

Meet the Artists – Family Open Day
5th August, 10am – 12.30pm

From Here to There – Community Print Workshop
led by Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins
15th – 18th & 21st – 24th August, 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 5pm
See the ATS website for timetable updates

Jewellery for Change Workshop
led by Chloe Lewis
12th August, 2 – 5pm

Creative Conversations #4
The Highland Youth Arts Hub in collaboration with An Talla Solais
18th August, 10am – 12pm

Ullapool Green Tease – To see, know, and act
presentations and conversation exploring creativity, climate change and community resilience
Creative Carbon Scotland in collaboration with An Talla Solais
19th August, 2 – 5pm

Deep Time Biodiversity Walk
led by Wayne Fitter (Scottish Natural Heritage) at Knockan Crag
25th August, 11am – 1pm

Deep Time Talk and Film Screening
talk by John McIntyre followed by Fabrizio Terranova’s film Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival
25th August, 7 – 10pm

Deep Time Drawing Workshop
led by Ellis O’Connor at Knockan Crag
26th August, 10am – 4pm

Adaptation Scotland :: Community Engagement Pioneer Project

July 21, 2017 by

Support and funding of up to £10,000 is offered for one Community Engagement Pioneer Project to be developed and run as part of the Adaptation Scotland programme between September 2017 – March 2018.

This opportunity is open to all organisations and community groups based in Scotland. This includes public, private and third sector organisations and community groups based around particular locations and/ or interests.

Read more here including Case Studies and Application Forms.

Bibliography on critical approaches to toxics and toxicity

July 10, 2017 by

Thanks to the excellent Discard Studies for this important bibliography

Discard Studies

GHS-pictogram-silhouette.svgCritical approaches are those that question premises, assumptions, and ways that things become normal or stable. Toxicity, toxins, and toxicants are areas of critical concern because controversies over what they mean, how they act, how they come into being and where, and what counts as evidence have high stake ramifications. Contrary to popular adage, the meanings and methods of toxicity weren’t decided by Paracelsus in the moment he declared, “the danger is in the dose.” Rather,as a description of chemical harm, toxicity is constantly being upset, resettled, and contested. These texts offer critical insights into these processes.

·       Aftalion, F. (2001). A history of the international chemical industry. Chemical Heritage Foundation.

·       Ah-King, M., & Hayward, E. (2013). Toxic sexes—Perverting pollution and queering hormone disruption. O-Zone: A Journal of Object Oriented Studies, 1.

·       Allen, B. L. (2003). Uneasy alchemy: citizens and experts in Louisiana’s chemical corridor disputes

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Climate Change’s Place in Literature

June 22, 2017 by

Interesting reflection on literature and climate change, and the challenges of writing

Artists & Climate Change

Climate change does not feature prominently in the landscape that comprises literary fiction. When the subject does appear, it is far more likely to be in nonfiction work. Sadly, the writers who write science fiction, the genre to which climate change has been relegated, are not taken seriously by the literary world. They will for instance rarely be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Global literature has shown that mainstream writers regularly respond to war and national emergencies of all kinds, but somehow climate change has so far proved resistant to their interest.

In the modern novel, it seems that subjects like climate change move to the background, while as what we experience in our everyday lives and relationships moves to the foreground. As Amitav Ghosh explains in his book The Great Derangement, the techniques that are identified with the contemporary novel exclude climate change, because its science and effects…

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