Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

LAGI Glasgow exhibition at Edinburgh College of Art

September 9, 2017

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Land Art Generator Glasgow exhibition
Tent: Art, Space and Nature, Edinburgh College of Art
8-21 September 2017

The award winning Land Art Generator Glasgow project, developed in collaboration with ecoartscotland, explores creative approaches to using renewable energy in urban contexts as part of place-making approaches to regeneration.

The Land Art Generator Glasgow project focused on the Dundas Hill regeneration site just North of Glasgow City Centre. The project has been develop in partnership with Scottish Canals, BIGG Regeneration and Glasgow City Council.

The exhibition includes the designs by teams led by landscape and architectural practices in Glasgow including ERZ, ZM Architecture and Stallan Brand, and also highlights examples from the Land Art Generator Initiative Open Competitions.

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) brings together artists, architects, scientists, landscape architects, engineers, and others in a first of its kind collaboration. The goal of the Land Art Generator Initiative is to stimulate the design and construction of public art installations that uniquely combine aesthetics with utility-scale clean energy generation.

As we aggressively implement strategies towards 100% carbon-free energy and witness a greater proliferation of renewable energy infrastructures in our cities and landscapes, we have an opportunity to proactively address the aesthetic influence of these new machines through the lenses of planning, urban design, community benefit, and creative placemaking.

ecoartscotland and the Land Art Generator Initiative were awarded the 2016 Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Management (CIWEM) Arts, Water and Environment Award. The Nick Reeves AWEinspiring Award is presented annually by CIWEM’s Arts and the Environment Network in association with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW). The award celebrates projects or practitioners who have contributed innovatively to CIWEM’s vision of “putting creativity at the heart of environmental policy and action”.

Dave Pritchard, Chair of CIWEM’s Arts and Environment Network, said: “The quality of nominations for this year’s Award was wonderful. LAGI and ecoartscotland’s work is a superb example of our belief that arts-based approaches offer massive potential for more intelligent ways of responding to environmental challenges”.

The Land Art Generator Initiative’s programme includes in addition to the Glasgow project, a programme of Open Competitions, the next of which will be focused on Melbourne, Australia, in 2018.

There will be a discussion event at MFA Art, Space and Nature 3pm on 21 September. The event will be an opportunity to discuss the role of renewable energy in urban environments, as well as the opportunities presented by the Land Art Generator 2018 Open Competition in Melbourne. Allison Palenske, Alumni and member of the Art, Space and Nature based team that was a featured finalist in the 2014 Copenhagen Open Competition, will discuss making a successful Competition entry.

Please RSVP here 

For further information please contact Chris Fremantle on 07714 203016

Publication from the Land Art Generator Glasgow exhibition at The Lighthouse, Glasgow, 9 June – 29 July 2016

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Newton Harrison at Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire (rescheduled)

August 16, 2017

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

Jonathan Baxter: Murmur – Artists Reflect on Climate Change

August 4, 2017
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

Call for Artists: WetlandLIFE

June 7, 2017
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Fenlake Meadows. Photo: Tim Acott

The WetlandLIFE Research Team are looking for artists whose work can contribute to our knowledge and appreciation of wetlands and mosquitoes. By this we mean artworks, in any medium, that seek to influence our awareness, understanding, attitudes, emotions, values or behaviour towards them, and the ecological and social interactions that have brought them into being. This might be done by communicating the findings of researchers about wetlands and mosquitoes to new audiences, challenging how we think about them, or changing how we feel about them – perhaps helping us connect with them in new ways.

This is an exciting opportunity for artists to work alongside local communities and a diverse team of environmental researchers to show how art can influence how we value nature and ecosystem services. The focus of work will be on the Somerset Levels, Humber Levels and Thames Estuary, although reference will also be made to a broad range of inland and marine wetlands across England to capture the diversity of these places.

We are offering three bursaries of £5,000 each (total of £15,000). Artists can apply for the total amount – and create work that relates to the project’s three case study sites or to wetlands in general – or for one bursary worth £5000 – perhaps focusing specifically on one of the sites. We welcome applications from consortiums of artists working together to address all three sites. The bursaries cover the artist(s) fees, accommodation and travel, and all costs associated with the production and display of the artworks.

Artworks by the successful artist/s will be included in a final touring exhibition, planned in early/mid 2019, which will visit each of the three case study sites.

The full brief is available on the WetlandLIFE website.

WetlandLIFE is one of the projects funded through the multi-Research Council Valuing Nature Programme.

The Same Hillside

May 25, 2017

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It was a seemingly unlikely pair forming the panel after the Crypic Nights premier of The Same Hillside at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow. The one who looked like a farmer (checked shirt and flat cap) was the documentary film-maker John Wallace, the other (long hair and beard a t-shirt with a ‘pirate’ skull and crossbones) was soil scientist and a co-author of International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports Professor Pete Smith.* This art science collaboration has been going on for some years now and The Same Hillside is the third piece of work to result from this ongoing partnership. It’s interesting because there are several other on-going relationships between artists and natural and social scientists in Scotland at the moment, many focused upon land use, social impact and critical environmental change.

The Same Hillside is an immersive installation with projections on three screens as well as the floor, and a sound installation in the foyer. If I tell you it is an exploration of the landscape through the lens of Ecosystems Services (this is an extension of ideas about nature as capital, something with social and economic value) you might think it belongs on the Open University YouTube channel rather than in an arts centre. You couldn’t be more wrong.

John Wallace described his interest as a documentary film-maker in finding structures or lenses external to himself to use in constructing his work. These ‘constraints’ are devices John Wallace uses to clarify his current inquiry and focus upon what interests him. It forces him to follow other lines and explore subjects he might not otherwise take up on his own. Hearing Pete Smith talking about Ecosystem Services Assessment (a method of assessing the services that aspects of an ecosystem provides to human society) and the aspects of land-use that this reveals, John Wallace saw potential for a way to explore and make strange again a landscape with which he was deeply familiar. This was a chance to see with fresh eyes.

It isn’t common knowledge, but three major Scottish rivers flow from one hillside in the South of Scotland to opposite sides of the country: the Annan into the Solway Firth, the Clyde through Glasgow into the Firth of Clyde, and the Tweed into the North Sea. With this in mind, Pete Smith and John Wallace defined a 20 mile radius ‘study area,’ that worked from the common ground at the top of these three watersheds. The questions they wanted to explore revolve around the ways that these networks of land and water delight and serve human communities.

Wallace set out to explore different aspects of these ecosystems in relation to the ‘services’ provided to human society. Ecosystems provide natural products and raw materials such as food, wood and water, when intact and healthy they regulate flooding process, turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, they support us by recycling nutrients and enabling pollination. The Cryptic Nights information sheet notes,

“The area is home to five drinking water reservoirs, over 300MW of installed wind capacity, the West Coast Main Line, 400kV power transmission lines, the M74 motorway, thousands of acres of commercial forestry, hill farms, salmon redds, blanket bogs, and rare and delicate subalpine habitats.”

Ecosystems also provide aesthetic, biodiversity and spiritual services, a set of cultural interrelationships that have proven more difficult on to which to put economic value.

As a documentary film-maker John Wallace sought out the human stories which reveal deep and complicated relationships, a lifetime of meaning. Whether that’s the train driver talking about the impact of one 40-car supermarket haul and how many trucks that takes off the road, or the modern Saw Mill that uses the waste material to generate energy. John Wallace’s style is not interrogative or even prodding. So it is interesting when climate change keeps coming up in different narratives. It’s clearly an essential part of the reality for a wide range of people living, working and managing transport in the Scottish landscape.

Whilst ‘place’ as a vital facet of identity has been a signal thread in Scottish art-making for at least a generation, it usually focuses on a recognisable place. The Same Hillside focuses on a part of the country that supports a lot of other ‘places’, the towns and cities downstream. It embeds a bioregional or watershed-based approach: Dumfries, Glasgow, Berwick and all the other settlements on the Annan, Clyde and Tweed are all dependent on the health and viability of this upland territory.

John Wallace’s interviews with people living and working in this place focus upon the production and transmission of energy; the transportation routes; the scale of commercial forestry and the range of resulting products, the value of the peatland in sequestering carbon, as well as a means of provisioning game for hunting sport. The last scenes follow a group exploring the Spring at Hartfell as a specific example of the cultural and spiritual dimension of the landscape.

Underlying John Wallace’s sensitive handling of people and landscapes are the sorts of data sets that Pete Smith works with. Where the films on the screens take our conscious attention with stories, the data projected on the floor is telling another story, of car and truck movements on the M74, of rainfall, of the monitoring of land-use.

What is apparent watching The Same Hillside is that some bad decisions have been made in this landscape in the past – planting commercial forestry on the best farmland and draining the peat for grazing are two striking examples. After hearing about healthy watersheds with forest cover it was curious to look at images in the closing minutes. The last shot features long views from the hilltop down through the valley where there is hardly a tree to be seen. Here, water is sacred and aesthetics is provided by nature. Nature necessitates a healthy highland and stream corridor with plants and trees to regulate flow and temperature allowing for best conditions for all living things. Is the spirit in place, without its animating forces?

The Same Hillside (and the earlier works Cinema Sark and Sark-Tweed) don’t fit into existing categories of documentary film or installation art. They draw on languages of place and site-specificity, but also, albeit quietly, of everyday activism. They speak to the Anthropocene, that humans are affecting everything, without ever mentioning the term. The sawmill using its own waste product to generate energy is a form of attention to process, which goes beyond everything being focused by ‘the product’.

We need more productive partnerships between people like Professor Pete Smith and John Wallace – processes that extend beyond a project into a long term dialogue, interactions between those who work with data and inform policy, and those who work with sound, image, form and narrative. These connections with the artists and film-makers draw the sciences into the everyday of a critically positioned arts practice. Working across disciplines can challenge assumptions and lead to the emergence of new forms.

With thanks to Tim Collins for his comments and suggestions.

* The partnership between Wallace and Smith started during Do Not Resuscitate a series of events organised by Mike Bonaventura, then CEO of the Critchon Carbon Centre. Do Not Resuscitate brought together artists and scientists, drawing on the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programmes. The first piece of work resulting from this collaboration was Cinema Sark (2013), presented as part of the Environmental Art Festival Scotland, and focusing on the River Sark which is the boundary between Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbria, between Scotland and England. Wallace and Smith’s partnership isn’t the only significant outcome of Do Not Resuscitate – it contributed to the shape of the Environmental Art Festival Scotland and led to a residency programme Nil by Mouth.

The Harrison Studio at Woodend Barn

May 19, 2017

ecoartscotland is thrilled to be able to share the news that The Harrison Studio will be working in Scotland with Woodend Barn. Apologies for cross-posting.


Barn Harrisons image

Invitation

The Dee and Don catchment areas
Creating Resilience to Climate Change

The Barn, Sunday 11 June 2017
7-9pm. Refreshments from 6.30pm

We are delighted to invite you to an evening of discussion in the company of internationally acclaimed artist Newton Harrison of the Harrison Studio (USA), who, along with partner Helen Mayer Harrison, has championed art & ecology across the globe since the late 1960’s.

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The Barn has invited Newton Harrison to visit Aberdeenshire to open a conversation leading to action, 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


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