Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Reviewer needed: Apples & Other Languages by Camilla Nelson

April 8, 2017

apples1

We have received a copy of Apples and Other Languages by Camilla Nelson  (published by KFS) and we’re looking for a reviewer.  Please contact Chris Fremantle with examples of your reviewing and a brief bio.  We’d appreciate expressions of interest by 17 April.

Reviewer Needed: Exchange by Chris Drury and Kay Syrad

April 29, 2016

We’re looking for someone to review Exchange by Chris Drury and Kay Syrad.
From Chris Drury’s website, “Exchange was produced in collaboration with Kay Syrad and was commissioned by Cape Farewell to look at sustainable ways of living and farming in relation to three farms in Sydling St Nicholas and Godmanston, West Dorset. The two farms in Sydling St Nicholas were Huish sheep farm and Dollens organic dairy farm. The other organic dairy farm was Manor Farm which is the other side of the downland watershed in Godmanston.”
Contact chris @ fremantle . org. Let us know what relevant expertise and experience you have. We are interested in this project both because of the collaboration between a visual artist and a poet and because of its duration and locality.

Call for Works: Tagore

February 24, 2016

THE SOIL IN return for her service
keeps the tree tied to her,
the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.

Fireflies, Rabindranath Tagore

Liz Adamson asked us to share that Professor Bashabi Fraser and Christine Kupfer are launching a new online journal called Gitanjali and Beyond, as part of their work at the Scottish  Centre of Tagore Studies.

Gitanjali and Beyond is a peer-reviewed open-access international journal, promoting creative writing and research on Rabindranath Tagore’s work and life, his circle and his impact. Tagore won the Noble Prize in literature (1913)

Call for artworks

We are looking for short articles with photos/ videos of artworks (painting, sculpture, photography, installation, performance art, new media etc.) for our new open-access online journal Gitanjali and Beyond, which publishes peer-reviewed academic articles, creative writing and art. Our upcoming issue is “Expression and relevance of Rabindranath Tagore’s spirituality in the arts, education and politics.” The artwork submissions do not have to directly relate to Tagore but should relate to aspects of his thinking related to this topic.

Rabindranath Tagore’s spiritual ideas are this-worldly and at the same time based on the belief in a deeper reality. His ideas were inspired by Hindu scriptures such as the Upanishads, Vaisnava, Baul, Buddhist and Persian traditions, the reformist involvement of his family in the Brahmo Samaj, and his encounters with ideas and people from around the world. At the same time, he creatively selected and reframed these ideas on the basis of his own revelations. Spirituality, for Tagore, touches every aspect of life and leads humanity to fullness and joy by connecting them with other people, with nature, and with spirituality. This connection is established through love, action and knowledge. Tagore’s spirituality has many social and political facets, as it encourages active involvement to make the world a better place by developing internationalism/cosmopolitanism, tolerance, and social engagement.

It is relevant for ecology as it embraces the connection and care for nature. He expressed all these ideas through his poetry and prose, through his educational and social endeavours, and through his art. Tagore’s ideas have been described as an artists’ religion, as they encourage creative interactions with the world.

Further inspiration can be found in his essays (e.g., https://fortunedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sadhana-by-tagore.pdf) and in his poetry  (http://www.tagoreweb.in/StaticTOC/AlphabeticEnglishVersesIndex.aspx?ct=Verses).

Decisions on publications will be made by the Art Editorial Board of Gitanjali and Beyond, based on the quality of the work.

Please send your submissions to c.kupfer@napier.ac.uk until 17 April 2016.

ebban an’ flowan: a poetic primer for marine renewable energy

October 29, 2015

Alec Finlay recently announced the publication of ebban an’ flowan: a poetic primer on marine renewable energy.  More information below:

ebban an’ flowan
a primer for marine renewable energy

ebban an flowan sea structure
Alec Finlay and Laura Watts, with Alistair Peebles
pb, 56 pages, morning star, 2015; edition of 500 copies

Ebban an’ flowan is the world’s first poetic primer on marine renewable energy. The book focuses on the Orkney islands, as the leading international test site for this nascent energy industry, and expands to reflect on its relationship with the Nordic countries across the sea.

Through both language and technology, the book explores how use is inflected with locality. A number of tide and wave energy devices are illustrated, some in dock, others in the sea, along with an anthology of their characterful names–mixing humour with invocations of classical myth and metamorphosis.

Ebban an’ flowan explores the technical and mythic vocabulary which is evolving alongside marine energy devices. The book offers a unique, creative perspective on this social and technical world by gathering together maritime dialect expressions from across the Norse languages, connecting the older lore of the sea with the new lore of ocean energy generation. An innovative range of poems, maxims, and dictionaries connect tide and wave engineers with the older wisdom of mariners, fisherfolk, and mythic selkies or tangies, to suggest how a language of marine energy may, in some imagined future, grow from words, lodged in collective memory.

Languages also have their tides: the energy of speech, as its sound rises and lulls, is always ebban an’ flowan.

The project is inspired by ongoing social research in collaboration with people and places around marine energy in Orkney, conducted as part of the Alien Energy project at the IT University of Copenhagen.
ebban an flowan image

Laura Watts
writer, poet, ethnographer of futures, and Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen; a writer who brings together the academic and poetic to imagine the future otherwise.

Alec Finlay
poet and artist; he has produced art and writing on all forms of renewable energy since 2005.

Alistair Peebles
artist and writer; the book includes his photographs of installations on Orkney, and a text work.

Price
10.00 GBP
13.00 EUR

ISBN: 978-1904477150

To get your copy please email info@alecfinlay.com, visit amazon.co.uk, or visit the bookshop at alecfinlay.com

Read more on Alec’s blog.

Environmental Art Festival Scotland 2015: what is art and ecology?

August 27, 2015
EAFS.  Photo Colin Tennant

EAFS. Photo Colin Tennant

The creative team at EAFS needed help this year and ecoartscotland provided some editorial support for the newspaper and an essay on art and ecology as voluntary contributions.  EAFS is an incredibly important development in Scotland (as was the UNFIX festival this year, also delivered by voluntary effort).  The essay below attempts to highlight some of the different ways of working that characterise ‘art and ecology’ practices.

Art and Ecology or “the context is half the work”

By Chris Fremantle with input from Ann T Rosenthal.

Landscape painting represents or idealizes ‘nature,’ usually by depicting wide vistas, such as seascapes, forests, and countrysides. Sometimes it also brings attention to the human impact on the land, such as wilderness vs. settlement. Given the environmental challenges we face today, however, environmental art goes beyond representation or even witnessing changes in the land to effect social change through raising awareness and/or actually restoring damaged landscapes. Some of the ways environmental art differs from more traditional art forms, like landscape painting, are discussed below.

Considering art made or in progress by artists who work with environments or ecosystems, there are a few key things to consider, such as whether the project is reflective, awareness-raising or interventionist. You’ll find various things called ecoartxxx but, unlike Young British Artists, such as Damien Hirst, this isn’t about individualism or celebrities.

So, what are some of the things that might characterise artists working with ecologies?

Context – this might be ‘place’ or ‘issue’, though in the interesting projects these are deeply bound together. The issue might be the deep experience of a place and its effect on a person. Personally I find Hamish Fulton’s piece NO TALKING: seven days walking in the Cairngorms (1988) to be a very personal provocation – could I not talk for seven days? The issue might be storm surges and their impact on coastlines. Eve Mosher was featured in The New Yorker because she had marked a high water line on parts of New York (2007). When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012 the debris marked the same line. Everyone was amazed that an artist had predicted the impact of an extreme weather event. The context might be a remnant of the ancient Caledonian Forest. The Collins and Goto Studio have been working in the Blackwood of Rannoch (2012-ongoing) to imagine a future of eco-cultural well-being where the forest’s beauty and biodiversity become an icon for a different Scottish landscape.

Interdisciplinarity is often another central characteristic. Artists are using methods and processes that are selected based on the idea/issue/context rather than the skill they were taught at art school. Don’t get me wrong, if you ask the right questions you’ll find that what the artists learnt at art school is still fundamental to their practice. But whether in deep durational collaborations or in short interactions, artists working with environments and ecologies learn and use the knowledge and practices of natural and social sciences, read and seek to influence policy, work in teams and maintain relationships. The quality of interdisciplinarity is perhaps in the seemlessness of what results, such as with Cinema Sark in EAFS 2013 where Pete Smith, Professor of Soil and Plant Science, and John Wallace, film-maker, explored the ecosystem of the river Sark in a work that was at once excellent science and compelling film.

Education and volunteering is a common characteristic of those projects focused on awareness-raising and intervention. It is important to understand that this aspect of practice is not separate from the process of making the art, not ‘outreach’ once the art has been made – rather it must be understood to be intrinsic.

Novelty is less important than sharing. Iterating and the commons are recurrent themes. All of the characteristics noted above (context/issue, interdisciplinarity and education and volunteering) militate against that particular art world requirement for constant newness. In the art world too often the focus is on new things, whereas ecoart is more often about new understandings and revealing experiences of the world around us (and our place or impact within it). More specifically documentation of environmental and ecological projects often takes the form of action guides, sets of instructions, or toolkits. We can recognise the aesthetic of artists, but when groups in Miami (2013) and Bristol (2014) did versions of Eve Mosher’s High Water Line, it wasn’t a breach of copyright – in fact she celebrates it. They used the Action Guide produced by Mosher working with ecoartspace.

Leaving the world a better place than you found it might be an overarching concern. This is more radical that it might sound when you consider that the archetype of the ‘reckless, hedonistic and art for arts sake artist’ has been pervasive for the last century anyway. John Thackara suggested that we live between on the one hand the despair at the scale of the crisis and the complexity of the challenges, and on the other hand the hope in the multitude of examples of grassroots activism, but he also commented that ‘don’t be evil’ is not enough. We have to act in ways to leave things better than we find them as we move through the world.

Caledonian Everyday Discussions – Glossaries

May 13, 2015
Edvard Munch, The Yellow Log, 1912

Edvard Munch, The Yellow Log, 1912,

A panel of Foresters (2pm Saturday 16 May, Summerhall, Edinburgh), perhaps a Glossary might be in order (thanks to Robert Macfarlane and his new book Landmarks for the idea and the resources).

Forestry Commission Research Glossary. (Page to a letter, i.e. not particularly good for browsing).

Royal Forestry Society Glossary. (Some terms and some links – full glossary available to members, but one also finds a link to an article on Forestry and Painting by Andy Moffat arguing that specific paintings of forests contribute to foresters’ understanding).

Forests and Chases in England and Wales, c. 1000 to c. 1850; A Glossary of Terms and Definitions. (Obviously it’s England and Wales not Scotland, but an interesting historical resource).


%d bloggers like this: