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The Biennale is open to the public 11 May–24 Nov., closed Mons. except 13 May, 2 Sept, 18 Nov. The main international exhibition and most of the 91 national participations take place in the Giardini and Arsenale, open 11am-6pm. 21 official collatoral events and many dozens of other exhibitions and events take place in museums, foundations, art spaces and galleries, but these may have different opening times and not all continue until 24 Nov.

The International Art Exhibition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery. Its title ' May You Live In Interesting Times' is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; exactly like the ones we live in today.

The official Venice Biennale website gives most important details, but the Lightbox organisation publishes a more comprehensive guide, and you can explore these using their new App 'My Art Guide Venice'. The British Council produces a map of UK exhibitions on their website.

Countdown to the Biennale
The Press Days of the Biennale itself are 8-10 May but here are details of 4 unofficial UK events and exhibitions in which we have been involved which will take place in this pre-Biennale week. 
OUT OF ICE: Elizabeth Ogilvie, Ca' Foscari University of Venice
You are welcome to attend a screening and forum on Tues 7 May 4-7pm
Elizabeth Ogilvie is an environmental artist  based in Scotland. She works with a fusion of art, architecture and science, using water and ice as her main media and research focus to produce vast experiential environments dedicated to water in various states.

The new 180-page publication and the 84-minute film, 'Out of Ice' document her ongoing project in North West Greenland, her major show in P3 London and previous projects. Out of Ice, Black Dog Publishing, London. OUT OF ICE Elizabeth Ogilvie | a Rob Page film
This free event is presented in association with the Global Network of Water and will be held in the Ca' Dolfin hall. see details of invited speakers here.

The artist filming at the edge of the Greenland icecap.
LOST FOR WORDS: John & Astrid Furnival, Archivio Emily Harvey
You are welcome to attend the private view on Thurs 9 May 11am-7pm
John Furnival – a contemporary of David Hockney at the Royal College - is a pioneer of 'maximalist' Visual Poetry who has often worked cooperatively with his textile artist wife, Astrid, as well as other artists such as Ian Hamilton Finlay. Now in his Eighties, he has had significant associations with Italy, including artist-in-residence on two occasions at the Emily Harvey Foundation. He has also worked with members of the Fluxus group and a solo exhibition of his work was shown at the Villa Fraccaroli in Verona in 2000.
Supported by Arts Council England through the Lottery. Archivio Emily Harvey, San Polo 387 (end of the arcade, on West side of Rialto) Open until 23 June, Wed-Sun 3-7pm.

Top tip. There is a wonderful fruit, vegetable and fish market close by.
ALIVE in the UNIVERSE, Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Cannaregio
You are welcome to attend the press viewings 8-10 May 12 noon
Over 28 days, 28 international 'Big Bang' artists, so called for the universal impact of their work, explore 28 themes which express how it feels to be alive in the universe through video, performance and installation, plus over 200 one minute art-films from around the world. Curated by Caroline Wiseman and David Baldry. 'Art is a powerful way of expressing our unique creativity, giving each of us a voice, and bonding us as one human race'. Caroline Wiseman. 3764 Calle de la Racheta. 8 May-4 June. Open daily 10am-6pm, free.

360 panoramic view of the Palazzo Pesaro Papafava photo credit Lol Sargent.

Top tip. Take a short cut across Canale della Misericordia, on to Fondamenta della Misericordia where at no.2497 you will find Vino Vero, a favourite canal-side bar selling organic wines and great cicchetti.
LIFE OF WATER, Palazzo Pesaro Papafeva, Cannaregio 10 May
You are welcome to attend the day-long event 1-8pm
LIFE OF WATER is a one-day encounter – part of 'Alive in the Universe' (see above) -  in honour of of water and the City of Venice, curated by Miche Fabre Lewin and Flora Gathorne-Hardy of touchstones arts and ecology practice. 3764 Calle de la Racheta. Free, everyone welcome!
1-6pm. Performative encounter with water with bespoke Venetian glass vessels, film, sound with opportunity for participation.
6-8pm. Convivial gathering dedicated to natural, artisan and ecological ways of caring for water. Contributions from Venetian mosaic and glass-makers, agroecological food growers, biodynamic wine-makers, artist-activists, water scientists and curators.

Top tip. One of touchstones contributors is the i&s Farm which grows vegetables organically on Sant'Erasmo, (far right) Venice's second largest island. You can visit on water bus no.13 from Fondamenta Nuove, but they also have a shop in the heart of Venice at Cannaregio 3818, off Strada Nuova. On the way to Sant'Erasmo, you can stop off at Murano (middle top) and visit the YALI glassworks, another of touchstones contributors.
Please join us in supporting 'We are here Venice' a non-profit association that addresses Venice’s challenges as a living city. You can see their posters along Viale Garibaldi outside of the Serra dei Giardini

Four other highly recommended exhibitions in Venice
Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land 11, Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Castello

Joan Jonas’s exhibition is the inaugural public project at TBA21-Academy's 'Ocean Space' in the Church of San Lorenzo. The installation is the culmination of three years of intensive research in aquariums around the world as well as in the waters off the coast of Jamaica. It comprises new video, sculpture, drawing, and sound works, as well as a performance centering on the role the oceans have played for cultures throughout history as a totemic, spiritual, and ecological touchstone. Until 29 Sept, Tues-Sun 11am-7pm. Free

© Photo Enrico Fiorese, TBA21-Academy

Science Gallery Venice: Talk and Exhibitions, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

The Science Gallery's new building on the Zattere will not open until 2021 but, in the meantime, you are invited to attend some of their forthcoming events at the different University sites:
Portraits of New Media: Historical Exemplars. Talk by Danielle Siembieda, Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Thurs 9 May 11am. Ca’ Foscari - Ca’ Bottacin, room A
Karin Andersen. Artist show within CYFEST-12. 10 May - 28 Jun. Ca’ Foscari Zattere CFZ - Cultural Flow Zone. Opening 10 May 6pm. 
Mental Recycling. Exhibition by the Movimento Arte Etica collective 17 May - 24 Nov. Ca’ Foscari Economic Campus - San Giobbe. Opening 17 May 10am

Emma Critchley is the artist in residence in Science Gallery for the Earth, Water, Sky Project supported by Primat Foundation. She’ll start working with the Ice Memory scientists of Ca’ Foscari in June.

Time, Forward! V-A-C Foundation, Zattere, Dorsoduro

This Project comprises a series of 13 new commissions which seek to question the notion and function of time and how it relates to new forms of consciousness, action and sight in the twenty-first century. The title is also an ironic take on the revolutionary 20th century concept and Soviet slogan. While its original use proposes an optimistic and progressive view of acceleration, the exhibition takes a more critical position towards the celebration of velocity and compression of time in the digital age. 11 May-20 Oct. Thurs-Tues 11am-7pm. Free

ISLAND ARK: Marcus Lutyens, Alberta Pane Gallery, Dorsoduro

Island Ark is a project that seeks to remediate the loss of habitability due to sea level rise, happening to entire island nations across the world. It proposes elevated island structures to take the place of atolls and islands as they become partially or completely lost under the waves. The exhibition includes video, ceramic works, drawings, an audio induction, inductive portals and a maquette that could be used as a kit to help island nations decide which activities to include in their own platform. Calle dei Guardiani 2403/H, Dorsoduro. 9 May-14 Sept. Tues-Sat 11am-7pm
Meanwhile, back in the UK

Nick Reeves Award for Arts and the Environment - nominations
We are open to receive nominations for this year's award, made by the Arts and Environment Network of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) in association with CCANW. The award is made in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the field of environmental arts in the UK and globally. Deadline 26 July. Details.

News from our partner at Dartington Hall, Devon
If you are still considering joining us for Evolving the Forest (June 19-21) - or if you have tried, and encountered a ’sold out’ message - we have been able to release around 20 additional places and are once again taking bookings. However, act fast if you want to get a place.
There are also places still available for our other June events. These are ’Negotiating the Surrender’(June 6 and 7) with Dougald Hine with a focus on re-envisioning our response to climate change; Swimming: labour of imagination (June 9-14) focusing on creativity, art-making and swimming; and Branching Out: collaborative ways to work with trees with Camilla Nelson and Alex Metcalf. Find all details at
Support CCANW & become a Member today
Neither CCANW nor its partner at Dartington currently receive any public funding. You can show your support for us by joining our membership scheme. In addition to discounts on sales, services, conferences and courses, you can post information about your work and activities on the website. Both organisations also offer mentoring.

Water Rising: Making art in storm and calm, King's Lynn

GroundWork Gallery features the work of 8 artists who are thinking creatively about direct encounters with water, about its dangers and about its beauty and power.

'Water Rising' will culminate in a conference on 17 May at Thoresby College which will include leading architects, engineers and artists whose work is focussed on water. Clive Adams will speak on the Global Network of Water Museums.

Tickets £26.50 including lunch. Exhibition until 1 June, closed Sun and Mon.
Conference of the Global Network of Water Museums, Valencia - Final Call
The third International Conference of UNESCO's Global Network of Water Museums will be held in Valencia 12-15 June and includes a number of interactive seminars and field trips. Clive Adams of CCANW will be lecturing at the polytechnic university on 10 June and  leading a session on artist residencies 'Art, Water, Museums: Engaging the Audience' at the conference on 13 June. Download the programme and register now. New deadline for early registration 7 May.

Tales of the Forest, Bristol
How can storytelling, art and collaboration form the path to a more sustainable and inclusive future? Ecological art project featuring workshops in care homes, an art exhibition and a community picnic held at the Create Centre. The exhibition will showcase the work of emerging artists, inspired by trees, woodlands and forests. Create Centre. Bristol 6-27 June open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 8 June 10am-4pm, Saturday 15 closed.
Tales of the Forest live: Sat. 22 June, 11am-4pm - community picnic and day of events: performances, talks and food. You are warmly welcome to the private view on 6 June 7-9.30pm.
Altered Ocean: Mandy Barker at Royal Photographic Society, Bristol
Mandy Barker is a photographer who has long addressed plastic pollution in our oceans. Her exhibition will be shown at the RPS's new building in Bristol.  Until 23 June, Thur – Sun, standard admission £7, concessions £5. 

Is This Planet Earth? Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
What if life on earth has become just a memory? What if these artists' re-creations of nature are now the only way of experiencing it? This exhibition is presented as an offering to aliens who visit us in the future. Instead of seeing nature in reality, this is what they encounter. Curated by CCANW Associate, Angela Kingston. 4 May-28 July.

David Nash: Sculpture Through the Seasons, Cardiff
Major exhibition of one of Britain's leading artists accompanied by a new publication to mark 50 years living and working at Capel Rhiw, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Clive Adams curated one of David's first exhibitions 'Loosely Held Grain' at Arnolfini in 1976. National Museum of Wales, 3 May-1 Sept.

Forest of Imagination, Bath
Forest of Imagination will transform areas around the Holburne Museum and Sydney Gardens into wondrous sensory installations and architectural artworks, with creative activities for all ages. Free, everyone welcome 20-24 June.

Changing Everything Carefully. Eco-poetics course, W.Sussex
Eco-poetics is a poetry that aspires to be conscious of what we are doing when we describe, record, interact with or take from what we call 'nature'. Led by Kay Syrad and Clare Whistler. Knepp Wildland. Dial Post, W.Sussex. 1 June-3 July.

City Fellows, Bristol – artist call out
Creating projects born from Bristol, bringing together artists, thinkers and doers to reimagine the city. Organised by Arnolfini. Open for artist applications, deadline 26 May.

Material Flow: Wool and Water Festival, Stroud – artist call out
Curator Patricia Brien is inviting applications from artists towards an exhibition at the Museum in the Park, Stroud 31 Aug-22 Sept. Applications should respond to the cultural, natural or industrial backgrounds associated with the historically-produced Stroud woollen cloth. Details here, deadline 30 June.

Julie's Bicycle: Three new positions and interactive webinar
Julie's Bicycle are looking to fill three new positions. They would love to hear from talented people who believe in the power of art and culture to drive leadership on climate change. Visit their website for details. See also their free interactive webinar on Improving Biodiversity: Opportunities for Cultural Heritage Venues and Sites.
The latest issue of Interalia, an online magazine dedicated to the interactions between the arts, sciences and consciousness, includes interviews with Florian Coulmas and Jonathan O Chimakonam; articles by Elaine Whittaker, Adrian Holme, Matthew MacKisack, Giuliana Mazzoni, Caitlin Curtis and M M Owen.
81 Letters to Nature by John Newling: new book by Beam Editions
In 2018 artist John Newling spent 81 consecutive days writing letters to Nature. The letters take you on a journey through the history of agriculture, economics, religion and capitalism to the present day. Newling describes the values that have underpinned human endeavour and shaped our world.This book is a call to action for a new state of mind for the future, rooted in balance and respect.

Other news from Stroud

Polly Higgins
We were sad to hear of the recent passing of Polly Higgins, the Stroud based author, barrister and international ecocide law advocate. She presented her proposal for ecocide to be recognised as an international crime to the United Nations Law Commission, describing it as 'one simple law to protect the Earth'. Polly was also author of Eradicating Ecocide and created the first non-commercial trust fund for Earth Protectors. Everyone can sign up as an Earth Protector

SITE Festival, Stroud 3-19 May
SITSelect Art Trail, Stroud 8-26 May
Hawkwood's Seed Festival, Stroud 19-21 July

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