Arts Council England: Shaping the next ten years - have your final say!
Over many months, CCANW has been encouraging Arts Council England (ACE) to establish a funding priority within their new strategic policy for the years 2020-30 that will address the environmental crisis. We support the 'Culture Declares Emergency' movement launched in April.
In June, ACE published its latest draft strategy and for the first time we note an encouraging acknowledgement not mentioned in their previous discussion papers:'... overshadowing all of this [the challenges ahead], climate change and environmental degradation look certain to be the pre-eminent forces shaping our social, political and economic landscape up to 2030 and beyond'.
You can read an exchange of letters with the Chairman of ACE- the correspondence continues. You can show your support for our work by joining the joint CCANW/art.earth Membership Scheme. The following describes some of the new projects under development that your subscription will support.
Our work with Science Walden, South Korea
Dr Richard Povall and Prof Jaeweon Cho are co-editing a book exploring ‘Culture, community and climate’. It will comprise a number of conversations with a wide variety of practitioners who are working across disciplines, languages and cultures to create work exploring and illuminating climate change, the natural world, and how we live on the planet. If you are interested in participating please visit here.
Science Walden is at heart an engineering research centre with art and planetary well-being at its core. We would like to invite you to participate in an important Science Walden research project. The ‘Unist Game’ app is a way to share the virtual sharing currency invented at Science Walden that supports gifting and alternative approaches to energy.
We are also developing an art-science ‘hothouse’ residency opportunity for November. Please visit here for more information.
New Projects under development
CCANW's aim remains to encourage the arts to give us all a deeper understanding of our place within nature. Its work in the coming years will focus on current issues surrounding soils, water and plantlife, and involve new partnerships, collaboration and networking.
World Congress of Soil Science, Glasgow 2022
The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) will host the next World Congress of Soil Science, projected to attract 3000 delegates, at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, 31 July-5 August 2022.
In addition to scientific presentations, the intention is to develop an arts programme to accompany the congress, and to be delivered across Scotland in the preceding two months. BSSS and CCANW have put together a Panel which met together with several interested organisations for the first time in May. Among the options discussed were exhibitions, residencies, film screenings and performances, workshops, talks and field trips; a programme connecting artists, scientists and communities across Scotland. We are also discussing an artist residency exchange with the Emirates Soil Museum in Dubai.
Amy Sharrocks (Museum of Water) was amongst other members of the Global Network who signed its Charter in the presence of the Water Tribunal of Valencia. Photo: Giuseppe La Spada
CCANW has been involved in the establishment of the Network since its inaugural meeting in Venice in 2017. On this occasion, we organised a seminar which focused on the role of artist residencies to address water issues. The panel of speakers included curators and artists who had experience of residencies in Valencia, elsewhere in Spain and wider afield.
In addition to presenting as delegates, artists Betsy Damon (Keepers of the Waters), Amy Sharrocks (Museum of Water) and Clive Adams (CCANW) were invited to lecture at the nearby Polytechnic University of Valencia. You can see and hear their talks, and a transcript of Clive's talk. Since our visit to the Art and Environment Research Centre at the Polytechnic University, we hope to establish more collaboration with Professor José Albelda and the team coordinating the specialisation Diploma DESEEEA
A new network of Botanic Gardens: Padua-Edinburgh-Valencia
For several years, CCANW has also been looking at ways that botanic gardens can share their experiences of arts programming. In the past month, CCANW has brought together Emma Nicolson, the new Head of Exhibitions at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Barbara Baldan from the Botanic Garden of Padua, and also met with Olga Mayoral Garcia-Berlanga at the Botanic Garden, Valencia.
Emma Nicolson (left) meets with Barbara Baldan at ‘Goethe’s Palm’; planted in the Botanic Garden in Padua in 1585, it inspired the poet to write his ‘Essay on the Metamorphosis of Plants’. Photo: Clive Adams
We are keen to foster these relationships, identify other botanic gardens with an involvement in the arts, and encourage curators with an interest in plantlife to contact us.
News from our partner art.earth at Dartington Hall, Devon
art.earth recently published two books arising from our projects: In Other Tongues, from the 2017 symposium and The Ephemeral River from our CCANW/Science Walden residency held at Dartington in June 2018. Please visit the bookshop for more details.
In June we organised another international symposium at Dartington. Evolving the Forest was a collaboration with The Royal Forestry Society and Timber Strategies and was also part of our art-science research project with Science Walden. We brought together artists, foresters, scientists and biologists, philosophers and educators and people from many more backgrounds to explore how we love and live in the contemporary forest.
In June, a symposium and workshop 'An Uncertain Forecast: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene and Ecocide' was organised by the MA Curatorial Practice course and RCEH. Focused on the artistic and curatorial responses to the ecocidal Anthropocene and the approach to curatorial activism in terms of environmental and ecological art, it attracted around 90 participants, and included presentations by curator Sue Spaid and artist Mariele Neudecker. It is hoped that such symposia will become a regular feature of BSU's programme.
Several hundred of CCANW's books on art and ecology are in the process of being transferred to BSU's library and PhD student Patricia Brien has been funded to help catalogue the collection. Patricia is curator of the exhibition 'Wool and Water' (see Exhibitions below). BSU has also funded the placement of Olivia Thorne, a student of Media Communication, to develop a press and media database for us over the Summer.
Neither CCANW nor art.earth receive any public funding. You can show your support 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 art.earth website. Both organisations also offer mentoring.
Exhibitions, residencies, lectures, interviews, prizes, newsletters and magazines
Material Flow: part of the Wool and Water Festival, Stroud
International and UK-based cast of artists who have responded to Stroud’s history of scarlet cloth manufacture but have also drawn on broader interrelated themes including colonialism, ecosystems and place. Museum in the Park 31 Aug-22 Sept.
Fragile Nature: from control to freedom, King's Lynn
Features four women artists of different generations, all of whom are attempting the expression of original inter-relationships with nature; finding ways to represent the resourcefulness and power that challenges our views of nature’s fragility. GroundWork, King's Lynn until 16 Sept
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 of living and working in Blaenau Ffestiniog. National Museum of Wales until 1 Sept. Then at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne 28 Sept-2 Feb.
From climate change to food shortage and resource depletion, the exhibition brings together architects and artists who are proposing inventive ways in which to address the most pressing environmental issues of our times. Royal Academy of Arts 23 Nov-23 Feb.
Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, London
Some artworks introduce natural phenomena such as rainbows to the gallery space. Others use reflections and shadows to play with the way we perceive and interact with the world. Tate Modern until 5 Jan.
Under Water, Italy
Works of contemporary artists dialogue with those from the Museomontagna of Turin. The concept of 'under water' relates both to the scenario of rising sea levels caused by climate change and to water scarcity caused by over-exploitation of resources. Filatoio di Caraglio, Cuneo until 29 Sept. Co-curator Andrea Lerda is meeting with several CCANW UK associates at the end of August.
Beating Wings: Insects in Contemporary Art, Germany
Artists explore the relationship between humans and insects which has always been ambivalent. The pressing issue of their disappearance now recognises their importance for the earth’s fragile ecological balance and biodiversity. Museum Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg until 13 Oct.
The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100, Russia
Major exhibition that brings together past and new works by over 50 Russian and international artists. It takes a look at a future already in the making, when the environmental agenda will become one of the main political questions. Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow until 1 Dec.
Touring Exhibition Proposal. Aimee Lax: Radioactive Boglash
First shown at New Brewery Arts, Cirencester earlier this year, Aimee’s exhibition was inspired by a residency at Cove Park, located in picturesque landscape on the shores of Loch Long but in the vicinity of the UK’s store of nuclear warheads.
Unearthing Landscapessymposium, Farnham; explores how the arts can enable a deeper understanding, knowledge and connection to landscape. University for the Creative Arts. 10 Oct.
Symposium: Future Extinction? Knowledge, politics & imagination in the new climate movements. University of Sheffield, 18 September. Deadline for papers 2 September. Full detail about the event is available here.
Interview with Serpentine curator Lucia Pietroiusti. Kate Brown interviews Lucia Pietroiusti of General Ecology: 'the Serpentine is dedicating the entire programme in 2020 to ecological topics'. Artnet News 16 July.
COAL Art and Environment Prize. Artists are invited to apply for this year's COAL Prize whose theme is 'Climate, Disasters and Displacement'. Deadline 9 Sept.