UK Urban Ecology Forum



The Art of Nature - Beauty and Complexity

Bringing artists, environmentalists and community together to enable full participation

Complexity is the shortest route to a solution.

The Art of Nature aims to highlight one powerful road that artists, environmentalists and community can take by coming together to address environmental complexity through the arts.

The battle to protect the earth, our only home, can only be won with mass participation alongside sound science. In order to switch on the capacity of people to contribute fully to sustainable development, we need to move beyond simple messages to build layers and layers of understanding of complex environmental concepts. The unique quality of the arts is inspired understanding versus intellectual understanding. It takes a leap across the gap!

The 9 in-depth events across the UK will take on a simple format. We will introduce outstanding ecological arts projects addressing complexity alongside projects that give environmental, social and cultural contexts, followed by substantial time for discussion and working together. The presenters will be participants and the participants can be impromptu presenters. We aim for a legacy of dynamic forums working towards a future in which environmental complexity will be an on-going feature of community life. Join us!

Each event will have different key themes and will be very differently structured. However in principle we will include.

  • Demonstrate the power and significance of inspired understanding, using the arts to communicate complex environmental concepts and engage people
  • Bring in environmental, social, or cultural themes, demonstrating the layers of narrative relating to nature
  • Discussion/ An Open Space for presentations/meeting/working together

Participant preparation for working together
Open Space presentations - The events are about in depth conversations. You may propose to give short scheduled presentations or papers to share your work. We will also try to accommodate unplanned interventions.

Artists – Consider opportunities to expand the wider potential of your work in relation to nature. All forms of creative arts and interdisciplinary practice.

Environmentalists - Identify and name the complex environmental concepts that people need to grasp. Consider creating opportunities for artists to work with you to access the understanding needed. Name possible sites and scenarios.

Community representatives – Identify how environmental themes link into social, spiritual and cultural contexts to make meaning and generate motivation to act. Name possible sites and scenarios.

Other – otherwise we can go on with endless categories! The above are just to give a prompt to possibilities - no more than that. Anyone identifying with the aims of The Art of Nature is welcome to make their contribution.

All – Imagine new opportunities into reality, working towards partnerships that enable addressing environmental complexity to be an on-going feature of community life.

Planed Las Blue Planet: the Arts, Water Citizenship and Sustainability

12-13 May 2015
Various venues and sites including Treboth Botanic Gardens Bangor, the National Slate Museum Llanberis and Cae Mabon by Lake Padarn in beautiful Snowdonia.

Nearest railway station Bangor, North Wales. Detailed instructions on travel and accommodation on application.

Salt Water Day 12th May 2015 (Treborth Botanic Gardens - Bangor)

9.00 Registration and Coffee

9.45 Opening address by Shaun Russell with Nigel Brown.

10.15 Flow Continuity and Presence – Judy Ling Wong will talk about her drawings and poems and the influence of Chinese ways of seeing that embraces citizenship, followed by discussion to begin generating the 3 questions for the World Café session.

11.15 A walk to the Menai Straits with Nigel Brown and Twm Elias - the heritage, natural history and folklore dimension of the Straits.

13.15 Lunch and art displays by Josie Russell.

14.15 Alex Plows/Shelagh Hourahane on the Hydro Citizenship Project .

14.45 Water and Art World Café/3 questions.

15.45 Wrap up and reflections.

16.15 Arrangements/instructions for day two and Closing.

Fresh Water Day 13th May 2015 (Llyn Padarn/Cae Mabon)

9.45 Meet at Padarn Country Park Car Park at or near Slate Museum, Llanberis - Brief intro to the day from Ambra Burls and Eric Maddern.

10.00 Slate and the waterwheel, Dafydd Roberts, Slate Museum's director.

10.45 Tea/coffee from Museum café.

11.15 'Love our Lake' campaign, Dr Emma Edwards-Jones.

11.40 Walk along railway track to Afon Fachwen beach.

12.00 Twm Elias, 'Water-lore' at the beach.

12.30 Walk past ruined mill to Cae Mabon with exploration of art installations.

13.00 Lunch at Cae Mabon.

13.30 Introduction to Cae Mabon, Eric Maddern.

14.00 More from Emma, Twm, Jill, Dafydd and Eric (in small groups).

15.00 Creative response, poetic/musical/artistic, to river-lake-sea.

15.45 Sharing of responses.

16.00 Action plan/concluding address.

16.30 Walk back to Padarn Country Park car park OR arrange for mini-busses to pick people up and take them back to the car park via the Brynrefail end of the lake to see the view!

17.00 Finish.

Queries: a.burls@btopenworld.com

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