Artists, Nature & Environment

RANE Symposium

Artists, Nature & Environment

University College Falmouth

Following the Artful Ecologies conference in July 2006 there was an eagerness of many of the delegates to reconvene and be involved in further discussion. To facilitate this, this one-day symposia will give artists the opportunity to speak about their practice and how it relates to the issues raised at the conference.

Symposium Programme:

Friday 17 November 2006

09.00 Arrival – tea & coffee
09.30 Janey Hunt
10.00 Andy Harper
10.30 Break – tea & coffee
11.00 Salma Nathoo
11.30 Elizabeth Jane Grose
12.00 Discussion
12.30 Lunch

14.00 Annie Lovejoy
14.30 Val Fellows
15.00 Break – tea & coffee
15.30 Jane Spray
16.00 Discussion

17.00 Close

Symposium Speakers:

Janey Hunt

In an art practice, which is an interwoven combination of research and artwork, Hunt encourages a public participation that seeks to enable an individual questioning of the values by which we live. Using video, installations, photography, presentations, lateral thinking techniques and artist publications, Hunt chooses the most appropriate tools to allow a direct communication with her audience. By creating an atmosphere that entices, she seeks to create a platform for the representation of ideas that invites/allows the audience to use its own imagination and physically explore or engage with the work. The context of that questioning is our continued environmental dichotomy.

This work is being carried out within the framework of a PhD undertaken through Dartington College of Art (2005-2008) entitled ‘Sustainable communities, fine art (socially engaged art practice) and behaviour change’.

Andy Harper

Andy Harper’s practice is engaged with the idea of evolution. Predominantly an exploration in mark-making, the paintings develop an ever widening vocabulary. Earlier paintings relied on the repetition of a single and simple brush stroke to yield a mono-cultural field of grass. Over the past three years this simple process has diversified. The marks and combinations of marks form into images of a much more fantastical terrain.

Increasingly informed by the cultural history of the plant world (such as Alien Vegetation and the APG system of plant classification) the paintings create a diverse array of topographies, with each manifestation depicting an un-nameable world separated from the here and now.

Andy will also be introducing a recent project for a residency programme based in St Just (Penwith). Sited in an old Chapel, the project will eventually provide two large open plan working areas and accommodation for up to 10 people at a time. Invited artists and other practitioners (such as scientists, ecologists, psychologists) will be brought together to discuss and work through common ideas and shared concerns.

Salma Nathoo

Salma Lilarasa Nathoo is an artist exploring relationship with nature. In the process of listening and sensing a place, awareness is brought to body-mind unfolding, revealing its true nature. This follows into site-specific performative practice, participatory events, installation and drawn and text ‘scores’, concerned with relational play between body moving and contextual environment.

The practices are intended to engage all involved in sensory experience, inviting a somatic and kinaesthetic engagement – our sense of body, movement, location. The invitation is a recovery of a non-dual understanding of the elements and our environment located in embodied experience.

Elizabeth Jane Grose

Elizabeth Jane Grose likes making things. She lives and works in a rural setting and has a deep interest in the sustainability of rural communities. In making work both through an ongoing studio-based practice, and for publicly sited commissions, the focus of her work is the interface between people and environment and the ways our perception of, and interaction with, nature can be expressed: how an artist can touch upon the deep connections between man and environment, and signify that corporeal and cognitive experience.

Elizabeth Jane likes learning, and takes great pleasure in the research phase of a project and has a central interest in work that formulates a physical and conceptual response to the interaction between people and environment.

Annie Lovejoy

Annie has been practicing for over 20 years and has worked in a variety of national and international contexts. Her work is informed by relationships and processes specific to particular situations.

Projects are developed through a distillation of qualities integral to a place or situation, and the sharing of insights & skills. Outcomes are developed as appropriate to circumstance and range across a wide spectrum of media and art/non-art forms.

Recent projects include ‘Marking the Transition’ 2005/6 – a series of collaborative works for a new build Primary Healthcare Centre in Bristol and construction of a website database (ACE funded) which aims to re-present the interconnectedness of hybrid & trans-disciplinary practice.

Val Fellows

Val Fellows’ describes her work as ‘non-invasive environmental art’ and refers to the temporal works that she creates as ‘environmental instances’. It may be regarded as Land Art or as an artist’s interventions in the landscape; but the aspect that Fellows feels important to emphasise is that of transience, and that no physical trace is left after an ‘event’ or ‘instance’. Traces remaining reside in the memories of the spectators effecting changes in their perception or in their relation to the environment. The nature of change as expressed in the transformation of elements has its parallel in the human psyche. The elements that effect change often also display a transitory quality, chiefly the ‘shape-shifters’ – water and fire. When using these elements to create an instance of art, Fellows aligns her practice to the essential nature of life itself, mirroring its constantly changing moments.

Fellows’ aim is to engage the audience in an experience of art that in its transformative process carries the viewer through a perceptual change or shift in consciousness. Not unlike a sensation of dis-location following a dream, yet a sense of re-location with the self in relation to the environment. The element of chance is manifest in the works as are the random effects of time, tides and passing wildlife. This allows further changes to occur, which become part of the process of the work. As an artist she finds following this process a useful experience that enriches future work.

Jane Spray

Jane Spray has a background in landscape design, ceramics and sculpture. For the last year she has been working as a community gardener in London, where, on occasions, she has been able to integrate art into the garden ecology. Before this, and before an MA in Art and Architecture, Spray made temporary and event based work as part of a residency for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. The residency was informed and influenced by joining in with nature conservation work as member of the Forest of Dean ‘Green Team’.

Spray’s work is often concerned with nature and growth, fertility, process, place and change. She is open to collaborative work, and has worked with a number of multi-disciplinary design teams as well as with other artists.

Spray also has an involvement with an old Cornish woodland garden, Enys, near Penryn, which after years of seclusion, is gradually being opened to the public.