Update 2010: Unfortunately after the collapse of the 2009 UN Climate Change Summit and the cutbacks to the arts after the 2008 crash, the UK RSA Art & Ecology programme was discontinued. It wasa huge loss for those in Britain and Ireland just beginning to establish work in this area.

The retrospective Radical Nature exhibition was supported by the RSA Art & Ecology programme and hosted Prof TJ Demos' first writings on the topic in 2009. I spent two days at the exhibition as it was so rare to see such work on display at the time.

The retrospective Radical Nature exhibition was supported by the RSA Art & Ecology programme and hosted Prof TJ Demos’ first writings on the topic in 2009. I spent two days at the exhibition as it was so rare to see such work on display at the time.

The RSA ran the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre from 2005 to 2010 as a catalyst for the insights, imagination and inspirations of artists in response to the unprecedented environmental challenges of our time, with a focus on their human impact.

Developed in partnership with Arts Council England, the aim was to build an active hub, to widen and deepen the theoretical base, to increase activity and engagement by artists and ultimately to play an energetic part in affecting policy and provoking change. During that time Arts and Ecology worked to support, promote and debate artists’ responses to current environmental challenges.

This is the archive page about the project here


My post from 2008:

A big hooray for all those that have been wondering when attention on ecological problems like climate change would seriously be examined in the arts. The long established UK organisation, the Royal Society of Arts, has been making sterling efforts to both profile the few and encourage more arts practitioners to start looking at these issues and has launched its web and artists hubsite  today. For me, its also exciting to see they are embracing all the web 2.0 innovations they can, so I expect to shortly be able to connect and interact with other artists from around the world through their portal site.



In 2008, I suggested to RSA Art & Ecology worker Will Shaw that setting up a online network for creatives would help highlight and encourage peer-to-peer learning. The network became a great resource and means for me to share my work, even from a rural area in Ireland.


I can say I have benefitted in my own work by listing my endeavours on blogs and youtube etc. Its funny, perhaps its not having the time with the day job, but these days I’m more interested in connecting with my online audience than exhibiting in white gallery spaces.

In fact, when my work was picked up on youtube earlier this year, by two curators who’d seen my films on community forestry and who were organising the first youtube film festival in London, I afterwards plucked up the courage to knock on the RSA’s door as I very excited by their new publication in this area.

RSA Land Art book

Image of the RSA Land, Ecology Handbook, part of the 5 year UK RSA Art & Ecology programme, 2005-10.

Their excellent book overviewing artists working on art and ecology projects from all over the world I talked about earlier in the year on this blog. To recap, since 1999, when I was researching art & ecology projects for my college thesis, works in this area has been surprisingly amiss. In fact I had got used to bookshops and libraries having very few books on art and the environment, if you were lucky you’d see dusty 1970s books on ‘land art’, often depicting very destructive interventions into the environment like that awful but widely acclaimed ‘spiral jetty’. Where have artists heads been all that time?

Anyway, some of you might like to sign up for their enews, subscribe to their blog feeds etc, they are starting to post opportunities and projects for all arts practitioners working in this area.

Look at all of this below, you can imagine I’ll be in like flynn, if the day job spins (I’d also like to thank my NCAD Professor, John Turpin, who years ago had talked about the RSA, the lovely buildings house some great irish paintings by James Barry, but as luck would have it, I arrived on a day when they didn’t have tours)

The Hub

Connecting creativity to social change

If we’re going to move the arts’ response to climate change forward we need to create inclusive environments, to exchange ideas and  avoid duplicating our work unnecessarily. With that in mind, welcome to the RSA Arts and Ecology Centre Hub.

This is a place where artists, academics, campaigners and organisations working on responses to climate change can connect, share resources and information, and find new ways to work together.

Building a powerful network

We plan to adopt the best tools Web 2.0 has to offer to create a unique online network of artists and campaigners. The network’s strength relies on the people who join it. If you haven’t subscribed to our monthly newsletter, please do – put your email address in the box to the left of this page. If you haven’t taken a look or left your thoughts on the blog, please do.

If you’re an organisation working in the field of arts, science or ecology, and you want to have your information listed in The Hub, email here.

If you are running a course which you feel might be of interested to visitors to The Hub, email here.

Are you issuing a call for submissions for proposed artworks or for a conference?

Are you running an event which you think should be listed in the calendar?

If you’re an artist whose work responds to the envionment agenda and you want to have your information listed in The Hub, email here.

One thought on “Congratulations to RSA’s new art & ecology international site

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