There has been a lot of activity in the UK recently led by the RSA Arts & Ecology programme in trying to take a snapshot of all the arts and ecology activity happening in the UK in June ’09 – aptly named RESPOND! It’s one of their projects for United Nation’s Environmental Programme UNEP World Environment Day on June 5! (That’s local/EU election day here in Ireland! – the theme for 2009 iThe theme for WED 2009 is ‘Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change’. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.)

If anything its really heartening to see the variety of discussions, projects and interdisciplinary events been listed across the UK. For a long time I have felt isolated in my own practice as the very limited amount of such activites in art magazines and the general media (although a 2nd Art & Ecology MOOT seminar is happening here in Kilkenny this week, in my own workplace – you are all invited!!)

I also wonder if in time the Irish Science or other organisations such as Ireland’s alternative green education organisate will join links with the RSA? I was involved with Cultivate’s ’06 Emergence Art & Ecology exhibition and such a partnership could hardly be anything except positive in my view.

Here’s a taster of some of the UK events that are listed on the Respond blog!

This one below caught my eye, naturally, and I have already asked if they would like a contribution from Ireland, as so far Arts in Forestry is just looking at the UK only… grrrrr!!! However, I have already written and asked if I could gate-crash ;-D – It’s been organisedPaul Tabbush on behalf of the Forestry Commission, in partnership with the Royal Society for the Arts. Paul is an Independent Consultant who recently retired as Head of Social and Economic Research at Forest Research (the Research Agency of the Forestry Commission)

Arts in Forestry

10th June 2009


Taking ‘arts’ in the broadest sense to include all relevant media, the meeting will consider what art can do for forestry, and what forestry can do for artists, drawing on practical examples. The focus of this (first) meeting will be on England, although experience and issues relating to the other GB countries may be discussed. Depending on the outcome of the meeting, further discussions may be held in Scotland and Wales.

I attended this event and met with David Pritchard, Dr. David Haley and Dr. Tim Collins.

Poetry for adults/and children:

Ecopoetics on Haldon
Skylines festival
Haldon Forest Park

Ecopoetics is the study of the ways that creative writing can address ecological issues. Historically associated with Romantic and pastoral poetry, this investigation now extends further into new realms such as urban environments and digital technologies.

Featuring work by 15 poets, including Sean Bonney, Allen Fisher, Cynthia Hogue, Redell Olsen, Maggie O’Sullivan and Alice Oswald ( I just love Alice’s work ‘The Dart’ which includes all the voices, human and otherwise along the Dart river).

Skylines is curated by Devon-based poet, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett .
Ecopoetics: language & landscape

Download CCANW Spring Programme [PDF 548 KB]

The Poetry Society

The Ecopoetry Study Packs
Mario Petrucci

The Poetry Society has commissioned award-winning poet, ecologist and educator Mario Petrucci to develop environment-centred resource packs, designed for schools, young adults and poets.

These deal with oil use and other eco-issues, and are completely free. The theme is essentially mindfulness and responding, personally, to core eco-issues through thought, discussion, poetry and writing. The prospective audience is writers and teachers but it is particularly pertinent to students and the young (from schools up to postgraduate level):

Mario’s own website includes a variety of materials, including an analysis of environmental inaction, eco-science and creativity, and an award-winning eco-film: Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl, all available at:


And this is big general overview of all the big names from land art movement from the ’70s to now…

Radical Nature

Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969–2009

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.


19 June 2009 – 18 October 2009
Barbican Art Gallery
Radical Nature draws on ideas that have emerged out of Land Art, environmental activism, experimental architecture and utopianism. The exhibition is designed as one fantastical landscape, with each piece introducing into the gallery space a dramatic portion of nature. Work by pioneering figures such as the architectural collective Ant Farm and visionary architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, artists Joseph Beuys, Agnes Denes, Hans Haacke and Robert Smithson are shown alongside pieces by a younger generation of practitioners including Heather and Ivan Morison, R&Sie (n), Philippe Rahm and Simon Starling. Radical Nature also features specially commissioned and restaged historical installations, some of which are located in the outdoor spaces around the Barbican while a satellite project by the architectural collective EXYZT is situated off site.

A fully illustrated catalogue, with a foreword by environmental campaigner and writer Jonathon Porritt, accompanies the exhibition

Daily 11am–8pm

Wednesday 11am–6pm

Every Thursday LATE until 10pm

Posted using ShareThis

One thought on “RESPOND: Snap-shop of all Art & Ecology activities occurring in UK, June ’09

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.