AA2A Environmental Summer 2023


For Instagram 

'My work compels the viewer to physically slow down and invites them to experience ‘the land we stand on’ up close and in focus. It offers viewers time and space away from today’s unsustainable business as usual to encounter themselves, each other and nature together. '

 

From:

Environmental sustainability underpins my practice and process at every level, 2023

At the very heart of my work – underpinning my ideas and creative decision making is an ongoing desire to draw attention to the urgent need to change the way we live our lives – ‘business as usual’ (which continues to lead to rising levels of emissions) is not sustainable and the need for change is well documented. If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that the ties that connect us to the rest of our environment: to nature, other humans, other species and to the land and sea, are fragile – but crucial.

Transformation sits at the centre of my making. Delicate and fragile materials are used to build precarious structures and ‘on-the-point-of-collapse’ events and situations. An important feature of much of my work too is that all the elements used within the work ( including the site of the work and physical forces of nature such as the weather and gravity) have a role to play in the work’s existence. I want to create inclusivity, cooperation, accountability and mutuality. 

I think it is probably through my choice and use of materials and processes that most people would associate my work with sustainability. I prefer found, recycled and ephemeral materials with little or no perceived value, and I like to work with them by hand. I see this as a collaboration. Typically, these materials are unnoticed or unseen, but they often bring with them important qualities and messages about society’s values.

The issue of ‘Sustainability’ can also be seen in the content of my work. Lincolnshire’s coastal salt marshes, for example, play a significant role in protecting and sustaining our coastal environments and ecologies. But, in addition to this, they are highly effective at taking in and storing carbon dioxide: ’pound for pound’, these BLUE CARBON ecosystems can store up to 10x more carbon at a much faster rate than mature tropical forests. Ongoing loss of global wetlands is estimated at 1-2% /year and when an established wetlands habitat is damaged, the carbon it has held onto in its soils often for thousands of years, is emitted back into the atmosphere. Not everyone lives close to a wetland but everyone benefits from their superpowers.

One of the most powerful things I think that art gives us is the capacity to imagine other worlds and other ways of living. It can offer us a guide to how things could be or how to make a break with the inertia of business as usual. Art (and museums and galleries) help to make abstract threats and concepts like the climate crisis real: physical and tangible - they bring them into focus and up close and offer us the space and time to think, talk and understand. 

I want to make the links between the global climate crisis and our day-to-day experiences visible - in a way that is meaningful. This, in turn, I hope might create openings for new conversations and understanding about our relationship with the environment.  

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