Green Tea

Residency Opp and Green Teas(e) Reflections – Creative Carbon Scotland

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Our friends and colleagues at Creative Carbon Scotland have a call out for artists to participate in a residency,

Mull is a multi-disciplinary weekend-long residency which explores the question, ‘What would it mean to be an artist working in a sustainable Scotland in 50 years’ time?’ through artistic practice and conversation. We’re looking for up to ten artists to apply their curiosity and unique skills to imagining what being an artist in a sustainable Scotland might look like in the future – what that would mean, how it would affect artistic content, what infrastructure it would require in order to function and how artists and the arts will have shaped a sustainable Scotland.  More info here.

They have also been running a programme of Green Tea(se) in Glasgow to build up the discussion about what a sustainable city and cultural sector might look like.  They’ve been blogging the outcomes of the events.  Green Teas(e) is part of a wider EU project called the Green Arts Lab Alliance. To find out more, click here.

If you want to contribute to imagining a more sustainable cultural sector, then come along and join the conversation. 

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Artists digging for victory part 2

This is from an article I have in this morning’s Observer magazine:

Flicking through a history of community gardening in America, Amy Franceschini discovered that between 1941 and 1943, 20 million Americans took part in the Victory Gardens programme, an initiative created to feed the nation during wartime.

“I was thinking, when have 20 million Americans ever participated on that scale besides sports – or shopping?” says Amy, nursing a cup of green tea in her studio, an expansive floor of a former warehouse. “And San Francisco was the most successful place for Victory Gardens. They took it on massively here.”

In a local newspaper she found a photo dated 18 April 1943. There, in front of the august neo-classical pillars and dome of the San Francisco City Hall, were row upon row of vegetables. “And I thought, ‘We have to have a garden in front of city hall again.’”[…]

“What artists do is seed things. They plant ideas,” says Michaela Crimmin, head of the RSA Arts and Ecology Centre. Which maybe explains why these cheap, relatively small-scale projects like Franceschini’s can have such an influence.

Harvesting food as art is growing in the UK, too. Patrick Brill – otherwise known as the artist Bob and Roberta Smith – currently features as one of the new generation of “Altermodern” artists at Tate Britain. In 2007, he created a work called The Really Super Market in Middlesbrough. Encouraging local gardeners, schoolchildren and farmers to grow vegetables, they turned the town centre into a giant farmer’s market for a day, an event that culminated in a community cook-in.

The idea took root. This summer, in east London’s Gunpowder Park, artists Amy Plant and Ella Gibbs are running a ramshackle Energy Café, using only renewable resources to cook organic food foraged locally, or supplied from within a six-mile radius.

Turner prize-winner Jeremy Deller initiated a 10-year project in Munster, in Germany, in 2007, giving all the gardeners on a community plot a large leather-bound diary in which to record their notes – whatever they wanted to write. In exchange for their participation, Deller handed each an envelope containing seeds of the dove tree. When planted, the trees should flower for the first time at around the point the project comes to fruition, at which time Deller will collect the diaries and put them in a library. “The gardens are a vernacular art work in their own right,” says Deller. “They’re homemade and made up as they go along. The people that tend them are thinking about colour and form.”

Meanwhile, for the past nine years, the artists Heather and Ivan Morison have been working on a garden and woodland in Wales – originally a community garden plot developed as a conscious echo of Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage in Dungeness. (Jarman, of course, was another artist who helped change the way we think about gardens.)

The rest is here.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology