Sustainability Art

Nordic art competition: Sustainable Consumption

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Nordic Ecolabelling launches a sustainability art competition — entitled ‘Nordic Art Insight’ — because they believe that artists are a key group in the process of changing attitudes. The main prize is 100,000 Swedish kroner.

nordic-art-insight_scrndmp1

‘Nordic Art Insight’ invites artists from the Nordic region to submit their artworks with the theme‘Sustainable Consumption’ before 31 May.

An expert jury will then select six finalist entries, which will be publicized on www.artnordic.org. From 1 July to 31 August 2013, a public voting opens and the artwork that receives the most votes will be the winner.

Why is Nordic Ecolabelling organizing Nordic Art Insight?
“Artists have throughout hundreds of years made society look with new perspectives on how we live our lives, and challenged us to open our eyes to new ideas. The environmental challenges that face us today are many. One of these is sustainable consumption, and how we can reach climate and environmental goals. Often it is a question of buying the right products, and doing it the right amount of times, or perhaps, not buying at all. The Nordic Ecolabelling Art prize, Nordic Art Insight, will inspire artists to submit entries that help us consumers raise our consciousness about how we can live a more sustainable life with a sustainable consumption,” explains Nordic Ecolabelling on the competition’s home page.

Who is behind this competition?
‘Nordic Art Insight’ is organised by Nordic Ecolabelling. Nordic Ecolabelling was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 1989. Each Nordic country has a secretariat that develops Nordic Ecolabelling criteria, licenses and markets the Nordic Ecolabel. In Sweden the secretariat is Ecolabelling Sweden.

Ecolabelling Sweden works on consignment of the Swedish government to administer and market the Nordic Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. The purpose is to work for a sustainable consumption and production. Both these Ecolabels have a life-cycle perspective, and today there are 8,500 Nordic Ecolabelled products and services in the Swedish market.

Read more about Nordic Ecolabelling on svanen.se

Challenging the artist

17 March 2013
Why is the Nordic Ecolabel challenging the art world? Interview with CEO Ragnar Unge at Ecolabelling Sweden, chairman of the jury.

For the first time ever in its over 20 year history, the Nordic Ecolabel initiates an art prize. Why?
– We believe that artwork can make a change in people’s mind and behaviour. Artists have always been engaged in debates. Look at Picasso’s famous painting ‘Guernica’ about the Spanish civil war. It made a great impact.

What is the theme of this competition?
– Sustainable consumption. We are looking for artwork that can make people react and give insights on how we can use our planet´s resources in a more sustainable way.

How do you explain sustainable consumption, is it just buying Ecolabelled products?
Yes of course you have to buy the right thing, such as Ecolabelled products and services. But it is also a matter of how many times you buy a product. If you throw out your Ecolabelled couch after two years, this is not a sustainable way of consuming

What is the most important thing in this competition, the artistic expression of sustainable consumption or how the artwork is made? Can the artist use whatever material even if it is not good for the environment?
– The artistic impression is the most important but of course it has to have a connection to sustainable consumption. We also consider what materials the artist is using. Where do the materials come from? What type of paints are used? How will it be possible to recycle? Re-use? Nordic Ecolabel has a lifecycle perspective, and we would like to see this applied in the art process.

So if an artist uses a piece of lead, will it be disqualifying?
It depends how the artwork is presented. If the artist can give a good reason for using this material, for example, as a statement to show how this material threatens our ecological system and is a hinder for sustainable consumption, we might consider it as an important part of what the artwork is trying to convey.
Submission deadline: 31 May 2013

• Competition guidelines

• Facebook page

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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New metaphors for sustainability: nine so far

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory
From the ‘iron curtain’ to the ‘glass ceiling’, metaphors are one of the most powerful ways in which we frame the way we think.

Yet one of the key concepts in environmentalism – sustainability – seems to be remarkably short of vivid metaphors.

So we asked some artists, writers, architects, cultural commentators, environmentalists, activists and scientists to come up with their own metaphors for sustainability.

We’ve published nine new metaphors so far. More to follow.

New metaphors for sustainability: mercury
New metaphors for sustainability: symbiosis
New metaphors for sustainability: “Come into my house” (DVD)
New metaphors for sustainability: ‘art & grace’
New metaphors for sustainability: my sweet pea
New metaphors for sustainability: water on a fire – helping turn the page – a child asleep – the family – failing better
New metaphors for sustainability: the shopping divider at the check-out
New metaphors for sustainability: the sailboat
New metaphors for sustainability: the act of breathing

Watch a film about four of the new metaphors.

Please suggest metaphors of your own. As @TheMuseDailytweeted yesterday, “The drive toward the formation of metaphor is the fundamental human drive. – Nietzsche”

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

New metaphors for sustainability: ‘art & grace’

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Continuing our series of New metaphors for sustainability, the ecological artist David Haley looks to the etymologies of two words.

art
The Sanskrit origin of the word ‘art’ is ‘rta‘. Originally appearing in the Rig Vedas, rta is still used in contemporary Hindi to mean the dynamic process by which the whole cosmos continues to be created, virtuously.

This noun/adjective also means the right-handedness, righteousness, and the right way of doing things. Here we find remnants of that meaning in modern English in terms like ‘the art of gardening’, ‘the art of football, ‘the art of archery’ and ‘the art of war’.

Rta conjugates into the verb ‘ritu‘ (ritual) that refers to the correct order or sequence of rta (i.e. the cyclical pattern of the seasons, or the progression from seed to leaf and root to tree to blossom to seed). ‘Art’ may have lost much of its etymological meaning, but maybe it retains the potential to re-emerge as a metaphor for sustainability, like a flower waiting for rain in some future desert?

grace
This metaphor comes from my work with the artists The Harrisons, and is taken from their work ‘The Lagoon Cycle‘: ‘As the waters rise gracefully, how will we withdraw with equal grace?’

The difference between the Environment Agency’s policy of ‘managed retreat’ in response to sea level rise and our proposals in the work ‘Greenhouse Britain: Losing Ground Gaining Wisdom‘ was the EA’s use of engineering and war metaphors to confront a problem, compared with an ethical and aesthetic repositioning of the situation.

‘Tide Turns, Waters Dance’ was one of my own ‘Writing on the Wall’ pieces, this one exhibited in Taiwan. The last of the 27 Haiku-style poems ended with the line, ‘water, time and grace’. When a Taiwanese professor quizzed me over the use of the word, ‘grace’ to end the work, I explained that a meaning of grace was ‘becomingness’. ‘Aha’, he replied, ‘so you hope to evolve beyond climate change?’

 

“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

The editors are Robert Butler and Wallace Heim. The associate editor is Kellie Gutman. The editorial adviser is Patricia Morison.

Robert Butler’s most recent publication is The Alchemist Exposed (Oberon 2006). From 1995-2000 he was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday. See www.robertbutler.info

Wallace Heim has written on social practice art and the work of PLATFORM, Basia Irland and Shelley Sacks. Her doctorate in philosophy investigated nature and performance. Her previous career was as a set designer for theatre and television/film.

Kellie Gutman worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for twenty years, producing video programmes and slide presentations for both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Award for Architecture.

Patricia Morison is an executive officer of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, a group of grant-making trusts of which the Ashden Trust is one.

Go to The Ashden Directory

Developing a sustainable approach to public art

JRdetail1 – artist Jane Revitt

The first ever set of FREE guidelines to help artists and commissioners embrace the sustainable as well as the artistic impact of their work has been launched by Chrysalis Arts http://www.chrysalisarts.org.uk, a public art, training and development agency based in rural North Yorkshire.

Public Art Sustainability Assessment (PASA for short) is a free interactive assessment tool available from http://www.pasaguidelines.org/ which aims to promote sustainable practice in public art to artists and commissioners and has been developed to assist Chrysalis Arts in the process of analysing and evaluating projects that they are involved in.

Kate Maddison, Director at Chrysalis Arts comments:”
“ When we set out to discover how to address sustainability within our public art practice, we were dismayed to find so little information to guide us. This prompted us to take the first step and start the process of establishing our own method of working sustainably. What we found interested us greatly because it threw the spot-light on issues that are relevant to others involved in commissioning and creating public art and beyond that to the way society values sustainability.”

“ Art has an ability to reflect and potentially influence our behaviour and public art is by its nature in the public eye. Chrysalis Arts believes it has a role to play in promoting responsible behaviour in this context. It soon became clear that we needed to disseminate this information widely, as the issues need to be dealt with by everyone involved in the process of planning, commissioning and implementing public art.”

The online interactive checklist is easy to use and covers the key issues which surround sustainable practice in public art. This checklist is supported by full guidelines and useful case studies.

To use the free PASA checklist and download the guidelines please visit and register at www.pasaguidelines.org. Registered users can answer questions about their art activity or project online and when the checklist is completed, they can download their answers as a pdf document.

PASA has been created for artists and creative practitioners as well as public art organisations, local authorities, developers, commissioners, funders, architects, landscape architects, engineers, contractors, communities, schools and anyone else who may be involved in the commissioning, development, creation, maintenance and decommissioning of public art at different scales and in different contexts.

Chrysalis Arts have developed  PASA in consultation with a wide range of partners – including artists and arts organisations, local authority officers, specialists from higher education establishments and environmental consultants Gaia Research, as well as looking to government sources and other creative practitioners such as architects for guidance on sustainable principles and practice.

“While artistic considerations should be foremost in creating public art, there is no reason why artists cannot embrace sustainable principles in the way in which they conceive and implement their ideas, as long as this is supported through the funding and commissioning process… “ Kate Maddison

Initial feedback gained from the launch of the Guidelines at “Art Ecology and Sustainable Practice” an event held Chrysalis Art’s base, The Art Depot, was very positive and include:

“Helpful to have these points presented in a useable form” Barbara Greene, artist

“(PASA) asks and answers a range of public art questions” Harry Hodgson, Hull School of Art and Design

“Very useful tool… would like to try putting it into practice” Adele Jackson, artist and project manager, Loca, Kirklees Council

Chrysalis Arts view PASA as very much the starting point in the debate around public art practice and sustainability, and hope that by throwing the debate open to others, the result in the long term will be a more sustainable way of working.

Community Mosaic, Lord Street, Southport - Chrysalis Arts Photo by Chrysalis Arts

Press contact

For more press information and images contact Jane Redfern PR tel 01845 526720 / 07724 131179 email pr@janeredfern.co.uk

to speak to Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts tel 01756 749222 / Mob 07976 731151   email  kate@artdepot.org.uk

Curzon Square Public Art - Chrysalis Arts - Ceramic Mosaic and Forged Stainless Steel Panels, artist and photo Kate Maddison

Editors notes

Chrysalis Arts is an artist-led public art company, training and arts development agency based in the North Yorkshire village of Gargrave. The company was founded in 1985 by Rick Faulkner and Kate Maddison.

Chrysalis Arts are keen to embrace the principles of sustainability in creating public artwork, promoting both responsible professional practice and conscientious use of materials and resources, in line with a fully developed environmental policy.

On October 2nd, Chrysalis Arts launched the PASA guidelines at the seminar event “Art Ecology and Sustainable Practice” which was held at the company’s base, The Art Depot, the subject of one of the PASA Case Studies, in Gargrave, North Yorkshire. The event was well attended by public art practitioners including artists, commissioners, local government officers, university lecturers and researchers.

“Thought provoking” Suzanne Dimmock, Lancaster City Council

“ (PASA) gives a systematic form to much of what we already do instinctively…(it) sums up a transferable approach which artists can pass on to whoever works with them” Sue Harrison, artist

Transitionboatessm - Transition Helix-Spiral-Boat, Manchester, Building Schools for the Future - St Philips and Piper Hill Schools - Chrysalis Arts

More about PASA online

Anyone wishing to use the guidelines will be asked to register before gaining free access to the PASA Checklist Online which is an immediate sustainability tool. Registered users can answer questions about their art activity or project online and when the checklist is completed, they can download their answers as a pdf document.

To accompany the guidelines, Chrysalis Arts have carried out four PASA Case Studies of how to apply the guidelines as an assessment method and to show benchmark examples of the company’s projects and current practice.

Registered users can also download the PASA Guidelines free as a series of pdf documents:
Guidelines – a detailed assessment method which incorporates the checklist and also; The (Full) Guidelines, The Assessment Process, Appendix 1: Chrysalis Arts – Steps to Sustainability, Appendix 2: Sustainable Principles, Appendix 3: Bibliography (including Websites), Appendix 4: Case Studies – Slow Art Trail, The Art Depot, Lord Street, St Paul’s & Piper Hill BSF, Appendix 5 – Template


Additional Resources

PASA Q & A – available

PASA Case Studies: Projects analysed using the PASA Guidelines (available from http://www.pasaguidelines.org/ )

  1. SLOW ART TRAIL: a pilot, public art project – a series of environmental installations (Bolton Abbey/North Yorkshire) exploring sustainability and creative practice – developed by Chrysalis Arts to raise awareness of environmental issues and explore how artists could develop a more sustainable approach to their creative practice. The installations ranged from pieces that tempted visitors to sit down and contemplate their surroundings to those which challenged perceptions about contemporary art-making in a traditional rural landscape.
  2. THE ART DEPOT is the result of a collaboration between Chrysalis Arts and architects Wales Wales and Rawson and comprises an office, design studio and workshop for the public art company in North Yorkshire. The brief was to create a building that reflects the true integration of art and architecture and provide a base for future public artwork, arts development and training activity.
  3. LORD STREET GARDENS ARTWORKS commissioned by Sefton Council to create new artworks to complement the refurbishment of Lord Street Gardens, which were originally designed by Thomas Mawson in 1906, a renowned landscape architect of the arts and crafts movement, and retain many of their original features. The artworks included a new illuminated water feature, seats and a community mosaic.
  4. TRANSITION, Artwork commissioned by Manchester City Council’s Building schools for the future programme: St Paul’s RC High School and Piper Hill High School (for students with special needs) occupied two separate sites in Wythenshawe and were being brought together as two schools that would share some facilities in new premises on the St Paul’s RC School site. Chrysalis Arts worked with the students and staff of St Paul’s RC High School and Piper Hill High School to create a new artwork to celebrate the two schools coming together and to symbolise their ‘transition’ to a new beginning. The artwork is itself an eight-metre suspended helix-boat structure of rope, wood and stainless steel, occupying the space above the reception area.