occasional papers #5 WetlandLIFE

Perceptions of wetlands vary considerably – from disease-ridden ‘swamps’ that should be drained for farmland or housing, to wildlife havens generating local employment and enjoyment for thousands of visitors. Meanwhile, the mosquitoes that live in them are typically seen as a nuisance with no useful purpose – few people champion them for their aesthetic or intrinsic value, and their contribution to the resilience of wetland ecosystems remains largely unrecognised.


ecoartscotland published a number of articles on WetlandLIFE and the project’s work with artists Victoria Leslie, Kerry Morrison and Helmut Lemke during 2017 and 2018, including pieces from the artists as well as from other team members including Principal Investigator Tim Acott, Dave Edwards of Forest Research, and Adriana Ford.

The WetlandLIFE project focused on the multiple values of wetlands. It was part of Valuing Nature Programme which set out “…to improve understanding of the value of nature both in economic and non-economic terms, and improve the use of these valuations in decision making.”

WetlandLIFE and the contribution of artists came under scrutiny in a workshop organised by the Art and Artists in Environmental and Landscape Research Today(AALERT) as part of the AALERT4DM project

We have put together all the articles published on ecoartscotland as an issue of our series of occasional papers. We’ve also added Chris Fremantle’s piece for The Nature of Cities which provides a wider context of artists working with wetlands highlighting examples relevant to the major challenges identified by the Ramsar Conventionincluding pollution, biodiversity loss and urban development.

Download the collected articles here.

(Top photo: Tim Acott, Linear Landscape: South Swale Nature Reserve, Kent. From the photoessay ‘Wetlands, Wonder and Place‘. With permission.)


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 Research, Gray’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.

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