ClimateCultures Members contribute a wide range of artistic, research and curatorial contexts, bringing rich creative and knowledge practices to questions of environmental and climate change and the Anthropocene.
“An irish multi-disciplinary artist based in the south of Ireland. My personal practice spans a wide range of mediums depending on the project but primarily I work in collage and ceramics. Last year in an ongoing collaboration with another artist, Dervla Baker, I began making sculptures from plastic bottles. This was originally an event decor project, plastic was a readily available free material, but by collecting (just) bottles and seeing how quickly we acquired a vast amount of them, we started becoming aware of the true extent of the plastic problem. And now our focus is to use plastic as material to create work that highlights the impact of it on the environment and the vast amounts of it created, used and thrown away everyday.”
Paul has lived with and worked with renewable energy technologies for over 25 years. Paul joined the Centre for Alternative Technology as an electrical engineer in 1988, developing solar medical systems for use overseas. Paul is currently leading the Zero Carbon Britain research; liaising with Government, business, public sector and the arts.
• Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow (2013)
• Wales Science Advisory Council (2010-14)
• Climate Change Commission for Wales (2007-2015)
• Board member of the International Forum for Sustainable Energy (2008-2013)
• Fellow Royal Society of the Arts (2005-date)
“I specialise in creative nature-based and mindfulness-based approaches to coaching, facilitation, consultancy and research. My interest is in supporting individuals and organisations to be in more harmonious relationship with the natural world. Extensive experience of working as a consultant with UK cultural, arts & heritage organisations. PhD in psychology of pro-environmental behaviour.”
“My work reads the cultural politics of climate change, across the grain, as it were. I’m less interested in how to solve the climate change crisis (others are far better positioned to do this than I am) and more interested in understanding how ‘climate change’ is a form of power that shapes who we are and how we act in the world. With a longstanding interest in questions of race and whiteness, I’m especially interested in better understanding how Ann Stoler’s pithy idea that “racial thinking harnesses itself to varied progressive projects” applies to climate change. Climate change demands that we redefine what the good life is. My view is that any attempt to redefine the good life must be hyper-attentive to the ways in which the lines of race and whiteness are continuously reproduced and reworked in all historical moments, including the present moment of climate change.”
“I work for Cambridge Carbon Footprint, a charity that runs around 50-60 events per year that aim to inspire and offer practical solutions to climate change. I am especially interested in increasing understanding of, and demonstrating the circular economy. I have spent 25 years working in environmental and volunteering sector, particularly on pilots to increase inclusion on environmental themes. I am currently involved in a group overseeing the huge expansion of Repair Cafes in the region and engaging artists on CirculART.”
Flavia is a physical theatre performer and director who trained in Corporeal Mime. She is a founding member of HOAX, a company of theatre makers. Together, they specialise in concrete pipe dreams and provocative contemporary work that blends text, physical theatre and comedy to give voice to social and ecological issues. “We are very serious and very silly.”
“In 2010 I graduated with a PhD in geography, investigating 3,000 years of environmental change near Rome (before, during, and since the Romans). I did this by a mix of fieldwork, archival research, and laboratory. Although my thesis title said ‘late Holocene’ I would argue that the impact of the Romans could make it early Anthropocene. Since then I have become a writer and photographer, using them as a way to inform, educate, discuss, and make people think about the world around us and our impact upon it.”
“I create and produce arts events that encourage sustainability and positive responses in dealing with the challenges of environmental threats and climate change. I am currently producing Singing With Nightingales, a unique musical event with a conservation ambition. I’m also creating and curating ‘Change’ a brand new multi arts festival at Warwick Arts Centre in 2018. This event will use the arts to explore positive stories of change, and engage audiences in optimistic conversations about the possibilities of a better future. Between 2009-2015 I was Arts Producer and Programmer for two major UK weekend festivals, Bestival and Camp Bestival.”
Nancy Campbell is a writer and book artist with a particular interest in the polar regions and water conservation. A series of residencies with Arctic research institutions has led to several projects responding to climate change. Her poetry collection Disko Bay (shortlisted for the Forward Prizes 2016) relates her experiences at the most northern museum in the world. Her latest book, How To Say ‘I Love You’ In Greenlandic: An Arctic Alphabet, received the Birgit Skiöld Award. Nancy was a MarieClaire ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2016 for activities including Arctic Book Club and The Polar Tombola, an interactive live literature event.
Composer, improviser and performer. Learnt to improvise while working as a theatre musician and MD, after travelling and studying folk music in Hungary and Romania. Have connected and worked with many artists in different parts of the world – including Italy, Japan, Palestine and India. Co-founder of Fractofusus – now devising a musical project about trees in connection with the new Tree Charter. Founded Footloose Community Arts in 2000, working with schools and community groups, mainly on environmental themes – projects such as Water Stories, Bugs Came First, Variation and Adaptation. Currently focused on developing work with Terabac, composing songs about bugs, practising playing the saw and devising music inspired by the language of pheromones.
In 2017 Andrea co-founded Terabac, premiering new work. Exhibiting two eco-designs: Extant’s The Chairs by Ionesco, as one of UK’s representatives at World Stage Design Expo in Taiwain; HOAX Stuck photographic collaboration selected for publication in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology. Co-founded EcoStage Pledge, an online initiative to promote sustainability amongst theatre practitioners, launched at ARTCOP21. Works across a broad spectrum of the performing arts. Latest projects: Nodus Tollens DH Ensemble at Liberty Festival, Olympic Park; WOW festival, with an artwork about FGM. Her work has been seen at: Bath Theatre Royal, Somerset House, Kew Gardens, Riverside Studios, ICA, Lycee International Paris. Collaboration with new writing, dance, street theatre, opera, and with circus Ra Ra Zoo, Hull Truck and poet Roger McGough at Purcell Room, RFH. Lead artist on participatory / educational projects; ENO, Philharmonia Orchestra, Glyndebourne, ETO, Opera North, South Bank Centre.
“I am Professor of Biology in University College London Biosciences and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL Culture. My research is focused on natural and cultural value, the role of natural and cultural capital for human health and wellbeing, and the impact of environmental change on biodiversity.”
Laura is Founder and Co-Director of ONCA, a gallery and performance space in Brighton, England. ONCA’s mission is to inspire positive action in response to current cultural and environmental urgencies, through creativity, courage, collaboration, playfulness, learning and impact. In Laura’s early twenties, she met a rescued puma in the Bolivian Amazon, and this ongoing friendship has informed her life and work since, as a curator, producer and as the founder of ONCA. Supported by ONCA’s incredible team, she is currently researching her PhD at the University of Hertfordshire and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, looking at the role of arts venues within the context of climate change. Laura grew up in Brighton, and couldn’t imagine a better place for ONCA.
“I’m a freelance writer, oral historian and community engagement worker. As a writer I’ve had over 60 scripts performed on stage, radio and television. I’ve also written two books on scriptwriting (Writing Dialogue for Scripts is now in its 4th edition). My latest stage play, The Sword of Alex, about nationalism and belonging, is to be performed in 2018. An an oral historian I direct projects, act as a consultant and also deliver training courses for the British Library and the Oral History Society all over this country and abroad. As a community engagement worker I have run many projects, including a 3-year multi-stranded programme for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation at The Lightbox in Surrey. Initially inspired by a talk by Paul Allen, I am now very much focused upon writing about climate change in an accessible way. At present I have a comedy about the politics of climate change under consideration at BBC tv, am pitching a tv adaptation of Saci Lloyd’s The Carbon Diaries, have just completed another climate change tv comedy script and am working with a producer on a radio documentary series about the public silence surrounding climate change.”
“I am a writer and historian of science currently writing a book about water and the history of climate science. It explores the past 150 years worth of scientific research into the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, glaciers and ice sheets. I want to bring stories from the past into the present in order to deepen our understanding of the role of imagination, emotion and contingency in our understanding of and relationship to the planet. I am interested in how narrative can create a bridge not only between the past and the present but between people who hold different values about climate change and the role of science in society. I trained as an academic historian of science at Imperial College and the University of Cambridge and have worked as a journalist, editor, health policy researcher and now as a writer of popular books. I am also a Trustee of the Science Museum Group.”
Mary is an abstract artist and painter. Her work addresses the anoxic in relation to human responsibility and maritime concerns. The far reaching ecological scenarios impacting the ocean, including carbon emissions, acidification and subsequently climate change, are central to her research which is developed within a series of collections. “Human responsibility and its relation to maritime concerns are central to a developing body of work. Interrogating this notion in respect of mankind, my work is aligned with the embodiment of two elements – that which lies beneath the surface and the banality of the unthinking. The banality of the unthinking or thoughtlessness is an everyday contemporary subterfuge that lends itself to the unraveling of human involved activities that prompt questions about responsibility.”
Ken is an artist who works in immersive and collaborative play, informed by a career in game design. He’s best known for “authentic fictions” – immersive what-if storymaking games about real issues – such as ED ZED OMEGA (2010), FUTURECOAST (2014), and especially the landmark alternate reality game WORLD WITHOUT OIL (2007). In these games people explore real-world issues through collaborative play, work together to bring possible futures into clearer focus, and imagine positive solutions and action. His approach stems from a deep belief that participation and collaboration are transformative, and engaging people in play and performance opens them to true learning. His games respect the audience’s ability and desire to shape their experiences in ways relevant to them.
“My current research explores ethical theory in the context of the Anthropocene and apocalyptic narratives of climate change. In particular, I seek to examine how different imaginings of apocalyptic scenarios reveal common assumptions about the relationship between ethics, time, subjectivity and political community.”
“I am a researcher and producer working across health and environments / ecologies.”
“I’m the Editor at ClimateCultures, and an independent researcher, project manager and facilitator on environmental and climate change issues. Working freelance since completing an MA Climate Change at Exeter University in 2011, my focus is on researching, supporting and delivering cultural and creative responses to environmental and climate change.”
“It seems to me that much of our present culture has the effect of alienating and isolating us from the natural world of which we are an intrinsic part – to the detriment of all life-forms, including ourselves. It is now clearly more important than ever before for us to return to a proper state of balance with the non-human world. As an environmental artist, I make temporary works in the landscape as a way of tuning in and re-connecting with life’s endless processes and essential unity, and of sharing my experience with others.”
“My dedication is to the margins, to humans and non-humans who experience intimately the violent consequences of our disconnect, wedged deeper by systems and practices of power and control. I co-create spaces of naming, questioning, healing, hoping and desiring.” Highlights:
* Buried Sunshine (2016- Present): a performed link with people affected by coal-mining in Colombia using theatre and social mapping.
* Dignity for Asylum Seekers (2012- 2015): a 5 day transformational performance/march/protest/walk with a scape-goat puppet.
* Colombia (2008-2010): community theatre and organising with young displaced peasant farmers to re-imagine a future in their homeland.
Hayley Harrison paints and draws directly onto discarded plastic bags, packaging and paper. The debris of consumerism becomes a surface and container for painting. These awkward surfaces suggest ghostly terrains and topographies. Washed away layers and drips allude to meteorological events and the passing of time. Whether macrocosms or microcosms, the scale of these terrains is ambiguous. Human life forms are absent, represented only by their paraphernalia. Hayley is exploring the theory of an ecological unconsciousness; an intrinsic connection towards nature that we have lost. Her work responds to the contradiction of our reverence to nature and our indifference to the ecocide we consciously march toward. Nature has become something to conquer and control. We are captivated by the beauty of our planet, but often from afar, as a leisure pursuit. We dissociate and split from the damage we inflict to it and each other.
Justina is an award-winning poet, short story writer and performer, who’s currently finishing her first novel, which is about oystering. She writes in diverse styles and genres, and has written everything from an art book about angels, to a play about centenarians in conjunction with the Royal Court. She had a previous career as a freelance journalist and commissioning editor at national newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian and The Daily Express. Justina lives and writes in Staffordshire on board an electric, solar-powered narrowboat which dates from 1850 and – pulled by a horse – used to take coal from the Black Country to London. In her spare time she’s a fledgling singer-songwriter. She’s just recorded her first song – an offshoot from her commission from Weatherfronts 2016.
Sculpture, photography, ecology and biology are disciplines that intersect in Heather Ackroyd’s & Dan Harvey’s time-based work, often reflecting scientific and environmental concerns and revealing an intrinsic bias towards process and event. For over 26 years their work has been exhibited in contemporary art galleries, museums and public spaces worldwide. Juxtaposing nature and structure, they are acclaimed for time-based interventions in sites of architectural interest that often reflect urban political ecologies by highlighting temporal processes of growth and decay, and they have received many awards for their unique photographic work utilizing the pigment chlorophyll in making complex photographs, including the Royal Academy of Arts Rose Award for Photography 2014, Wu Guanzhong Prize 2012 for Art and Innovation, L’Oreal Art and Science of Colour Grand Prize, Wellcome Trust Sci-Art Award, and the National Endowment of Science Technology and Art Pioneer Award.
Paul Michael Henry
“I make performances. My starting points are dance, music, writing and ritual; my artistic approach grows out of punk rock and Butoh. Most of the time this ends up on a stage, but I also make recorded music and collaborate on other artists’ projects. I’m artistic director of UNFIX Festival and teach dance workshops called The Dreaming Body. My themes are political, social & spiritual, dealing with love, neglect of the body, destruction of the environment and atrophy of the soul in consumerist society.”
“I’m a composer interested in ritual and collective expression as a way of responding to climate change. I am writing a climate-themed choral cantata for community choir and ensemble. I use poetry for many historical eras to connect the contemporary issue of climate change with the human condition. I have previously written instrumental music for a variety of ensembles on ecological themes, including Ecopoem for the Britten Sinfonia. I am studying for a Masters in classical composition at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in music in 2013.”
“I am a writer, mainly for children and young people, and passionate about engaging people with climate change and the beauty of the natural world.”
“I am the author of two travel books. Walking the Woods and the Water is an account of an eight-month walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul in the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermor, and was a finalist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015. Where the Wild Winds Are is the story of four walks following Europe’s winds. Both are published by Nicholas Brealey. I also write fiction, perform as a storyteller, and work as an editor for the Dark Mountain Project – a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself.”
Sarah Hymas is a poet, performer and artistbook maker. Her writing has appeared in print, multimedia exhibits, dance videos, lyrics, pyrotechnical installations, on stage and as an improvised opera. ‘Host’, her poetry collection, is published by Waterloo Press (2010). Her artistbook ‘Lune’ (2013) was featured in The Guardian Books Blog. Since 2014 she has written site specific pieces told through geocaching, augmented reality, micro print, performance and audio in England and Scotland. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Experiment. Her current writing focuses on the sea, its ecosystems and the interdependence of it and people, specifically regarding the impact of climate change and other forms of man-made pollution on the sea. Her interest is multidisciplinary, exploring the intersection of poetry, marine sciences and phenomenology.
Jennifer is Director of Outrider Anthems, an arts company that seeks to change hearts and minds through creativity. She wrote and directed Song of Crow, premiered in Reading as part of the Reading Year of Culture 2016. Previous productions include Where Then Shall We Start? at the Queen’s House, Royal Maritime Museum in 2014, and Take Two, premiered in Reading and Ascot in 2015 and undertaken as a commission. These works are concerned with issues of inhumanity – ecocide, warfare, and the injustices of Palestine. Jennifer has also worked extensively as lead artist for the Royal Academy of Arts, Courtauld Institute, Somerset House, V&A Museum, and Contemporary Applied Arts, and was an arts advisor for Southern Arts.
Adam is joint artistic director of The Bone Ensemble: productions include Again, Caravania! and Where’s My Igloo Gone?, a participatory performance concerning climate change. He is interested in how art practices can bring a positive and empowering message about climate to audiences. Where’s My Igloo Gone? for children aged 5+ and families, will tour in Autumn 2017 – Spring 2018, accompanied by a new, interactive installation that turns environmental data into a creative, participatory artwork. Adam is also a Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham. He taught previously at University College Cork and the University of Hull, and has directed projects internationally. Adam’s research centres on performance practice: books include Odin Teatret: Theatre in a New Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and The Director and Directing: Craft, Process and Aesthetic in Contemporary Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).
“For the past 12 years I have been assisting organisations – especially arts and cultural organisations – to improve their environmental and energy management practices. The cultural, community and creative sectors are leaders in laying the foundations for a sustainable future. My ambition is to mirror and increase the vital role played by these sectors. The overriding objective is to help organisations to not just achieve their goals, but to do it in a way that is more positive for people and the planet. Although this work is important to slowing down environmental degradation and increasing an organisation’s resilience, it will not create a sustainable future for us all. To this end, I also work with organisations to help them to understand their inter-dependencies and relationships with natural and human made systems in order to develop a vision and strategy that will seek a step-change towards a sustainable future.”
Artist and producer, with substantial experience of producing creative work about environmental change (with Cape Farewell, Eden Project, Culture & Climate Change…).
“I have an MA Material Futures from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London – a course that engages designers to have a critical and social point of view developing their projects – and BA Fine Arts from University of Lisbon, Portugal, on Multimedia Art: Installation and Performance. As a London-based designer, I am engaging with cultural terms and the notion of heritage in my work. I co-founded the collaborative project D-ACT with designer Valentina Coraglia, which aims to preserve our own heritage and identity. My research is especially focused on subjects that connect science and design fields and have a deep critical and social impact in our lives, with subjects such as Sustainability, Culture, Heritage and Education. Having a particular interest in data analysis, infographics and visual culture, I am open for collaborations that improve the way we design information, services and human interactions.”
“I am currently doing an MA in Climate Change: History, Culture, Society at King’s College London. For my dissertation, I am interested in looking at climate change theatre. I am looking for any current performances that I can experience first-hand, as well as any previous performances which have footage that I can watch. I will then conduct a visual discourse analysis on these pieces in order to write my dissertation. I am most interested in the intersection between the arts and environmentalism/climate change science.”
Darragh writes plays and children’s books. His work includes the Irish Book Awards nominated The Keeper, The Sky-Snake and the Pot of Gold in Magic: New Fairy Tales by Irish Writers, An Air Balloon across Antarctica and Climate + Change + Theatre: the 350 Plays Project. Originally from Ireland, Darragh has a PhD from Columbia University, where he designed the university’s first class on Climate Change and Literature in 2015. He is involved in climate activism as a divestment campaigner, member of “BP or not BP?” and an occasional mermaid.
Deborah Mason is a multi-disciplinary artist and cultural activist interested in equality, diversity, inclusion, environment, climate-change and society.
“I am a French artist based in the UK. I have lived in and studied Fine Art in France, the UK and Italy. I also have a Masters in computer animation. I have had exhibitions in the UK and internationally, on public and private commissions. All of my works are, in some way, related to technology and our relation with it. As an artist, I wish to expand the notions of what is Art and participate in the very dynamic dialogue between digital technology, Science and the Arts.”
Ellie’s series of work illustrates the visibility and invisibility of air pollution and the toxic particles the public unknowingly breathe in. While the air appears clear in the UK in comparison to the images of the smog-filled cities of China, we are still exposed to harmful levels of pollution. Through ink drawings and mixed-media textiles pieces, her work shows a visual representation of things that we can’t see but are still very present. The series’ title, Kuuki, draws attention to the public’s unawareness of the serious issue of pollution and its effects on both a local and global scale; the irony of the air and the atmosphere, which keeps us alive, also killing us. The intricately drawn and sewn pieces aim to draw attention to details; seeing the unseen. The contrast between the white on black pieces working in cohesion with the black on black, letting the viewer ponder over the importance of what is visible and, physically, almost invisible. Like a riddle, her work is about the uncomfortable balance of air pollution; what cannot be seen by eye in the present moment, but will be starkly visible in the future.
“I’m a writer and filmmaker, although my practise stretches back to theatre making in the 1980’s. Recent work has been in the areas of art & neuroscience (filmmaker in residence within the Cambridge University/NHS Dementia Research Network), applied anthropology in Mongolia and with the Bedouin of the Negev Desert, Israel, and the lives of poets, including a film about John Clare, and a new project exploring the mystic visions of William Blake. My interest in linking art forms to dialogue around climate issues was catalysed by the Tipping Point Warwick conference in 2016, and subsequently I produced a weekend Festival of Change, here in Cambridge, with the NGO Pivotal – short film here: vimeo.com/200725266“
“As vicar of a remote rural parish I am exploring / researching how communities such as this can become resilient and sustainable in the face of climate change, vanishing public services and the likely failure / collapse of much of the societal edifice we take for granted. I am involved in the drawing up of a new community plan which will, I hope, begin to resource the community to address this critical issue.”
Mat Osmond is a visual artist, writer and essayist, and part of the Art.Earth family of artists and researchers based at Dartington. Mat works on Falmouth University’s MA Illustration: Authorial Practice; he also worked on its sister award, the MA Art & Environment during its inspirational five-year lifespan, where the question of what ecological recovery requires of us, faced with anthropogenic mass-extinction, took hold as the central thread in his life and work. Mat’s recent work has included a word-image collaboration with the poet Em Strang on her acclaimed post-apocalyptic poem Stone. He was guest art editor for the 11th issue of the Dark Mountain Journal, and contributing editor to a forthcoming series of Dark Mountain blog posts that arise from the Art.Earth In Other Tongues creative summit that he co-curated in June 2017. He’s currently working on two new illustrated poetry pamphlets that revolve around the image of the Black Madonna. His images and words are published through his own imprint Strandline Books, as well as by Dark Mountain, Atlantic Press, and others.
Helena Paul is a published poet and writer, performer and musician (cello and trumpet), global activist and people’s rights campaigner. She co-founded Burnt Bridges, a radical and trail blazing women’s theatre company 1982-87. Devised shows included Deals (about the financial markets), Cargo, Ghost Story, Special Powers and The Bernoulli Effect. Other theatre credits include: Triple Action, Lumiere and Son, Open Space, Grand Union, Dukes Playhouse Lancaster. Since Burnt Bridges days, she has worked on: the protection of tropical forests and Indigenous Peoples’ land rights in Brazil and Colombia, oil extraction in the tropics, biological diversity and agricultural biodiversity, food sovereignty, GM crops, patents on life, biofuels, climate change, geoengineering, and corporate power. Active at UN climate meetings between 2007-2012, attending Convention on Biological Diversity meetings since 2006. Co-wrote Hungry Corporations, published by Zed Books in 2003. She brings her poetry and years of experience to this project.
“I am co-writer and performer in the Fringe show The Hero Who Overslept. The hero show is a playful attempt at disrupting our relationship with climate science. It is a never seen before mixture of science, psychology and surreal dance.”
Composer pianist collaborator. Currently touring Significantus, a keyboard conversation about climate change in collaboration with economists, lawyers, scientists, artists and other thinkers. Has initiated ClimateKeys, in which scores of pianists will be performing with guest speakers to engage audiences in talking about climate change across the world.
Jon is a freelance film and performance maker based in Cumbria. His practice involves primarily using documentary as a medium through which to bear witness to the unique stories of people and places, identity and landscape. He is currently working with Sarah Thomas on ‘Óshlið: River Mouth Slope’, a film reflecting the stories of an abandoned coastal road in Iceland. Jon has also collaborated on performances for events by The Dark Mountain Project. Recent projects include facilitating renga (collaboratively composed poetry) for Outrider Anthems’ Festival of the Dark and directing ‘After the Floods’ at the Dukes Theatre, an immersive performance installation exploring the experiences of Lancaster’s homeless community during Storm Desmond in December 2015.
Oliver Raymond-Barker is an artist whose practice encompasses photography in its broadest sense; using analogue and digital process, natural materials and camera-less methods of image making. His work explores our relationship to the natural environment – direct, physical experience of the landscape is integral to the creation of his work and combines with aesthetic and cultural concerns in the shaping of ideas.
“My interest in responding to the fact of climate change was initially personal; I needed help insulating my house, changing my shopping and eating habits and hoped enough people would do the same, whilst governments took onboard greener policies. How naive! Becoming editor of Green Christian mag, also looking into Transition community thinking, I began to see the bigger picture of economic, cultural and yes, spiritual influences, which suggests a much deeper and more radical shift is required. I’m still tinkering around at the edges: I run a church environment group, and have used films (Plane Stupid, Before the Flood) as tools in communicating the threats and motivating group formation. Also, using music (e.g. Lola Perrin’s Significantus) and poetry (Dark Reflections, coming to Ely September, 2017). I’m grappling with the shiny optimism of Ecomodernism, whilst searching for a vision and I really just want to play folk fiddle.”
Susan Richardson is a poet, performer, educator and editor, whose work engages with a range of environmental issues including wildlife conservation and climate change. Her third poetry collection, skindancing was published by Cinnamon Press in 2015. In addition to her recent residency with the Marine Conservation Society, she is currently poet-in-residence with the global animal welfare initiative, World Animal Day, and also the British Animal Studies Network. Susan has performed at festivals throughout the UK, for organisations such as WWF and Friends of the Earth, on BBC 2, Radio 4 and at Universities both nationally and internationally. She co-edits Zoomorphic, the digital literary magazine that publishes work in celebration and defence of wild animals. Her fourth poetry collection, Words the Turtle Taught Me, themed around endangered marine species, will be published in 2018.
See susanrichardsonwriter.co.uk Twitter: @susanpoet
Jaime Robles is a writer and visual artist. She has two collections published by Shearsman Books (UK), Anime Animus Anima and Hoard. She has produced many artist books, including Loup d’Oulipo, Letters from Overseas, and Aube/Afternoon. Her bookworks are at the University of California, Berkeley; Yale University; and the Oulipo Archive in Paris, among others. While pursuing her doctorate in the UK, she created several environmental poetry installations, including Autumn Leaving and Wall of Miracles, which can be seen on her website. Her works with composer Ann Callaway include the chamber operas, Vladimir in Butterfly Country and Spirit of the Moth, both based on Vladimir Nabokov’s love of Lepidoptera. She also collaborates with dancer-choreographer Nikki Santilli. Their dance–poem Passing Moments juxtaposes the natural world and the city in movement. Her sound poems using field recordings from the Devon area can be found on Soundcloud.
“I have a multifaceted approach to arts provision – as a researching, collaborating, exhibiting artist and as a curator. I use video, drawing, performance, sculpture and narrative in a multimedia transdisciplinary approach that interweaves fact and fiction. I use poetic, spatial, aesthetic language to explore and present visions of possible sustainable futures and examine what the aesthetics of sustainability might encompass. Using eclectic research themes as a vehicle to promote humane, ecological concepts such as evolutionary transformation, resilience and adaptability, I explore the human embodied potential and complex, transformative aspects of sustainability. I graduated in 2005 from University of Arts, Poznan, with a MA in Fine Art. Currently I am a recipient of Research Excellent Academy scholarship and I am undertaking practice-led PhD which researches Aesthetics of Sustainability: critical multi-media arts practice and visions for a sustainable future, at School of Fine Arts, Newcastle University. I have participated in over 30 solo and group exhibitions internationally.”
“I’m an architect, a sustainable designer / consultant to be precise. I deal with the repercussions of climate change through the lens of calculations, designs and technicalities. So I’m always on the lookout for something that provides another perspective on climate change! As a casual writer, the medium of text interests me a lot.”
Arran Stibbe is a reader in Ecological Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire, author of Ecolinguistics: language, ecology and the stories we live by (Routledge, 2015) and Animals Erased: discourse, ecology and reconnection with nature (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). He has a background both in linguistics and human ecology, and teaches a range of courses including ecolinguistics, ecocriticism, ethics and language, communication for leadership, discourse analysis and language and identity. Arran is founder and convenor of the International Ecolinguistics Association, a network of 600 ecolinguists from around the world, and has created a free online course in ecolinguistics.
Ayesha is an actor and a creative producer who studied at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Jaques Lecoq in Paris. She has worked with many organisations and artists including RAF, Allanah Madeline Foundation, Met Police, MKA: Theatre of New Writing, Les Foules, Miriam Austin and One Taste Cabaret. Ayesha is a founding member of company HOAX, who specialise in concrete piping and provocative contemporary work. They blend text, physical theatre and comedy to give voice to social and ecological issues.They are very serious and very silly. Recent production credits with HOAX include The Ugliest Buildings in London for the London Festival of Architecture, Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone (Origins Award for New Work VAULT festival 2015) and stuck.
Sarah is a non-fiction writer and documentary maker with a background in anthropology. She lived for several years in a remote corner of northwest Iceland and is currently crafting the experience into a memoir, through a PhD in creative writing at Glasgow University. She is co-directing a short film Óshlið River Mouth Slope with Jon Randall, about an abandoned road near her former home in Iceland. Inspiration for her writing and films comes from dwelling, working and walking in the land and the stories of the people who are a part of it. Penguin Books and author Robert Macfarlane selected Sarah to be their ‘Summer Wayfarer’ – a role linked to his best selling book The Old Ways. This saw her walk Britain on foot guided only by those she met along the way, wild camping and receiving the hospitality of strangers. The journey took her to Cumbria where she now lives, works and walks. In 2016 she was awarded a Weatherfronts commission in which she told the story of the 2015 Cumbria floods from within it, in her essay Rainfall, Fell.
David Thorpe is a novelist (Stormteller led to his presence on Hay Festival’s first cli-fi panel in 2015, and Hybrids was winner of a HarperCollins contest to find a new children’s writer). Also a journalistic author of 1000s of articles for different journals on carbon-free energy & sustainable development and over ten techy books on things like living a ‘One Planet’ Life, Passive Solar Architecture, Solar Energy, Energy Management in Buildings and Industry, Sustainable Fuels, Sustainable Cities, and Sustainable Home Refurbishment. He’s a founder/patron of One Planet Council and was founder/Director of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s Publications Dept. Secretly, he’s also a writer/editor of comics and graphic novels (incl. Marvel) and a scriptwriter and co-founder of the London Screenwriters Workshop.
“I am a writer of long and short fiction, and occasional articles. I started writing about climate change in an effort to understand it myself and to answer the question – ‘How, really, will it be?’ This question was barely being asked 15 years ago, and certainly not reaching the public in an accessible way; nor were there any clear answers. I am a life member of The Centre for Alternative Technology and also a member of Green Christian, have occasionally facilitated events such as film showings (e.g. The Age of Stupid), and am involved in local and national environmental initiatives. In January 2017 I founded Bristol Climate Writers.”
Ben is Director of Creative Carbon Scotland, which works to ensure that the essential role of arts and culture in achieving transformational change to a sustainable future is fully recognised, developed and utilised. Combining experience of producing events and running venues in the cultural sector with an MSc in Carbon Management and research for a PhD exploring behaviour change, he has developed CCS into a leader in supporting cultural organisations’ carbon management and developing culture’s influencing role in addressing climate change. He has presented this work to groups from Salzburg Global in Austria and the ArtCOP Professional workshop in Paris to the Glasgow Life Green Team Awards and Sustainable Scotland Network. Ben is Vice Chair of the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership. He has been Associate Director at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, Artistic Director at Manchester’s Contact Theatre, Chair of Scotland’s leading contemporary classical music group, Hebrides Ensemble, and Vice-Chair of the Theatres Trust.
Emma Welton is a composer and performer specialising in the creation of new music. She performs (mostly violin, occasionally viola and double bass) and produces events with several projects and groups. Emma’s composing is often driven by her desire to offer a response to global climate concerns. She has recorded many types of electricity generation and combined these sounds with those of live instruments and tools in concert pieces. She also uses data from climate change research in her compositional structures.
“Founder of Opus Earth, and Director of the Deep Time Walk project, I’ve also created an interactive musical version of the Stockholm Resilience Centre Planetary Boundaries framework.”