2018 Members’ Posts

This is the complete ClimateCultures blog archive of 2018 Members’ Posts so far. For Members Posts from 2017 see here.

2018’s Members’ posts to date have been written by:

Nancy Campbell, Rebecca Chesney, Clare Crossman, Lucy Davies, Nick Drake, Sarah Dry, Mary Eighteen, Mark Goldthorpe, Brit Griffin, Mike Hembury, Wallace Heim, Salli Hipkiss, Jennifer Leach, Robynne Limoges, Lisa Lucero, Julien Masson, Sally Moss, James Murray-White, Veronica Sekules, Deborah Tomkins, Ottavia Virzi, Mary Woodbury.

December 2018

Sweeping the Dust  

Grief and hope in the face of environmental crisis Photograph: Tim Hayes/Ende Gelände 2018

by Mike Hembury  
12 December 2018
Creative Works 
approx 4 minutes

 

Researching the topics of grief and hope under climate change, writer and photographer Mike Hembury read Deborah Tomkins’ ClimateCultures post on how these topics feature in her work and that of fellow Bristol Climate Writers. Here, Mike shares a poem he wrote in response to his reading and his own experience. We’re proud to feature his moving contribution, and other creative responses, as part of the conversation that ClimateCultures aims to nurture and stimulate.  

November 2018

“Summon the bravery!” Encounters at Small Earth

Art, land and sky at Snape Photograph by James Murray-White 2018

by James Murray-White
30 November 2018
Review
approx 6 minutes

 

Filmmaker James Murray-White returns to ClimateCultures with his account of taking part in Small Earth at Snape in Suffolk, earlier in November. At this special conference, psychotherapists, ecologists, economists, philosophical and spiritual thinkers gathered to address hope for future living within the ecosphere.

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #9

by Nick Drake
16 November 2018
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 5 minutes

 

Poet Nick Drake offers his contribution to our series A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects. Coinciding with the publication of his new collection Out of Range — which itself brilliantly explores the strange interconnections and confronting emergencies of our new planetary age — Nick has chosen three of these powerful poems to share with us. His personal selection brings us: objects that have illuminated our world-shifting ways even as their own time faded; one-use objects that will outlast us; nightmare objects that take shape beneath our feet, beneath our streets, beneath our notice, until…

Reading Nature’s Archives in the Library of Ice

The Library of Ice by Nancy Campbell

by Sally Moss
5 November 2018
Review
approx
7 minutes

 

New Member Sally Moss brings us her review of fellow Member Nancy Campbell’s new book, The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate. Nancy has long had an interest in the polar regions and in watery environments. Sally is a writer, editor and activist exploring the cultural shift required for regenerative living and creative ways to challenge high-carbon habits. 

October 2018

Time and Tide: Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision

by Mark Goldthorpe
29 October 2018
Creative Works
approx 6 minutes

 

I’m kicking off a new series — and a new section on our website — to explore Members’ responses to film and audio pieces that open up a space for reflection (whether head-on or at a slant) on environmental and climate change. In this post, I’ve chosen two pieces that touch on seemingly very different spheres of interest for me — how human and non-human animals live, and how processes of change shape our coasts and our awareness of them; but in talking about them, I find they both provoke connecting thoughts on time and tide in our relationship with the more-than-human.

Grief, Hope and Writing Climate Change

by Deborah Tomkins
12 October 2018
Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 11 minutes

 

It’s a real pleasure to introduce Deborah Tomkins as our latest author. Deborah chairs Bristol Climate Writers, and here she shares a discussion with fellow BCW members on ‘climate grief’ and other psychological responses to climate change, and how these influence their writing. And I’m grateful to artist Perrin Ireland, who has agreed for us to use drawings from her Climate Grief graphic story to complement Deborah’s text. 

September 2018

Artists’ Climate Lab 

by Lucy Davies 
27 September 2018
Cultural Change
approx 5 minutes

 

ClimateCultures welcomes a new addition to our roll call of authors — Lucy Davies, Executive Producer at London’s Royal Court and Creative Climate Leader. Lucy was a participant in Creative Climate Leadership training in 2017; building on that experience, her first Members’ post explores Artists’ Climate Lab, a special week of activities that she and others devised for artists working in London’s leading theatres. It’s the sort of gathering which is right up ClimateCultures’ street! 

Conserve? Restore? Rewild? Ecopoetics and Environmental Challenge

by James Murray-White
11 September 2018
Review
approx 5 minutes

 

Filmmaker James Murray-White returns to ClimateCultures with his review of a recent event on ecopoetics and our responses to environmental crisis. The one-day meeting was held at GroundWork Gallery in Kings Lynn on 1st September. 

August 2018

Signals from the Edge #2: Wildfire and Fox

by Brit Griffin

Signals from the Edge
approx 6 minutes

 

For the second in our series Signals from the Edge, ClimateCultures welcomes Brit Griffin. Brit is a writer living in Cobalt in Ontario, Canada: a town that was born during Ontario’s last mineral rush in 1903, a silver rush that was pretty much over by 1919. Brit’s account is a powerful one of signals to be detected in forests burning and in the cry of a fox. 

Naturalist

by Clare Crossman
22 August 2018
Creative Works
approx 10 minutes

 

Clare Crossman’s recent Members’ post for ClimateCultures featured the first six of her sequence of poems illustrated by Victor Ibanez. Here, we welcome Clare back to share the final half dozen poems from the sequence, including Naturalist.

In the Blackthorn Time

by Clare Crossman
15 August 2018
Creative Works
approx 10 minutes

 

It’s a real treat for ClimateCultures to be able to offer original creative works from our Members, and the latest such offering is something special. Poet Clare Crossman created a sequence of poems on nature and climate change, each one illustrated by Victor Ibanez, for an appearance at Pivotal Festival in 2016. Here, she offers a short introduction with the first half dozen of these works, including In the Blackthorn Time; the remaining six will feature in another post soon. 

Energetic – Exploring the past, present and future of energy

by Mark Goldthorpe
6 August 2018
Review
approx 8 minutes 

 

In June, I visited the Culture and Climate Change exhibition at the Royal Geographic Society in London. Here, I review Energetic: Exploring the past, present and future of energy, the book of one of the projects on display there: Stories of Change.

July 2018

The Riddle of the Trees: A Paean for the Natural World

by Salli Hipkiss
31 July 2018
Creative Works
approx 10 minutes 

 

Writer and artist Salli Hipkiss returns to ClimateCultures with a second post on her novel, The Riddle of the Trees. In My Voice in the Climate Change Crisis, Salli explored her motivation for setting out to write her creative work on climate change. Here, she shares an extract from the manuscript, and looks further into the development of character and meaning and her inspiration to write this novel for the ‘We Generation’.

Rocks Pools in the Desert

by Robynne Limoges
25 July 2018
In the Elements
approx 3 minutes

 

We welcome back artist Robynne Limoges, with a series of evocative abstract images that reflect her feelings on the critical issue of water scarcity. Robynne’s earlier series of photographs and short essay Black Haiku: Poems for Dark Times featured on ClimateCultures in March 2018.

If the Anthropocene is Violence, What is Nonviolence?

by Mark Goldthorpe
21 July 2018
Interview

approx 8 minutes

 

Writer and editor Sally Moss works with nonviolence education organisation Commonweal, and she contacted me recently to suggest an interview for their blog. I was very happy to talk with her again – we first met at Weatherfronts in 2014 – and to find out more about the work of Commonweal. Sally’s questions were a great opportunity to introduce ClimateCultures to a new audience – and to touch on some of the connections between climate change and violence. We agreed that it would be a great idea to publish the interview simultaneously on our blogs, as part of this important conversation.

Placing the Sea

by Wallace Heim
11 July 2018
Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 7 minutes

 

It’s a great pleasure to welcome new Member Wallace Heim with her first post for ClimateCultures. Wallace – a researcher and writer on performance and ecology – recently completedthe sea cannot be depleted, her online project exploring the military exploitation of the Solway Firth. Here, she shares her reflections on the inspiration behind this powerful project and her creative process.

June 2018

The Gift of Stories

by Mark Goldthorpe
25 June 2018
Review
approx 8 minutes

 

Each contribution to our series A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects brings its author a gift of a book: one that had an impact on me when I first read it and which I’ve recently rediscovered on a trip to a charity shop. So here is my review of Jim Crace’s imaginative 1988 novel, The Gift of Stones. The book goes to Sarah Dry for her excellent piece on her personal selection of three objects that trace one possible timeline of the Anthropocene. Set at the end of the Stone Age, on the cusp of change that overtook it and accelerated us headlong into a new world, a book could hardly be more relevant to our Age of Human: the Age of Unintended Consequences. 

My Voice in the Climate Change Crisis

Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 5 minutes

 

ClimateCultures welcomes new Member, poet and artist Salli Hipkiss. In the first of two posts, Salli reflects on how – through her work in Tanzania and a chance encounter with a key book – she came to understand the urgent challenges of climate change, on her decision to write a novel, The Riddle of the Trees, to support positive change, and her hopes for publication. Salli’s follow up post will take the story further, with extracts from her book.

A History of Eco-fiction, Part 2

by Mary Woodbury
8 June 2018
Speculative Worlds
approx 9 minutes

 

In part 1, writer Mary Woodbury outlined some of the common ground that helps ‘define’ eco-fiction: “not so much a genre as a way to intersect natural landscape, environmental issues, and wilderness — and human connection to these things — into any genre and make it come alive … Eco-fiction has no boundaries in time or space.” In this concluding part, Mary looks at how this super-genre has grown and diversified in recent years. And her own story returns to her family trip to Ireland, where we began part 1.

May 2018

A History of Eco-fiction, Part 1

by Mary Woodbury
31 May 2018
Speculative Worlds
approx 8 minutes

 

ClimateCultures welcomes new Member Mary Woodbury with the first in her two-part series on the development of eco-fiction. Eco-fiction, Mary suggests, is “not so much as a genre as a way to intersect natural landscape, environmental issues, and wilderness into other genres.”

The Call of the Forest

by Julien Masson
23 May 2018

Challenges of Creative Engagement
approx 7 minutes

 

It’s a joy to welcome back Julien Masson, a visual artist who works with technology to produce digital art that questions our relationships with both technology and the natural world. Here, Julien describes his recent residency in the New Forest, an environment that juxtaposes natural and human worlds; and his choice of a physical paint medium to help bring distance from the digital realm that itself can distance us from the natural.

Adorning Our New Biosphere

by Mark Goldthorpe
15 May 2018
Preview
approx 6 minutes

 

In just a couple of weeks, the call for proposals for art.earth’s new creative symposium will close and the programme for this three day November event will begin to take shape: ‘Adorning our new biosphere: how to love the postcarbon world.’ Here, I offer my take on what’s being asked of artists and others – and invite ClimateCultures Members and followers to take part.

Art, Rise Up!

by Ottavia Virzi
3 May 2018
Art & Eco Activism
approx 5 minutes

 

We welcome artist Ottavia Virzi to ClimateCultures with her account of Art Rise Up, a new creative collective that brings art and activism together for environmental protection. Ottavia describes their recent intervention in support of the campaign to halt opencast coal mining, using art to engage cultural meaning.

April 2018

The Colour of Flamboyant Flowers

by Mark Goldthorpe
29 April 2018
Review
approx 10 minutes

 

Whenever a ClimateCultures Member contributes their personal nominations for our series A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects, I send them a book that’s had an impact on me. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is certainly a novel that packs a punch, and I’m delighted to have sent a copy – as usual, discovered in a recent visit to an Oxfam bookshop – to Nancy Campbell for her post A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #7. Here is my review.

Tweetopedia #1: ClimateCultures Members

by Mark Goldthorpe
27 April 2018
Conversations
approx 1 minute

 

To mark ClimateCultures’ first three months on Twitter, here’s a random trawl backwards in time through our growing archive of Members’ tweets: news, views and recommendations from some of our 90+ Members: one each. With apologies to any Members I missed this time round: more Tweetopedia to come).

The Ocean as Abject: Painting as Installation

by Mary Eighteen
11 April 2018
Environmental Change
approx 5 minutes

 

In this welcome return by one of ClimateCultures’ earliest contributors, visual artist Mary Eighteen brings us up to date with her collaboration with video artist (and fellow ClimateCultures Member) Julien Masson. In the earlier post she explored how their project “invites viewers to imagine a world where the ocean, as we know it, is on the trajectory to extinction. Both painting and video are presented together, to accentuate this experience.” Here, Mary focuses on the concepts of framing within painting and video as a means to provide the visual encounter with abjection.

March 2018

Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Maya Kings

by Lisa Lucero
29 March 2018
Cultural Change
approx 5 minutes

 

It’s a real pleasure to welcome Lisa Lucero, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Lisa has been conducting archaeology projects in Belize for almost 30 years, where she focuses on the emergence and demise of political power, ritual and water management among the Classic Maya. Her most recent project involves exploring collapsed sinkholes fed by groundwater for evidence of ancient Maya offerings and their climate and landscape histories.

In the Path of Its Beam

by Mark Goldthorpe
15 March 2018
Review
approx 10 minutes

 

Annie Dillard’s 1974 wonderful – and wonder-filled – Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a classic, although one that resists easy classification and offers many uncomfortable closeup views of ‘nature’. I was given it by a friend who’d been given a spare copy and was excited to pass it on. So when I picked up a spare copy myself on a charity bookshop foray, I knew it was time to reread and review it here. This copy has gone to Veronica Sekules in return for her excellent contribution in January to our series, A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects.

Black Haiku: Poems for Dark Times

by Robynne Limoges
5 March 2018
In the Elements
approx 3 minutes

 

Photographer Robynne Limoges’ most recent exhibition, Black Haiku: Poems for Dark Times, has just completed in London and it is a pleasure to share some of those evocative images here, with Robynne’s short introductory essay.

February 2018

Signals from the Edge #1

by Mark Goldthorpe
28 Feb 2018
Signals from the Edge
approx 7 minutes

 

Can you bring us a signal from a distant zone? As we approach the start of our second year, ClimateCultures offers Members a new challenge: to create a small artistic expression of the more-than-human in the form of new signal for humanity. Is it a message — whether meant for our species or for another kind, which we overhear by chance? An artefact of some other consciousness; or an abstraction of the material world? Something in any case that brings some meaning for us to discover or to make, here and now, as we begin to address the Anthropocene in all its noise. A small piece of sense — common or alien — amidst the confusion of human being. To start the series, here is my personal contribution: Pale.Blue

The Gift of the Goddess Tree

by Jennifer Leach
22 Feb 2018
Fiction
approx 3 minutes

 

Following What the Bee Sees we have the second of two stories from Jennifer Leach, as told in the back room of a Reading pub as part of 2017’s Festival of the Dark and its micro-festival Dazzle. What if the world were other? Stretching imagination and shifting vision is a key to ‘waking up us all’ and forms the bedrock of Jennifer’s own work.

What the Bee Sees

by Jennifer Leach
15 Feb 2018
Fiction
approx 6 minutes

 

Our latest offering sees the welcome return of artist Jennifer Leach. Throughout 2017, Jennifer led the vision and creation of Reading’s Festival of the Dark and its micro-festival Dazzle, helping us navigate the Celtic cycle of the year and explore the energies of the dark in its many forms. What if the world were other? Stretching imagination and shifting vision is a key to ‘waking up us all’ and forms the bedrock of Jennifer’s own work; here, she shares the first of two Dazzle stories she told in the back room of a Reading pub…

Near / Far

by Rebecca Chesney
9 Feb 2018
Environmental Change 
approx 7 minutes

 

It’s a great pleasure to share visual artist Rebecca Chesney’s first post for ClimateCultures. Rebecca — whose work is informed by her research into the protection of the environment, conversations with scientists and a desire to make work specific to chosen locations — describes her experiences of environmental change in California while on a residency there and shares some of the images she produced.

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #8

by Sarah Dry
5 Feb 2018
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 7 minutes

 

It’s a pleasure to welcome science historian and writer Sarah Dry to the ClimateCultures blog and her contribution to A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects. Sarah’s personal selection – and the images she has chosen to illustrate her objects – strikes a particular chord with the former astronomy student in me, and these three objects speak of the gap between seeing and feeling.

January 2018

Stalking the Impossible

by Mark Goldthorpe
31 Jan 2018
Review
approx 10 minutes

 

In return for Nick Hunt’s excellent addition to our series A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects, I sent him a copy of Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male. It’s a novel I discovered over a decade ago and have read or listened to many times since. It seems to attract this rereading, so I was obviously very happy to discover a copy in an Oxfam bookshop and have this excuse to enjoy it yet again, to share it and to set down some of my thoughts on such a classic.

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #7

by Nancy Campbell
22 Jan 2018
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 8 minutes

 

I’m really pleased to be sharing this post from poet Nancy Campbell. Nancy’s choice of objects demonstrates how past and present elide as our environment changes and how, whatever choices lie ahead, travel is always forward. As we approach the half-way point in our collections, each of the seven selections so far illustrate how each take on the relationship between humanity and the more-than-human is personal, nuanced and powerful. There is more than enough Anthropocene to go around.

A Personal History of the Anthropocene – Three Objects #6

by Veronica Sekules
15 Jan 2018
A History of the Anthropocene in 50 Objects
approx 5 minutes

 

Curator Veronica Sekules’s personal contribution of three Anthropocene objects charts our species’ shifting relationship with the planet. Art, artefact and accidental discovery mark our place in the world within a movement from a visionary symbol of eternity to the hubris of a transitory age and on to a time which will be witnessed by what endures after us.

This is the complete ClimateCultures blog archive of 2018 Members’ Posts so far. For Members Posts from 2017 see here.