2019 Members’ Posts

This is the complete ClimateCultures blog archive for 2019: 28 original posts contributed by 20 of our members. Our authors for 2019 were:

Iain BiggsNancy Campbell, Rebecca Chesney, Hanien Conradie, Jo Dacombe, Laura Donkers, Sarah Dry, Mark Goldthorpe, Linda Gordon, Scarlet Hall, Mike Hembury, Paul Michael Henry, Nick Hunt, Jennifer Leach, Julia Marques, James Murray-White, Oliver Raymond-Barker, Philip Webb Gregg, Mary Woodbury, Yky.

You can read our posts for 2021 so far, and explore posts from 20202018 and 2017. And you can also explore all our posts by category – or by author listed in our sidebar.

December 2019 

Urban Resilience? Art, the Missing Link

by Yky
14 December 2019
Art & Eco Activism
2,600 words: estimated reading time 10.5 minutes

Citizen Artist Yky explores urban resilience and the importance of building joint commitments by experts and artists to improve our understanding of this concept in ‘citizen science’ and other approaches to empower citizens in planning for the future.

November 2019

Othering — on Woodlands, Maps and Language

by Jo Dacombe
7 November 2019
In the Elements
2,000 words: estimated reading time 8 minutes


Artist Jo Dacombe explores the othering of woodlands through maps and language as bordering us off from the natural world — a dichotomy enabled by the Enlightenment ideas in 18th-century Europe — and looks to ways to reconnect.

October 2019

The Last Snows 

The Sphinx - photography: by Nick Hunt

by Nick Hunt
29 October 2019
In the Elements
710 words: estimated reading time 3 minutes 


Writer Nick Hunt travelled to Scotland’s Cairngorms in search of a once permanent presence that’s becoming another marker of a new transience: enduring snows that serve as scraps of deep of time, now endangered on our warming island.

Waters of the World – Stories in the History of Climate Science

by Sarah Dry
Challenges of Creative Engagement
2,400 words: estimated reading time 9.5 minutes


Writer and historian Sarah Dry shares some of her thinking and the process for her new book, Waters of the World, a history of climate science through the individuals who unravelled the mysteries of seas, glaciers, and atmosphere.

Writing on Water

A still from the film 'Dart' showing artist Hanien Conradie Photograph by Margaret LeJeune

by Hanien Conradie
2,450 words: estimated reading time 10 minutes + 3 minutes video


Artist Hanien Conradie discusses a collaborative film of her ritual encounter with Devon’s River Dart and her work with places where nothing seemingly remains of their ancient knowledge. Work that seeks more reciprocal relationships with the natural world.

September 2019

Rising Tide: A Weekend with Extinction Rebellion

Mandala XR Photograph by Linda Gordon

by Linda Gordon
1,940 words: estimated reading time 8 minutes   


Artist Linda Gordon was invited to lead a land art workshop using natural materials at Extinction Rebellion’s Rising Tide Festival in North Devon. She describes an experience of co-operation and natural harmony: “In other words, a sane community.”

Five Notes on Thinking Through ‘Ensemble Practices’

by Iain Biggs
Challenges of Creative Engagement
1,480 words: estimated reading time 6 minutes 


Artist and researcher Iain Biggs shares thoughts on the place of artists, and of creative ensemble practices, in a culture of possessive individualism that must urgently address its chronic failure of imagination in the face of eco-social crisis.

A Dance with Defensiveness

Defensiveness - on the floor Photograph: Scarlet Hall © 2019

by Scarlet Hall
3 September 2019
1,980 words: estimated reading time 8 minutes 


Artist Scarlet Hall reflects on defensiveness as an embodied response to being implicated in patterns of oppression. Using movement improvisation to decentre habitual narratives and open space to attend to relationships, Scarlet is seeking ecological perspectives on defensiveness.

August 2019

Directing the Children

by Julia Marques
19 August 2019
Cultural Change
2,060 words: estimated reading time 8 minutes 


Climate change dramatist Julia Marques looks to her recent experience directing a play about environmental crisis to ask how community and other positive features of amateur dramatics might offer us routes into addressing the climate emergency itself.

Dancing with Darkness

'I wonder what darkness means now?' is an image from Jennifer Leach's book, Dancing in the Dark

by Jennifer Leach
12 August 2019
Challenges of Creative Engagement
1,440 words: estimated reading time 6 minutes 


Artist and writer Jennifer Leach recalls the journey from a sharing of darkness at a climate conference for artists and scientists, and the year-long festival she created in its honour, to her new book, Dancing in the Dark.

With Far-heard Whisper, O’er the Sea

by Rebecca Chesney
5 August 2019
Challenges of Creative Engagement
1,250 words: estimated reading time 5 minutes 


Artist Rebecca Chesney describes her explorations creating With far-heard whisper, o’er the sea for exhibition in Newlyn this year — taking inspiration from the town’s tidal observatory and its unique role in revealing the UK’s rising sea levels.

July 2019

When Our Roar was Birdsong

by Philip Webb Gregg 
In the Elements
2,610 words: estimated reading time 10.5 minutes 


Writer Philip Webb Gregg went looking for ways to let nature get to him, and found them on a bushcraft and survival course, with Extinction Rebellion on the streets of London, and in his garden in the city.

Earth Living — Now, Facing the Storm

Jennifer Leach's artwork, The Eyeball

by Jennifer Leach
19 July 2019
Challenges of Creative Engagement
1,700 words: estimated reading time 7 minutes 


Writer and artist Jennifer Leach shared some of her stories at Reading’s Earth Living Festival. Here, she discusses these questioning tales for a world’s ending — and the relaunch of her Outrider Anthems enterprise as a sanctuary of creativity.

June 2019

Coastline Project — Sailing Under Wolf Island’s Baleful Gaze

by Mike Hembury
27 June 2019
Endangered Worlds
2,510 words: estimated reading time 10 minutes 


Writer and photographer Mike Hembury spent a week on an Inner Hebridean sailing trip as part of Sail Britain’s multidisciplinary Coastline Project. He recalls this small group’s ecological encounters and shares poems and photographs they inspired in him.

Beneath What Is Visible, A Vast Shadow

by Oliver Raymond-Barker
19 June 2019
Creative Works
2,720 words: estimated reading time 11 minutes 


Photographer Oliver Raymond-Barker uses an innovative take on the camera obscura to uncover visible and invisible networks and complex histories embedded in a Scottish peninsula whose water-and-landscape is home to nuclear arsenals, peace activists and pilgrims’ spiritual traditions.

May 2019

Unpacking Deep Time in Our Living Present

The living presentby Mark Goldthorpe
14 May 2019
1,630 words: estimated reading time 6.5 minutes 


ClimateCultures editor Mark Goldthorpe reviews the Deep Time Walk field kit’s latest addition — an attractive and engaging set of cards that explores our planet’s 4.6 billion year timeline and offers us thoughtful paths into the living present.

April 2019

‘Creations of the Mind’

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, directed by Zacharias Kunukby James Murray-White Review
1,830 words: estimated reading time 7.5 minutes


Filmmaker James Murray-White reviews A Film-Philosophy of Ecology and Enlightenment. In this scholarly work, Rupert Read advocates an ecological approach to film-philosophy analysis, arguing that film can re-shape the viewer’s relationship to the environment and other living beings. 

‘What You Need Will Come to You’

by Laura Donkers
1 April 2019
Cultural Change
1,600 words: estimated reading time 6.5 minutes 


Environmental artist Laura Donkers follows her initial post on eco-social art engagement with her experience as Visiting Doctoral Researcher, moving to Aotearoa New Zealand from July to November 2018 to expand her research by exploring Kaupapa Māori approaches.

March 2019

Rising — endsickness and adaptive thinking

Risingby Mark Goldthorpe
25 March 2019
2,860 words: estimated reading time 11.5 minutes 


Mark Goldthorpe reviews Elizabeth Rush’s Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore: a contemplation of transience, connection and the possibilities of resilience, demonstrating the power of story to highlight opportunities to attend and adapt to a changing world. 

Rising Appalachia

Rising Appalachia: Leah and Chloe Smith

by Mary Woodbury
Gifts of Sound and Vision
2,235 words: estimated reading time 9 minutes + 18 minutes video  


Writer Mary Woodbury finds deep resonance in the music of Rising Appalachia, who draw on the rural landscapes of her family, and whose musical fusion offers ideas of resilience and community in the face of change and loss.

Bone Landscapes

Bone Forest, Jo Dacombe

by Jo Dacombe
11 March 2019
Environmental Change
1,430 words: estimated reading time 5.5 minutes 


Artist Jo Dacombe explores sense of place, layers of history and the power of objects. Jo describes her work with museums and researchers on visual art inspired by relationships between bones and landscapes, now and into the future.

Eco-social Art — Engaging Climate Literacy 

Berneray Community Polycrub_2016

by Laura Donkers
4 March 2019
Cultural Change
2,300 words: estimated reading time 9 minutes + 6 minutes video


Environmental artist Laura Donkers works with the embodied knowledge of communities, through a form of eco-social art engagement, to help develop climate literacy. Laura describes her approach and experience with local communities in Uist in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.

February 2019 

UNFIX Festival — Unfix the Situation

UNFIX situation 2019 Image by Henrik Knudsen

by Paul Michael Henry
25 February 2019
Art & Eco Activism
1,120 words: estimated reading time 4.5 minutes 


Artistic director and performer Paul Michael Henry, who has devised successive UNFIX festivals, discusses his motivation and ambitions for these international gatherings and explorations, ahead of UNFIX 2019 next month. UNFIX: a command form, a verb, an activity.

“Attending to the world’s extraordinary surprise” 

by James Murray-White
19 February 2019
700 words: estimated reading time 3 minutes


Filmmaker James Murray-White reviews Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky’s Learning to Die: Wisdom in the age of climate crisis — a book urging the cultivation of human virtues in a time of crisis and the rejection of lazy thinking.

January 2019

Out of Range

by Nancy Campbell 
24 January 2019
1,950 words: estimated reading time 8 minutes 


Poet Nancy Campbell reviews Nick Drake’s new collection, Out of Range: poems celebrating proximity and distance (spatial, temporal, emotional) to remark on the state we’re in, taking us on a journey through known worlds into unknown ones. 

“Firestone far beneath our feet” 

Cornerstones cover, by Little Toller Books

by James Murray-White 
8 January 2019
930 words: estimated reading time 3.5 minutes


James Murray-White took a break from editing his Finding Blake film to review Cornerstones: subterranean writings. This new collection explores how all landscapes — from Dartmoor to the Arctic Circle — begin below the surface of the earth.