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Study event review: Arts & environment. Part 2. - The Open College of the Arts
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Study event review: Arts & environment. Part 2.

On Sunday 28 April we went to South London Botanical Institute.

This is a really unique and atmospheric space, very conducive for group work and discussions. It was our 2nd visit. The interior comprises a meeting room, a herbarium, a library, kitchen, dinging room, glasshouse and garden. Over the course of the day we really used the full space, for talking, sharing lunch, drawing, writing, making photographs and videos, studying plants under the microscopes and collecting materials from the garden. A few students attending felt this would be a good space to return to for regional group meets or as potential venue for further a group events. The evening before there had been a supper club.

SLBI Warden, Alex gave us a welcome talk about the history of the SLBI.

The structure of our day at SLBI was quite organic and discursive, but we broke this up with some short focussed creative exercises to get us moving around the place and actively making.

5min exercises (see also Instagram @startercultureuk) to respond in any way that resonates.

  1. Find and use an alternative tool
  2. Observe growth
  3. Observe and record edges
  4. From a plant’s point of view— What does the plant see, feel, think?
  5. Find a way to attune yourself to that which wants to reveal itself (in what you’ve done)

(You can also see how these were used on OCA student, Stefan Schaffeld’s learning log here)
We experimented with scanning in flowers, inspired by the (over 100 year old) pressed flowers in the herbarium.

If you would like to get a sense of the South London Botanical Institute you can see it here on Youtube

This is a very light touch summary of our weekend just to give a flavour.

What’s next?

Forthcoming E-meet (online group discussion) info:
These events are part of a program of Art & Environment visits taking the context of climate change as a backdrop for explorations of art, design and ecology, environment and nature.
If you would like to join us online for a 1 hour discussion at the end of May, to explore some of these ideas further and share individual responses, please follow the doodle link to register. A pilot resource pack is available to enable students who do not attend a chance to engage with the event experience at a distance. To request yours email [email protected].

Making our own microscope slides / talking to plants


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Posted by author: Dan Robinson

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