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Art & soil: Part 2

We discussed how different cultures and histories understanding of ‘good and bad soil’, before glass and microscopy developed scientific understanding of microorganisms, about mythologies of ghosts, culture and knowledge attached to the land, and more specifically compost, earth, clay, loam, silt and sand.

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Speaking Soil

Over three blog posts. Dan reports on his recent involvement in Grizedale Arts anniversary weekend, and a current opportunity to get involved with them. The themes of this relate to current Arts & Environment learning resources, visits and e-meets developed by Dan and Melissa for OCA.

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Art in the Anthropocene

The word Anthropocene combines the root “anthropo”, meaning “human” with the root “-cene”, the standard suffix for “epoch” in geologic time. Whilst the term is widely used across many discourses it is important to recognise that the term has spread with great speed often dislodging familiar terms like nature and environment. The notion of the Anthropocene raises important questions that concern the sustainability of the planet to support human life.

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Study event review: Arts & environment. Part 1.

In our discussion about trial and error and finding the right working conditions to be able to experiment as part of the creative process, OCA student Bernadette summed it up nicely, “Lets set out to make loads of mistakes.”

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Writing about other species

I’m currently writing a collection of short fiction exploring our relationship with animals. When I tell people this, they often ask me if it’s a book for children, and it’s true that many classics of children’s literature feature animals: Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (1908), E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (1952) and Richard Adams’ Watership Down (1972) all spring to mind, and if you search online for animal stories, many of the results are stories for children. But thinking about and appreciating the lives of animals shouldn’t be something we associate only with children.

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Arts & Environment events and e-meets

Join Dan and Melissa on the 27 and 28 April 2019 in South London. Attend one or both days, we will be drawing outdoors, using microscopes and sharing work in progress amongst other things.

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What is Ecopoetry and why write it?

Eco-poetry, then, in the sense I’m talking about, takes the human and the natural world as undeniably connected and does not prioritise one over the other. The human and natural worlds are not exclusive of one another, and the natural is not something to be ‘conquered.’ Eco-poetry does not centre on a human viewpoint; it is inclusive of plant, animal, landscape. It can make us look at the experiences of the life we share the planet with in a completely new way.

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