In this section I'll post news that is relevant to this project, information related to the subject of landscape and pain, the human impact of wind turbines and the Viking Energy Wind Farm as it relates to the project. Reports on research findings are in the RESOURCES section
I gave a presentation titled 'Climate crisis, extractivism and social art practice in Shetland', at the 11th annual Relate North research symposium and exhibition organised by the University of the Arctic’s thematic network, Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design (ASAD 14-17 November. This year it was organised in collaboration with the Department of Creative Studies, Umeå University, and the University of Lapland. I showed some of my recent work from Landscape in Pain (2023) in which I continue to try to make visible the extractivist principles and practices which threaten to destabilise communities such as Shetland through industrialisation and exploitation of natural resources in the drive to tackle the climate crisis. Information about the Symposium and Exhibition is here.
SCPR Network: The Cultural Sector and the Climate Emergency
I was delighted to speak at this event on 26 October 2023 at the University of Aberdeen organised by Professor Eleanor Belfiore. It was the third event in a programme aimed to develop a Scottish Cultural Policy Research Network which brings together cultural policy research experts working in Scotland, including policymakers, consultants, artists, businesses, and other actors in the Scottish creative economy, to facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration and policy and industry impact. Some of the key sector issues include::
The creative sector and post-covid recovery in Scotland (including the challenges and opportunities for young artists entering the job market)
The role of arts and culture in addressing climate change and the commitment to net-zero
Scotland’s international image and role post-Brexit, and cultural relations.
mage credt: Rowan Bazley, Floorpainting V (The Glasgow School of Art, Fine Art, 2022).
Pollution from Wind Turbines
I organised this talk at UHI Shetland, Scalloway Campus, on 23 November 2022. Over 50 people attended, a good turnout in light of little publicity. The audience was both in person in the lecture theatre and online. The online audience included people from Canada, Ireland, Greece, the Netherlands, mainland Scotland and the Scottish isles, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden. We recorded the talk and you can access it here.
Landscape in Pain was selected by the organisation Earth Hackers for their new zine.
Community, culture, and belonging are key pieces of humanity often set upon the back burner of technological development – normalizing technologies destructive to people and the planet. This digital zine investigates these themes through the lenses of environmental justice and technology. Ten multi-media creative works and three honourable mentions that explore these ideas are here
Image: Solar system, from the Environmental Justice in Tech Educator Toolkit
Landscape in Pain: Shetland’s industrial scale wind farm and solastalgia
I wrote this article about Landscape in Pain for the academic journal, Technical Aesthetics and Design Research. It is a is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal whose goal is to form an interdisciplinary platform for research in the fields of design and architecture. I finished corrections for the final proof not long before the invasion of Ukraine. I was very excited to have an article published in a Russian publication and was particularly pleased with the northern and Arctic context for my body of work where I see links between the exploitation of natural resources in the Arctic, largely mining and potentially oil, and Shetland, where it is wind. Of course I was devastated, like so many, including Russian colleagues and friends, to see events unfold in Ukraine around the time everything was finished. I was hesitant to include the news here. I am still not certain I should share the information, but at the time of writing (August 2022) I feel inclined to do so. I will figure out a different way to make the article accessible in future. The article is based on my talk in November 2021 at the International symposium, Relate North 2021: Everyday Extremes organised by Tomsk State University with the University of Lapland and the Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design (ASAD) thematic network of the University of the Arctic.
Image: Landscape in Pain #037420210606
I'm delighted that my work has been selected for this annual event, both for the exhibition and the symposium. I am speaking on 11 November. The talks are being streamed live on You Tube and you can watch the recordings here for Day 1 and Day 2. The event is a collaboration between the University of the Arctic’s Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design thematic network (ASAD), National Research Tomsk State University, and University of Lapland. This will be the ninth symposium in the series hosted by ASAD. The ASAD network aims to identify and share innovative practices in learning, teaching, research and knowledge exchange in the fields of art, design and visual culture education. The network promotes cooperation and collaboration between academic institutions and communities with the purpose of working towards a shared understanding of critical issues relevant to people living in the north.
Häufig müssen wir zwischen zwei Übeln entscheiden: Wie wires auch anstellen.
This article is written by Hanspeter Spörri in response to my work that was in the exhibition in Switzerland «Verborgene Blumen blühen am schönsten» (Hidden Flowers Bloom Beautifully). I'm delighted that the installation of my work, and Dorothea Rust's film, motivated him to question, to write and to publish in the September 2021 edition of the monthly magazine, APPENZELLER MAGAZIN, local to the area where the exhibition was held.
Hidden Flowers Bloom Most Beautifully
is a collaborative exhibition between the artists collective Streunender Hund based in Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland, and artists from the Shetland Islands, in the United Kingdom. The exhibition is concurrently in Shetland and Appenzell Ausserrhoden during August 2021. Half of the works in each place consist of local art, the other half of art from afar. In preparation for the exhibition, artists from Shetland and Switzerland have engaged in dialogue in pairs. Details of these dialogues are integrated into the exhibitions and presented as research material. I have been in conversation with the artist Dorothea Rust. The exhibition opened in Shetland on 31 July at Mareel. More information here.
Landscape of Mutability
I'm pleased to be part of the online exhibition organised by researchers in the Arts Lab, University of Glasgow, who are exploring cultural representations of landscape and the effects of transformation, dislocation and mutability. In order to expand their research network within Scotland and to maintain a sense of community, they sent blank postcards to colleagues in academia, in organisations and among artists around Scotland, in addition to those outwith Scotland engaging with Scottish landscape. We were all asked to use each postcard as a canvas on which to express – in images, words, or other forms – the changing nature of the landscape in their lived perception.
This online exhibition brings togetherpostcards in a map with a timeline. Together they provide a glimpse of landscape experiences across Scotland (and beyond) and highlight a variety of interactions with landscapes under circumstances of limited mobility.