Beyond the Fields

As well as planning my final show and giving consideration to my final assignments, I have also been thinking about life after the MA.

I don’t want to lose the traction I feel I have started to gain in my practice and I hope to make new connections, particularly in Cornwall and within the disciplines of science and environment.

Having been chosen as the artist to illustrate the University of Exeter and Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s Farm for AONBees pollinator project in 2017, I worked with Dr. Grace Twiston-Davies, Associate Research Fellow with Exeter University’s Biosciences department.

She has been a great source of information and inspiration since then and most recently sent on details about Beyond the Fields (Fig. 1).

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Fig. 1: Flyer for Beyond the Fields

This event, which will bring together scientists, theorists and artists to discuss the nature of transdisciplinary research and art/science collaborations, will be held at the End of the World Garden, near Falmouth.

The garden is an artist-led project set in a two-acre forest that offers a “collaborative platform for artist residencies, durational trans-disciplinary research, and residential seminars exploring land use and post-capital futures”. It was created by artist Paul Chaney in 2016.

For this particular networking event only 30 spaces were on offer to participate, with eight spaces available to Cornwall-based artists only. To apply to take part for a place you had to respond to the following questions:

1. What is your field of study/research/practice?

2. What would you like to get out of this event?

3. What might you be able to contribute to this event?

I provided the following answers:

1. I specialise in historic/alternative photographic processes. My work has an emphasis on environmental issues. For example, my current project has been made in response to the global sand crisis.
2. To meet people from other disciplines, with a view to collaborate, hear new viewpoints and learn new things. I am currently working with Cultivator Cornwall on a visual arts project and may seek feedback from attendees if appropriate.
3. To share how I minimise my photographic footprint on the environment and to discuss how photography has been/is an ideal bridge between science and art, and it’s impact on our lives.
I have been chosen as one of the eight Cornwall-based artists.
I was a little hesitant at first about whether to apply or not as it is over the last weekend before my final assignment hand-ins.
But, although my nerves may have preferred that time to titivate my final work, I also do not want to miss an opportunity to meet potential collaborators in my locality.
The website describes the structure of the two days as:

Saturday will be structured around talks from a range of academics and practitioners. After dinner (provided by locally renowned chef Dominic Bailey) there will be relaxing entertainment and the opportunity to continue conversations around the camp fire.

On Sunday we will explore ways in which we can integrate art and science fieldwork from a variety of perspectives. This will be a unique opportunity for scientists to brainstorm future outreach and develop research ideas with End of the World Garden, other local arts organisations, and professional artists from the region.

I am looking forward to taking part and learning more, and maybe generating future projects.
References
End of the World Garden. Available at: http://eotwgarden.org.uk/index.html [accessed July 25, 2018].
CHANEY, Paul. ‘paulchaney.co.uk‘. Available at: http://www.paulchaney.co.uk/ [accessed July 25, 2018].