Connecting with nature during isolation
15 April 2020
As part of their Culture + Climate programme 2020, THG has teamed up with East Devon AONB to share NATURE SHORTS: an online series showcasing art practices which inspire, build creativity and deepen our connection with nature.
NATURE SHORTS will explore how we can connect with nature during isolation, sharing different artistic approaches to land and space. The highlighted artists work across a range of materials and processes including land art, photography, printmaking and performance.
As we move our public programme into the digital realm, we are hoping to reach new audiences and support our artistic community.
NATURE SHORT 1 - April 15: ‘Printing with Paint’ with artist designer Emma Molony
Emma Molony is an artist designer living and working in East Devon. Emma worked at THG for six years and developed our ongoing relationship with East Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Working with LOLA, for our Culture + Climate 2020 programme Emma developed these inspirational art kits which help us connect with nature in creative ways.
"One of my favourite things about the LOLA kit was the quality of the paints. The little set of acrylics has a selection of really lovely colours and my six year old chose the earthy colours to make his spiral picture - instead of mud!
As a printmaker, I was interested to see how they worked instead of inks to make some simple prints at home - brilliant! Great pigments and fast drying meant you could make gorgeous layered prints using found materials from our walks."
Richard Long inspired fingerprint spirals
How to make simple plant prints
NATURE SHORT 2 - April 22: ‘Experiments with nature outdoors and at home, finding new narratives and new readings’ with artists Megan Calver & Gabrielle Hoad
about body unknown - with something alien - the human talk - body unknown about
"Inspired by Richard Long’s use of words in relation to landscape, we have been inviting the other-than-human to collaborate in the making of new readings. In the future we will invite people to join us out of doors to generate and perform texts spliced from found elements. For now, we are experimenting with buckets, basins and baths in our homes, using items such as wax paper discs to stand in for floating leaves and logs. Flows of water and air rearrange and edit the elements to make narratives of their own.”
Frequent collaborators since 2015, Megan Calver and Gabrielle Hoad share an interest in generating site-responsive work through oblique approaches to field study. They often draw on the input of human and nonhuman participants.
NATURE SHORT 3 - April 29: ‘Tree exercises to help find well-being and cope with future changes’ with artist and tree dowser Gordon Field
Through artworks, interventions and events Gordon make others aware of the world around us and our place within it. Through his work, trees reveal to him their overall well-being and how they will cope with future changes.These exercises will help you do the same!
NATURE SHORT 4 - May 6: Jo Lathwood and Paul Blakemore
As part of our 2019 exhibition Well Trodden Wrong Ways, Jo Lathwood created a new body of work inspired by sea defenses - ‘tetrapods’. These engineered geometric forms are designed to cleverly disrupt waves which cause erosion. Using local stone (clay, sandstone, gypsum, salt, chalk) and sea water, Lathwood arduously handcrafted new structures. Their fragility rendered them useless and after the exhibition they were returned to the sea.
This film by Paul Blakemore depicts them being returned to the landscape to be dissolved by the sea. The work explores how our landscape changes regardless of our attempts to defend it.
NATURE SHORT 5 - May 13: Paul Blakemore
A professional theatre and arts photographer based in the South West, Paul has over ten years’ experience working amongst the performing arts, with an extensive catalogue of published work in various national newspapers. He regularly works at the Bristol Old Vic alongside many other theatres, festivals and production companies including MAYK and The British Paraorchestra. Additionally working on public commissions and directly with established artists to document and realise artistic visions through photography and film.
NATURE SHORT 6 - May 20: Jo Lathwood
Jo Lathwood makes sculptures and large scale installations which regularly respond to a particular site, event, material or process. Working with recycled timber she has built a meandering staircase that travelled across 3 stories to facilitate the audience to touch the roof of a church. Experimenting with foundry technologies she has developed a way of making homemade lava sculptures and though researching traditional techniques she has made inks from Oak Galls.
NATURE SHORT 7 - May 27: Fourthland
Fourthland is a place envisioned by artists Isik and Eva, to delve into the interconnectedness of the creative process, producing work across mediums of sculpture, installation, performance, film, social - and ceremonial practice.
"Through creating artworks as vessels for transforming exchange, we reposition marginalised knowledge to address new modes of social and environmental consciousness. With a longstanding commitment to social practice, the work serves as an antidote to disillusionment and modes of separation held in modern society."
NATURE SHORT 8 - June 3: Mike Perry
Mike Perry’s photographs examine the interactions of landscapes, nature and industrial society. Over the last 20 years his practice has focused on Britain’s National Parks and increasingly the immediate surroundings of Pembrokeshire where he lives and works, questioning the romantic mythology of national parks as areas of wilderness and natural beauty. He uses large format photography in order to simultaneously capture the painterly tones and aesthetic qualities of the landscape’s surface as well as detailing the impacts of humanity’s exploitation of nature for commercial gains. Discussing the tension between the seductive surfaces and worrying content of his work, he commented that ‘as well as highlighting overconsumption and pollution, they show nature’s ability to shape our world whether we humans are here or not’
NATURE SHORT 9 - June 10: George Barron
Printmaker George trained as an illustrator and worked in film and animation between London and New York before moving back to Devon. George has a love of history which has resulted in many Double Elephant projects, most recently telling the story of ‘Mary of Exeter’.
George is also a Director at The Double Elephant Print Workshop and runs the Freefall and Freefall+ youth groups with Exeter Phoenix.