‘ Nothing can change humanity’s basic needs, but art can change our desires, which are the source of most of our impact on the Earth’s environment and biological diversity.’
— Minik Rosing, 2021
Wild Arts builds on two art workshops that took place on the ancient wildflower hay meadow, Long Mead, in the summer of 2021.
The workshops were organised as part of the Nature Recovery Network (NRN) by artist, Alice Walker and Long Mead's Catriona Bass, to inspire participants to create art works for the Floodplain Meadows Partnership International Art Competition.
The art workshops generated a strong response in the community; indeed it resulted in great local success in the international competition. Four out of the twelve winners (one for each month of the 2022 FMP Calendar) were participants of the workshops, including Julia Loken, a botanical artist, and Alice Walker, who was the overall joint-winner. (You can get a glimpse of our meadow artists at work in this compelling film made by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative of Oxford University that was screened at COP26. If you want to watch only the art session, click on the clip further down).
One important insight that came out of the summer art workshops was the value of combining scientific learning with artistic expression.
Both science and art require close and sustained attention to the subjects under scrutiny, both require understanding, both require interpretation and communication. 'Wild Arts' aims to take this symbiosis further with a series of workshops led by local artists in collaboration with local ecologists that draw inspiration, reference and material directly from the local habitat and combine opportunities to learn new skills, knowledge and respond creatively. This will be accompanied by a community-sourced creative nature diary project. NRN Wild Arts is funded by Natural England
Please contact us if you'd like to join this project. Our next workshop is Carbon Capture and Pigment
Art in the Meadow
This clip is part of Working with Nature: Rivers and Coast, which feature Long Mead. It was created by filmmaker, Matthew Mullholland, working in collaboration with the Nature-based Solutions Initiative at the University of Oxford. It was shown at COP26