Yearly Archives: 2012

ESRC-Scottish Government/ Forestry Commission Scotland PhD Studentship

All the Trees (detail), Chris Fremantle, 2010

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Applications are sought from suitably qualified candidates for a joint ESRC-Scottish Government PhD three-year (‘+3′) studentship. The project entitled ‘Designing and Managing Forests for Health’ has been developed in collaboration with the Forestry Commission Scotland and seeks to examine the links between forestry and community health across Scotland.

The successful candidate will be based in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) in the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. They will also be active members of the university’s OPENspace Research Centre and the Human Geography Research Group.

Applications will be particularly welcome from candidates with a social science / environmental background (e.g. geography, landscape architecture, sociology, environmental science), and quantitative methods will be emphasised in project and training plans. Applicants must have a Masters degree or equivalent in an appropriate field. A working knowledge in GIS would be advantageous.

Start Date: September 2012

Further details on the project and information on how to apply can be found here.

The deadline for submission is 27th April 2012. Interviews will take place during May 2012.

Applicants may discuss the project with any member of the supervisory team: Prof. Jamie Pearce (, Prof. Catharine Ward Thompson ( or Dr Niamh Shortt (

The first supervisor is Jamie Pearce, Professor of Health Geography, Institute of Geography, School of GeoSciences University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street Edinburgh EH8 9XP

Tel: + 44 131 650 2294

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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SHINSAI: Theaters for Japan

Practicing for SHINSAI. Photo Erin Baiano/Licoln Center Theater

This post comes to you from Ashden Directory

Kellie Gutman writes:

A unique event took place at 69 theatres across the United States on March 11, the one-year anniversary of the devastating Japanese earthquake.  Called SHINSAI – the Japanese word for an earthquake disaster – it was a series of readings of ten-minute plays to raise funds for the Japan Playwrights Association.

Some theatres held one or two readings before their normally scheduled productions; others made an evening of presenting many of the plays and songs put together for the event.  More than half of the plays have to do with the environmental disaster in Japan. To read the plays, register here

The Theatre Communications Group helped to organize SHINSAI. Japanese and American playwrights wrote works for the event; Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman reworked two songs from their 1976 musical Pacific Overtures. All plays were to be presented only on March 11.

National Public Radio did a story, which you can hear here.

Yoji Sakate, President of Japan Playwrights Association wrote:

Theater artists in Japan, centered around those living in the Tohoku region that was devastated by the great earthquake and nuclear accident, extend our hand to theater artists around the world to rebuild Tohuku and Japanese society, restoring the conditions that surround the art of theater, such as environments for creative activity, theater buildings, companies, rehearsal spaces, education and audiences.  We seek to work with our international peers to demonstrate the potential of human beings and the theater to overcome adversity as well as the primordial power of expression on stage.


“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)

ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.

The Directory has been live since 2000.

Go to The Ashden Directory

“Water Lives” animation on biodiversity in river and lakes.

Released March 20th, “Water Lives…” is a science communication animation designed to draw attention to the important (yet largely invisible) life that underpins and sustains our rivers and lakes. Produced by Paul Jepson and Rob St.John at the School of Geography and the Environment for BioFresh – a European Union project on freshwater biodiversity – the animation brings artists and scientists together to collaborate and communicate the concept that freshwater is more than an inert resource: instead a living, dynamic system inhabited by beautiful, important organisms largely unseen by the naked eye. “Water Lives…” invites viewers to view our freshwaters in new ways, value the range of services they provide and discuss how they should be managed.

The curious and otherworldly physical forms of freshwater organisms such as diatoms provides abundant artistic inspiration. “Water Lives…” is a six minute piece animated by Scottish artist Adam Proctor. It is sound-tracked by a specially composed piece of music by Tommy Perman from Scottish, BAFTA award winning arts collective FOUND which samples a series of haiku about freshwater ecosystems written by environmental poet John Barlow. The content of both the animation and haiku was informed by collaborations between the artists and BioFresh freshwater scientists Rick Battarbee from University College London and Ana Filipa Filipe from the University of Barcelona, alongside Alistair Seddon from the University of Oxford Zoology department.

This novel, cross-disciplinary team have produced a nuanced, multi-layered piece that not only contains sound, robust scientific information, but that is also beautiful, engaging and playful. It is a work that can be viewed entirely on its artistic merits, from which the viewer could take away a range of different information – from something as simple as “Freshwaters are more interesting than I thought” to something as intricate as “How can policy makers manage this complex entanglement of life?” – and a whole spectrum in between.  “Water Lives…” is a valuable education and communication tool: it invites viewers to value the importance and beauty of freshwater ecosystems and engage with how they should be managed. It also suggests the productive possibilities created by collaborations between scientists and creative artists for opening up new, creative spaces for how we contemplate, value and plan to manage our environment. We hope that you enjoy it.

More information and artist statements

BioFresh project

The BioFresh project – funded by the European Union’s Framework 7 programme – is currently assembling dispersed information on freshwater biodiversity into a network accessible through an online portal to allow better analysis of the distribution, status and trends of global freshwater ecosystems.  This work will support more effective environmental policy formation and raise awareness of the importance and value of freshwaters ecosystems.

Podcast of Paul Kingsnorth from RANE

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Paul Kingsnorth of the Dark Mountain project will be at Carrying the Fire 20-22nd April in Biggar.  For those interested, he also recently spoke at RANE in Falmouth and they just put up a podcast.

“And so we find ourselves, all of us together, poised trembling on the edge of a change so massive that we have no way of gauging it. None of us knows where to look, but all of us know not to look down. Secretly, we all think we are doomed: even the politicians think this; even the environmentalists. Some of us deal with it by going shopping. Some deal with it by hoping it is true. Some give up in despair. Some work frantically to try and fend off the coming storm. Our question is: what would happen if we looked down? Would it be as bad as we imagine? What might we see? Could it even be good for us?”

Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto, Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine, 2009

Non-fiction author, poet and novelist, Paul Kingsnorth is one of the UK’s most original – and controversial – writers on the environment. His first book, One No, Many Yeses (2003), explored the rise of the global resistance movement. In 2008, his polemic travelogue Real England: The Battle against the Bland was described in the Independent as “a watershed study, a crucially important book”. In 2009, Paul co-founded the Dark Mountain Project, a global network that aims “to bring together writers and artists, thinkers and doers, to assault the established citadels of literature and thought, and to begin to redraw the maps by which we navigate the places and times in which we find ourselves”. Paul is also a former editor of the Ecologist magazine and a frequent contributor to national newspapers.


ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

Inspired Garden Created by Students & Tammy Bird

This post comes to you from Green Public Art

Recently I was invited to speak about my work to an Environmental Studies class at Carson High School. As one might expect, I think they taught me more then I them.

Over the past 6 years the students at the high school, under the guidance of Tammy Bird, have transformed a neglected lot on school grounds into a thriving educational garden. The project has been fully funded by small grants or donations. Organizations like Tree People donated over a hundred fruit trees to the neighborhood, many of which found homes in the Carson High School Garden. The organization has also hosted tree pruning events to teach the students how to maintain their orchard. Kellogg Garden Products has donated soil and organic fertilizer.

Tammy likes to operate under the radar which allows her a certain amount of freedom. She encourages the students to take ownership of the projects that take place in the garden. Some recent inventions include re-purposing discarded industrial materials (AC fans, trash cans, a tractor, many of which are found in their schools “graveyard”, a place adjacent to the garden where discarded materials remain until they are taken to the dump) into planters, functional wind machines, and a slow roast pit. Tammy and the students proudly showed off their newly installed windmill (the first in the neighborhood!), functional solar panels (recycled from CAL Trans) to circulate the pump in their micro-climate pond, composting bins, and plans for a green wall and mosaic art wall.

Thanks to maverick teachers like Tammy Bird a population of children in Los Angeles is being introduced to nature in a meaningful way. I am hopeful that there are more stories like this one out in our broken education system. **I failed to take any pictures during my tour (big fail!) but have included these which I found in a google search.


Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.

Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
Go to Green Public Art