Yearly Archives: 2017

Ullapool Green Tease Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

A few weeks ago, we held for our first Ullapool Green Tease, run in collaboration with An Talla Solais as part of their summer exhibition ‘Murmur – artists reflect on climate change’, curated by Jonathan Baxter.

A group of around twenty of us gathered in the MacPhail Centre, the building which hosts the Ullapool’s high school and library, as well as providing spaces for theatre performances, conferences and meetings. Over seaweed biscuits and tea, we heard short presentations by Gemma (Creative Carbon Scotland), exhibiting artist Sarah Gittins, Lindy Young and Anna Reid from Deveron Projects and local resident, boat builder and teacher Topher Dawson and held a discussion about the links between creative practices, community resilience and climate change.

Culture & climate change

Following introductions, Gemma outlined Creative Carbon Scotland’s culture/SHIFT programme which seeks to explore how artistic practices can contribute towards the significant social transformation required to meet national and global carbon reduction targets and adapt to a changing climate.

We see the arts as playing a key role in this transformation in various ways, including through its ability to create and bring communities together, make the invisible causes and impacts of climate change visible, and by helping society to think in new ways about complex issues and imagine different futures.

Exploring complexity

Sarah Gittins shared with us reflections from her research residency in Ullapool which explored the nature of local livelihoods based upon working ‘on, in or with the sea’, out of which she developed a series of printed works titled ‘Sea Tangle’.

Established by the British Fisheries Society in 1788, Ullapool has long been an active fishing port, surviving numerous busts and booms in the herring industry and supporting both small and large-scale fishing operations. Much of its current fishing catch is transported by refrigerated lorries to fish markets in Southern Europe.

The drawings which emerged from Sarah’s conversations and encounters shone a light on the complex interaction between local fishing practices, the marine ecosystem and how it is being and will be impacted by climate change in the future. We were told the story of the increasing numbers of swimming octopus and squid found in Ullapool waters. A result of rising sea temperature levels and predator loss, this change in the marine ecosystem has had a knock-on effect for shellfish populations, impacting the livelihoods of those dependent on creel fishing.

The octopus became an important symbol in Sarah’s drawings, encompassing what local writer John MacIntyre described as the need to “learn to think in tangles” to address the complexity of the challenges posed by climate change.

Community resilience

From Deveron Projects and Topher, we learned about some different approaches to building community resilience. Anna and Lindy introduced the Deveron Projects’ ‘50/50 model’ which aims to bring together the organisation’s artistic endeavours with the needs and interests of the local community in Huntly, following the maxim of Patrick Geddes ‘think global, act local’. Their current project ‘The Town is the Garden’ is supporting 100 residents to take up food growing initiatives, through which they will explore the wider question of what a sustainable food culture for the town could look like.

Topher shifted our attention from food to energy. He shared his experiences of living off-grid on Scoraig, a settlement located on a peninsula south of Ullapool on Little Loch Broom, highlighting the different relationship Scoraig’s residents have with their energy, and one another, being acutely aware of how one’s individual behaviour fits into a wider whole. He argued for the role of aesthetics in helping to change perceptions of landscape and increasing society’s connection to how energy is produced and consumed.

Topher concluded by asking what would it take for local residents to find beauty and power in a wind turbine situated in full visibility on a hill overlooking Ullapool. The Land Art Generator Initiative, which has a project currently under development in Glasgow, was referenced as a project which seeks to build popular acceptance of clean energy by integrating art and interdisciplinary creative processes into the development of renewable energy generating public artworks.

In different ways, the presentations highlighted the role which artistic practices can play in making new connections between previously disconnected areas, offering a means by which to approach and represent problems from a systems perspective. This ability to think at a systemic level is vital if we are to ensure the prosperity of the natural ecosystems and human societies, now and in the future. This was highlighted in ecological artist Newton Harrison’s recent talk at Woodend Barn and is something Creative Carbon Scotland is exploring through our Embedded Artist Project.

Closing discussion

In group discussions, we reflected upon what sources of hope we drew upon to address climate change, by what means we felt able to take action locally and what role, if any, the arts and culture might play in building community resilience to climate change. Themes emerging included:

  • Finding hope and sources of inspiration in the strong social ties and connections within the local community;
  • Identifying care as a strong motivating factor in local responses to climate change, both for one another and for the non-human;
  • The arts providing a means of developing a language which articulates the social and cultural value of the natural environment;
  • Arts spaces such as An Talla Solais offering important spaces in which to dwell in challenging questions, open-up debates and take risks.

We concluded by collating a list of skills, resources and community qualities which could be put towards the further development of an arts and sustainability network in Ullapool and the wider region in the future.

All images are credited to Saule Zuk

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the event! Green Tease is an ongoing informal events programme which connects creative practices and environmental sustainability. Find out more about previous and upcoming events and how you can get involved in the Green Tease network here.

The post Ullapool Green Tease Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

About Creative Carbon Scotland:

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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In Conversation with Food

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Last month, I put my food play up onstage in its most fully produced iteration. Even though I had heard it aloud in front of an audience before, I didn’t really know what was going to happen. That’s the beauty of theatre, right? We never really know. But I had expectations, anxieties, hopes. I hoped audiences would connect with the piece, with the issues, with moments in a personal and political way. I hoped they would tell someone in their lives about the experience. I hoped everyone would have a good time.

Logo graphic design by Lucy Ressler.

For the most part, it felt like everyone – audiences and actors – did indeed have a good time. But in the weeks since, I’ve been ambivalent about UPROOT’s effectiveness. How does my play fit into a world where tragedies like the violence in Charlottesville and disasters like tropical storm Harvey are coursing through news media and every-day conversation? I consider this because I hold my processes and work to a socio-political standard, because myself and my collaborators and my work do not exist in a vacuum. Stepping back, I’m considering some of the moments of UPROOT that held particular socio-political resonance.

Over the past decade, I’ve been consuming various food documentaries and writings, which expose another side of the food industry not seen in the restaurants and stores where we actually get our food. These investigations have directly informed my food play, in which I raise questions about where our food comes from and how we in Western society got to be disconnected from those sources. I attempt to address metaphysical ideas in a pedestrian mode, through anthropomorphized foods, and utilizing multiple theatrical conventions. I use group scenes and two-handers and monologues and movement because I want to tear down the artifice of theatre. I am not looking for audiences to have an emotional catharsis by the end of the show: I am looking for audiences to feel a collective energy, to be ready to share their thoughts and questions with others. Not that these are mutually exclusive, but I personally prefer to circumvent and reutilize theatrical conventions to more aptly make space for dedicated conversation around pressing issues.

UPROOT, August 22, 2017. Photo by Ran Xia.

What I found in making a play about food is that I naturally took a route of exploration through words. I used my characters and their circumstances as a vehicle to explore my own ideas about food in America – a very particular Western, privileged culture. My food characters grappled with the existential questions that I ask my peers and myself on a regular basis: What is our purpose? Where do we have control? How do we have agency? In thinking about food, I think about existence, and thus, these broad, human questions arise.

The play also had moments without dialogue – moments between the lines, music, movement. My favorite element was the movement sequence in which the foods go through their physical life at the opening up of the grocery store. Choreographed by my collaborator Tyler Thomas, the store-opening movement sequence encapsulated the experience of a hectic grocery store from the foods’ perspectives. Without words, this part of the play opened up room for interpretation, but was also clear enough – with sounds of price-checkers and cash registers – for the audiences to identify and track the story. This sequence was fun, fast-paced, participatory, and provocative. It brought a new level of energy into the room, and I realize now that it needed a reprise, another offering of action between the lines.

UPROOT, August 22, 2017. Photo by Ran Xia.

This production had double the instances of audience interaction as the staged reading. This came most prominently in the form of audiences receiving things – coupons, snacks, resource sheets. Breaking the convention of the fourth wall in this way suggests to me that I take my play out of a conventional theatre space altogether, so that I might better position audiences to participate. At the same time, I am accustomed to the traditions and boundaries of theatres, and will remain interested in forging new dynamics and practices within such spaces. It was exciting to de-formalize theatrical norms, and I was pleased by the audiences’ receptiveness to the direct-engagement moments, when the house lights turned dimly on and the actors crossed into the seats, to either ask questions or pass out something.

At one point, the actors pass out coupons, to be “redeemed later.” About forty minutes later, they cross back into the audience to receive these coupons in exchange for one of two snacks: carrots or Cheetos. I could not have expected the responses – some audiences were disappointed in their snack, some were guilty at feeling disappointed, some were content with food of any form. While the snacks are being passed out, one actor tells the story of a town with different neighborhoods. One neighborhood has substantial economic resources, the other does not. I chose the snack types on impulse – carrots, a literal and symbolic fresh food, for the neighborhood with means; Cheetos, an epitome of processed, packaged food, for the neighborhood without. Audiences clicked into similar connotations: Cheetos are cheap, everyone is supposed to want to eat their vegetables, we aren’t supposed to eat the highly-processed fake-cheese crunchy goodness. I didn’t expect such excitement or aversion to one food or the other, or the degree of consideration that landed amongst audiences at this scene. It felt satisfying.

I was particularly excited about the post-show conversation on the first performance night. As a frequent theatre-maker and go-er, I am apt to steer away from such very hit-or-miss experiences as a talkback. But given the universal need to eat, audiences stuck around to hear from our panelists – Onika Abraham from Farm School NYC, Ashley Rafalow from CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, and Benjamin Sacks from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University – who localized the issues in the play, and spotlighted the people working on them. Our panelists broadened the topic of food and food justice, and hit on the intersectionality of the food movement, which cross-cuts immigration, workers’ rights, and trade.

I will continue to develop UPROOT, to write and edit, and to talk about food. Through this production process, I’ve felt that the topics and themes I want to hit upon, the vision I have for what role my art can play in society, both encompasses and transcends words (especially in the English language). In this way, I will continue to involve actors and audiences and experts in the development of UPROOT, to cultivate communities, and to usher in the spirit of a sustainable and equitable future for all.

UPROOT, August 22, 2017. Photo by Ran Xia.

Take Action
Donate to the Houston Food Bank to support victims of Harvey.
New York City has a primary mayoral election coming up. Know who’s on the ballot, and where they stand on issues of immigration, workers’ rights, and other justice issues.

About Artists and Climate Change:

Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

Carbon Reporting 2016-17 due 29th September

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Carbon Reporting is due on 29th September for all Regularly Funded Organisations, and Creative Carbon Scotland are here to help!

All Regularly Funded Organisations should now have received their Annual Statistical Survey for 2016-17 from Creative Scotland which should be completed and returned by 29th September 2017. As with previous years the survey contains an Environment worksheet which requests information on the emissions produced from your use of utilities, waste and travel. You can find a new video explaining how to complete this worksheet in the Carbon Reporting for RFOs section of the website.

What you need for reporting to Creative Scotland

You will need access to data on your usage of water, electricity, gas and other heating fuels as well as amounts of your landfill and recycled waste. Your emissions will be calculated automatically when you enter this data into the worksheet. In addition, you will need to access emissions data for your travel. We recommend using figures from the report page in your account. If you do not have your travel data recorded in claimexpenses you will need to calculate emissions from mileage figures using emissions factors for each mode of travel.

Please contact us if you need help to obtain data on emissions factors for travel.

Note: If you have completed this form for a previous year there have been some very minor changes.

Last year, over 50 organisations supplied actual recorded data for all appropriate categories. We hope that this year will see an even greater number of organisations supplying actual data but if this is not available we would encourage you to supply estimated data rather than no data.

Previous year’s reporting

You may be interested to know how we have used your data in the past? You can download our analysis of the data returned in the Environmental section of the Annual Statistical Survey for 2015-16 from our new pages.

Please get in touch with / 0131 529 7909 if you have any questions or need help with completing the Environment section of the survey.


The post Carbon Reporting 2016-17 due 29th September appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland:

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

500 Years of Resistance Presented By: Dancing Earth Creations and Cuicacalli Dance Company


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Dancing Earth Creations in collaboration with Cuicacalli Dance Company are proud to present “500 Years of Resistance” Festival at the newly renovated Brava Theater in the Mission District in San Francisco on Dec 1-2, 2017 . The Festival celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Cuicacalli Danza, the associate year round training program of Dancing Earth.

Two different programs will be presented from December 1-2, 2017 :

  • The Opening Night concert on December 1st will focus on contemporary Indigenous choreographies with themes of; honoring of Native land and water rights  and honoring of treaties,  the renewal of ancestral ties though memory and dreaming; the spiritual, cultural and practical exploration of notions of Renewable Energy; diasporic resilience and resistance in solidarity with all struggles and commonality of people of color; and resistance prayers and  protests tied to local issues advised by our California First Nations consultants.
  • The Closing Night concert on December 2nd features brilliant full  scale production of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano by Cuicacalli Dance Company, as created and directed by Jesús “JACOH” Cortés, former soloist with Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, as well as select contemporary Indigenous choreographies

    (Cuicacalli Dance Company Performance Photo by Robbie Sweeny)

The programs will be featuring Dancing Earth’s collaborating Indigenous performing artists, Cuicacalli professional danzantes and advanced apprentices, special  guest artists, and our honored cultural artist ambassadors of local California First Nations including Ohlone, Pomo and Wappo.

This festival is made possible by San Francisco Arts Commission grants, in-kind support from Dance Mission and Brava Theater, and the immeasurable cultural legacy of our Indigenous cultural consultants and collaborators.

(Cuicacalli Dance Company Performance Photo by Robbie Sweeny)

Calendar Listing:

WHO:   Dancing Earth,  Cuicacalli Dance Company and guest artists including local California       First Nations honored representatives

WHAT:   “500 Years of Resistance” Festival

WHEN:   Program A, Dec. 1 , 2017 ; Program B Dec.  2, 2017

TIME:   7 pm

WHERE:    Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110


WHY:   On the days following Native history month— and the national holiday   known as Thanksgiving by some, but known as ThanksTaking by many– we reclaim  the mythology on which this holiday has been imagined with vital and compelling truths of Indigenous survival and resilience of the original peoples of , as well as inter-tribal and Indigenous people who have made the Bay Area their home.

We honor and embody local and hemispheric resistance efforts protecting Indigenous eco-cultural rights to exist, with vibrant rituals of contemporary Indigenous dance that celebrates our continuance, and welcomes community to gather in solidarity and unity.

Ticket Details:

$30 – General Tickets

$25 – Advance Tickets

$20 – for Students with ID, seniors, and youth under 10 yrs old

*Ticket covers cost of Performance and helps support scholarships for deserving low income students of Cuicacalli Dance Company

Tickets are available after October 15 at or call 415-641-7657


About “ 500 Years Of Resistance “

INTENTION: To offer dances as vital contemporary  rituals for transformation that  heighten awareness and understanding of Indigenous presence and issues for our extended Bay Area community. At this important time in history, Native people are being recognized as the leaders of the ecological movement by bringing spiritual, cultural and creative resonance,  connecting all living beings.

INSPIRATION: We honor the rich heritage of California First Nations’ songs and dances that have kept the land, waters, and all living beings in balance and harmony until colonial times. We are energized by the history of inter-tribal solidarity such as the 1970s takeover of Alcatraz, commemorated annually with gatherings on Indigenous Peoples Day and Thanks(Taking) Day, with this performance falling just after that national holiday. Rich source material emerges from consultation with inter-tribal elders, culture carriers, and activists, as well as individual Indigenous artists bringing their unique cultural perspective to the collaborative creative process in a shimmering mosaic of historical and ancestral memory, imagined futurities, and embodied present.

CREATIVE PROCESS: Dancing Earth works closely with Indigenous collaborators and inter-tribal elders and consultants including representatives of regional California First Nations with creative explorations in seasonal intensives at indoor and outdoor locations,  activating the inner and outer landscapes in a process  described by Dancing Earth’s Founding Director and Choreographer, Rulan Tangen, as “Re-Story-ing”

About Dancing Earth and Director Rulan Tangen:

(On Photo: Rulan Tangen, Dancing Earth Images)

DIRECTOR BIO: RULAN TANGEN (Director, Choreographer, Dancer) is an internationally accomplished dance artist and the Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer of DANCING EARTH. As a performer and choreographer, she has worked in ballet, modern dance, circus, TV, film, theater, opera and Native contemporary productions in the United States, Canada, France, Norway, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Her work values movement as an expression of Indigenous worldview,  honoring  matriarchal leadership, dance as functional ritual for transformation and healing, the process of decolonizing the body, and the animistic energetic connection with all forms of life on Earth. She has recruited and nurtured a new generation of Indigenous contemporary dancers and holds the belief that “to dance is to live, to live is to dance.”

Rulan has been recognized with:

  • Costo Medal for Education, Research and Service by UC Riverside’s Chair of Native Affairs
  • Native Arts and Cultures Foundation for their first dance Fellowship for Artistic Innovation
  • Top ten finalist across all disciplines for Nathan Cummings Fellowship for Social ChangeArts and Healing Network’s Arts for Social Change Award
  • A Blade Of Grass fellowship for socially engaged art
  • Nomination for Action in Film award

In April 2018, she is honored to be a recipient  of the Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award.

(On Photo: Rulan Tangen, Dancing Earth Images)


DANCING EARTH (DE) debuted at Dance Mission in 2004 and has emerged as a unique force in the dance world. DE’s work gathers inter-tribal collaborators to re-envision contemporary dance, embodying Indigenous ecological philosophies with renewed relevance as evidenced by extensive national and international touring invitations.

Director Tangen’s founding vision for DE is to serve a need not met in the United States, giving hope and opportunity to Native talent who are outside of mainstream performance because of lack of access and resources. As Native dancers, composers, customers, filmmakers, and spoken word artists, we challenge notions of what comprises a professional artist, the role of the audience, and the boundaries and purpose of performance. Our tribal values honor dance and songs as essential ritual for transformation which we expand to socio-environmental change. Reviewer T. Hassett  describes Dancing Earth as having “Taken the beauty, power, and wit of that sensibility further, combining powwow, ballet, modern dance, circus arts, capoeira, and b-boying into something acutely mythological.”

We are one of few companies who work with Native communities in gymnasiums and open spaces for people who may have never seen theatrical dance as well as in festivals in Opera houses for audiences who have never met a Native person. We also serve our circles with extensive local and national dance instruction, engagement workshops, and community-made art.

We dance the rich diversity of our contemporary heritage with the intent to promote ecological awareness, cultural diversity, healing and understanding between peoples. Our aesthetic embodies the spirituality inherent on Earth, and is created by, with, and for the land and the peoples of the land.

Recognition include:

  • Medallions from the US Embassy for Cultural Ambassadorship
  • National Museum of American Indian’s Expressive Arts Award
  • Mention as one of ”25 To Watch” by Dance Magazine
  • National Dance Project’s Production and Touring awards in 2009 and 2016
  • MAP FUND award for GROUNDWORKS, a project to debut in Bay Area in 2018

DE evokes critical review such as that found in Santa Fe’s THE magazine: “The visionary note easily persists in the accomplished miracles of speed, agility, grace, and sensuality that articulate … Rulan Tangen’s extraordinary choreography.”

(Dancing Earth Images)

About Cuicacalli Compania and Director Jesus Jacoh Cortes

DIRECTOR BIO: Jesús “JACOH” Cortés, began his training in Mexican folk dance when he was 6 years old under the direction of his great uncle, Juan Natoli. In 2000, he started dancing with Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City after he was trained as a Deer Dancer under the direction of Lucas Zarate Lobato. He was a soloist in the role of The Deer Dance “La Danza Del Venado” for Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, and has toured Mexico, Europe and the United States. He was the company choreographer and lead teacher for Los Niños de Santa Fe y Compañia. In addition to performance, he has also taught hundreds of elementary school children as part of the Arts in the Schools program in Española, New Mexico.

Currently, Jacoh lives in San Francisco and works as an artist in residence with the SFUSD and Brava Theater. He is founder and Artistic Director of Cuicacalli (meaning House of Culture in Nahuatl dialect), and is a lead teacher and choreographer for Dancing Earth. In the Bay he has been a Guest Artist/Instructor/Choreographer/Consultant with initiatives including San Francisco Symphony,  Printz Dance Project, ALICE (Arts and Literacy in Children’s Education) program, “Burning Libraries,” Mystical Abyss, Sonoma Ballet, and  Ballet Folklorico de Stanford University. His Cuicacalli Escuela and Dance Company, has been presented by D.I.R.T. Festival, Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, Baile en la Calle, SF Son Jaroche, Cuba Caribe and CARNAVAL.

Notable recognition:

  • Director/Choreographer Cortes and Music Director Ariana Cortes led students who were selected as the only youth group ever to place in professional level as Carnaval second place winners!
  • Recognition of Sr Cortes’ version of ‘Danza Del Venado with an  acclaimed IZZY award.
  • Sr Cortes was recognized with Dream Catcher award for excellence in the arts by SF School District in 2017.


CUICACALLI “House of Culture” is a year-round youth training program, in association with DANCING EARTH, the nation’s foremost Indigenous contemporary dance ensemble.  Founded in 2008 by renowned international performer Jesus “Jacoh” Cortes, CUICACALLI is an international, cross-cultural, dance-arts educational institution.

CUICACALLI carries strongly its mission to serve the diverse community of San Francisco with dedication towards excellent instruction, performances and community programs, for intergenerational students, artists and audiences of all backgrounds. CUICACALLI builds communities through dance- expanding, exploring, and celebrating the cultural traditions of the Americas. Self expression, confidence enthusiasm, discipline, focus, cooperation, teamwork and positive attitude are amongst the life qualities encouraged in all CUICACALLI classes. The offering of versatile dance styles give students a well-rounded curriculum of body awareness, movement dynamics, strength, flexibility, spatial composition, and the appreciation for the vibrant cultural rhythms that are the pulse of Latino/Indio life.

Advanced students become eligible for apprenticeship with CUICACALLI DANCE COMPANY  and Dancing Earth. The COMPANY  is inspired by cultural traditions and their development to the modern days, Cuicacalli develops choreographies to revive traditions, social and environmental situations, or simply give a look to the daily life with an abstract motion. As a multi disciplinary dance company, CUICACALLI fuses various styles into a unique story of their own. By including dance styles such as Indigenous, Folkloric, Contemporary, Cuicacalli hopes to expose, sustain, and expand traditional and modern dancing with a new lens.


(Photos of Artistic Directors , all copyright courtesy of photographer Elizabeth Oplaenik for Dancing Earth Creations)

Exhibition: Cash, Clash & Climate (U.K.)


MASLEN & MEHRA in collaboration with street artists, Shuby and Delete
1 September – 12 November 2017
Opening event: 14th September 2017
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
John’s Place
Hastings TN34

Maslen & Mehra consider their more recent work to be ‘micro’. By that, they mean they are honing in on very specific political and environmental dilemmas. This requires a completely different methodology to previous work in order to explore detailed narratives. The sculptures in their current series have been based on ceramic plates researched in museums around the world. These include the Victoria & Albert and British Museums, London; Hastings Museum, UK; Mares Museum, Barcelona; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Archaeological Museum and the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, Istanbul; the Asian Museum of Civilization in Singapore and the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, Italy. Maslen & Mehra fashion the sculptures from humble materials: wire and papier-mâché, completed with a decoupage technique of small tiles of archival prints. The narrative of each original plate is altered to highlight a variety of ideas tied to three themes: Cash, Clash and Climate.

The Cash series draws attention to bank bailouts; Doughnut Economics; credit culture; housing bubbles; tampon tax; quantitative easing; war as big business; the commodification of food staples; and the almost religious status that money has reached in our times. The Clash series embodies social unrest from London to Athens; Article 475; the refugee crisis; Grenfell; Greece and the Eurozone; social media to organise protests; fracking; gun control vs gun rights; and the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Lastly, the Climate series highlights environmental topics such as global coral bleaching events; chronic pollution as a heavy cost for economic power in China; melting ice caps; the opposing views of climate change; El Niño; Natural Capital; and the legacy of radiation from Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The artists have made bespoke stands for the sculptures and invited local street artists, Shuby and Delete, to add to their surfaces, responding to each theme. This exhibition at the Hastings Museum draws together pieces from the three collections for the first time, representing years of work.

The sculptures individually pose questions about political, social and economic structures but together they ask how they, in turn, relate to social unrest and environmental issues. Some themes may be familiar to the viewer such as the piece, Polarized, which confronts us with opposing slogans: ‘Global warming is a cruel hoax’ and ‘Climate can’t wait’. Others are less obvious, such as the piece Article 475 which encourages the viewer to look further if they don’t understand the reference. Faith in Fiat questions the shift from commodity money to a fiat system which is effectively a promise. Is it sustainable to have such blind faith? The largest piece in the collection, Natural Capital references a system by which natural assets (water, geology, biodiversity, soil, air) and ecosystem services (pollination by insects, recreation, natural flood defences etc.) are given a financial value. Could this alternate economic system be the key? Maslen & Mehra have created the framework Cash, Clash and Climate in order to ponder questions about the complexities of living today and they invite viewers to follow their train of thought.

Hasting Museum and Art Gallery has an extensive ceramics collection. This exhibition will be in the newly refurbished Ceramics Gallery which showcases pottery production over the past 5000 years.

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
Telephone: 01424 451052
Or you can contact us via Twitter or Facebook

Admission is free. We are open all year:
April – October: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pmSunday 12noon – 5pm. Last admission 4.30pm
November – March: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 4pmSunday 12noon – 4pm. Last admission 3.30pm
The Museum has full wheelchair access throughout and disabled toilet facilities.
Free parking available outside Museum, including 1 disabled parking bay.

Faith In Fiat

Installation on view at the Towner Art Gallery.
22 July – 1 October 2017.
The summer exhibition has been selected by Richard Billingham (artist), Rosie Cooper (curator De La Warr Pavilion) and Brian Cass (curator Towner).

Open TuesdaySunday and Bank Holiday Mondays. 10.00am-5.00pm
Devonshire Park
College Road
BN21 4JJ

MASLEN & MEHRA Biography

Tim Maslen (b. 1968, Australia) studied Fine Art at Curtin University, Perth and completed an MA at Goldsmiths University, London in 1997. Jennifer Mehra (b. 1970, London) studied Fine Art at City Art Institute, Sydney and the National Arts School, Australia. Mehra was a founder of VOID, an East London artists’ – run space, which staged dozens of exhibitions for four years from 1997 – 2000.

Maslen & Mehra have worked collaboratively since 2000. They are recipients of a grant award from the Arts Council of England for their ongoing work Cash, Clash & Climate (2015 – 2017). Work from this series was included in an exhibition curated by Jenni Lomax, Melanie Manchot and Brian Cass at the Towner Contemporary (July 2016). They exhibited work from this series in the exhibition The Fall Of The Rebel Angels in Venice in 2015.

In 2014, they staged a solo exhibition at Lucy Bell Gallery for the Hastings Photo Festival. They were selected by Paul Noble for Creekside, London 2013, and were included in LUMINOUSFLUX at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. In 2011, they were shortlisted for the Latitude Contemporary Art Prize alongside Graham Dolphin, Delaine Le Bas, Andy Harper and Alice Anderson.

The work of Maslen & Mehra can be found in collections such as Tattinger Switzerland, Galila Collection Brussels, Art EsCollecion Madrid, numerous international private collections and the Altered Landscape Collection, Nevada Museum of Art. Maslen & Mehra are featured in the stunning accompanying book titled The Altered Landscape published by Rizzoli.

Solo exhibitions have been staged in New York, London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Dubai, Istanbul, Toronto, Perth, Sydney and Berlin. In 2011 there was a solo presentation of their work for the Scotiabank CONTACT International Festival, Toronto. A monograph, Mirrored – Maslen & Mehra was published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg in 2008 with texts by Hamburger Bahnhof Museum Curator, Eugen Blume and art historian, Edward Lucie-Smith. Earlier projects include an installation at the Frissiras Museum, Athens during the Olympics (2004), a sculpture installation exhibited at Artspace, Sydney (2002), and a solo project at Dilston Grove, London achieved with awards from the Henry Moore Foundation and London Arts (2001).