Monday 10 December 2012

Intersections between Arts and Environment

Last week I was at an excellent Insights and Ideas event, organised by Creative Scotland and Museums and Galleries Scotland. These events are held regularly and offer the chance for people from the creative industries the opportunity to hear interesting speakers and to take part in discussions over hot drinks and cakes.

Last week's event, which was the first I had attended was on the topic of Creative Carbon - looking at how creative organisations can take on board environmental issues (and how creative projects can offer new ways of looking at environmental issues). As the title suggested it was mostly about measuring and reducing our carbon footprint rather than about biodiversity, though a couple of speakers did talk about the latter topic. There were lots of interesting ideas in the talks and in the discussions. (I was also very impressed by the herbal tea that featured nettle and fennel or some such interesting combination!). Here though, I'll just pick out what were for me the highlights of the talks.

Jeanne Robinson (Glasgow Life) and Kat Jones (RSPB) talked about their partnership work at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Museum. The RSPB Date with Nature project at the museum offers tours, family activities and outdoor field teaching sessions in Kelvingrove Park for school groups, covering topics such as Woodlands, Urban Wildlife and Understanding Birds.

Ben Twist of Creative Carbon Scotland talked about the forthcoming Green Arts Portal, which will be launched early next year and which will allow organisations to measure and improve their environmental sustainability. He also made the very good point that for organisations to truly embrace and act on environmental sustainability they need to have the top level managers totally committed to the idea and put it in everyone's job description.

Hannah Rudman of AmbITion Scotland (a digital development agency for the arts) talked about a lot of interesting environmental arts projects around the country. Here are just some of them:  

* The Revolutionary Arts' Empty Shops Project 'Pop Up People' enables creative people to use empty shops for creative projects on a short term basis.

* The National Maritime Museum project Your Ocean explores the impact of the ocean on our lives and the importance of sustaining it for the future. The exhibition connected to the project has been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. 

* The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has put together an innovative performance in the Shetland Islands where groups of musicians played in different venues around the islands but then video technology is used to mean that the whole orchestra comes together in a virtual sense so that audiences in each of the venues get both the live music experience and the full orchestra effect. (I think this is wonderful, because there is something about live performance that is lost in the digital sharing of video links which is preserved here while at the same time the carbon and financial costs of touring are reduced). 

* Set Exchange is a project that allows theatres, film makers and television companies to share sets and costumes. 

So there was lots to think about! I hope to be able to attend some of the future events, though I think they'll often clash with my teaching commitments. 

As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more. 

I have another haiku on Daily Haiku today, you can read it here


EG CameraGirl said...

It's great to attend such events and actually come hoe with many thoughts to ponder. :)

Bill said...

A stimulating post, Juliet, and a fine haiku.

RG said...

I suppose so many ways the Arts can convey the environmental stewardship need!

Caroline Gill said...

It sounds like an excellent day, with such varied approaches. Your Haiku is most arresting! Hope the knees aren't really sore!