MA Arts and the Environment – ‘do tank’ with Greg Humphries

The ‘nest’ as it turns out looks remarkably like the pic Greg had shown us when we were discussing ideas for structures..

BIG THANKS to all the MA in Art & Environment (UCF) team that came to Treloan and to all involved especially Greg Humphries. We really enjoyed the day & thought it was a great ‘do tank’ – a good balance of doing, talking and eating (homemade soup and bread, local cheese and our very own Treloan chutney – the tomatoes grown in the polytunnel we were sat in!)

After kicking off with everyone introducing themselves and their interests/practices (what a fantastic diverse and experienced group of people), Daro raised a question – how might we articulate what art is when immersed in everyday activities? (or something to that effect). We decided to come back to this question at lunchtime after a session at the coppice.

Greg and Mac had already cut a fair amount of whips & wood for sorting yesterday, so with everyones’ help in this session we had enough willow for building the structure as well as a stash of older wood for charcoal making later in the year.

there’s more pics  here

In retrospect I wish I’d recorded this discussion as it was really stimulating, we talked about the idea of art as service (following the Sam Bowers talk) and attempted to address the question about how these ways of working might be understood as ‘art’. Daro mentioning that perhaps ‘art’ could be seen as a meta term, an umbrella of diverse practices in relation to Toms point that music is music, poetry is poetry etc. Pete asked how this type of practice differed from education -Daro responded in that education follows curricula or structures whereas responsive practice is process-led. Pete also thought categorisations were useful in that they describe working methods and was concerned about an artist’s visibility if they weren’t used, my response was that I found categorisation problematic particularly terms such as ‘socially engaged’ (which implies disengagement) and which I see as a term of investment & expectation, especially in situations where people are being designed over – as in my experience of large scale overly prescriptive public arts commissioning /regeneration projects.

PLEASE..if anyone who was there wants to add something to the discussion we had, or point out any omissions / mistakes I may have made, please use the box at the bottom of the post, or email me. (Also I didn’t remember everyones names on the Flikr set of photos, so do add them in too -thanks).

After our discussion, carefully timed by Greg who was itching to get going on the structure &…half of the group set to wok with the planting and the others went for a coastal walk/forage with Debs and Annie – we collected Sea Beet “this widespread coastal plant is the parent plant of of beetroot and sugar beet”  it looks similar to spinach “but with higher nutrient levels”.(Miles Irving)

Pic from Robin (forager in residence 2010 - Wild & Raw Sea Beet & Sorrel Houmous)

2hrs later – as if by magic (for those of us that went on the walk) a beautiful structure (nest?) was made.

time for some final group shots..and the day is done THANKS TO ALL

Here’s the video I mentioned – a performic response by Richard Layzell to the question “Hierarchies of value: where do artists and Socially Engaged Practice sit in and out of the gallery?” Demanding Conversations conference workshop 22.9.10

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