Art and Climate in Practice

Launch event | Culture Declares Emergency 2019 Somerset House, Waterloo Bridge, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, Globe Theatre Procession, horse, grass coats Performance by Zena Edwards in the Turbine Hall Image © Ackroyd & Harvey

Art & Climate in Practice is a three-week programme of events exploring the work of artists, curators and others engaged with the climate emergency and a diverse range of related issues. The programme’s focus is on the development of artists’ practice, informed by the themes and approaches which have emerged from Chrysalis Arts’ ongoing Greening Arts Practice programme. These include:

·      Collaborations between artists, curators, scientists, environmentalists and other specialists

·      Slow Art and artists’ deepening engagement with the natural environment

·      Activism and social engagement

·      Wellbeing and Creativity

·      Sustainable processes and materials

The programme will give you the chance to explore these topics in online presentations, Q&A’s and discussions and via in-person walks and workshops.      


ACKROYD & HARVEY - Friday 7 May, 2pm - Online presentation and discussion

Beuys’ Acorns (2007 – ongoing)Bloomberg Arcade, 2019Designed in collaboration with Exploration Architecture52 of 200 surviving trees grown from acorns collected from Joseph Beuys’s artwork “7000 Oaks” Image © Ackroyd & Harvey

Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey are internationally known, multi-disciplinary artists and co-founders of Culture Declares Emergency. They are acclaimed for their monumental artistic interventions using living plant materials, intercepting perceptions of place and landscape. Recorded presentation followed by live talk and discussion with Heather and Dan via Zoom, referencing the artists’ Beuys’ Acorns project and Culture Declares Emergency initiative.


DALZIEL & SCULLION -  Thursday 13 May, 2pm - Online film and discussion                                                                                             

Image credit: Martin Hunter

Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion are Scottish based artists working with sculpture, photography, video and sound. Their work explores new ways to engage with the environment and ecology, drawing attention to the restorative powers of the natural world and helping audiences experience our shared environment from alternative perspectives.

Film followed by live discussion and questions via Zoom.


SUSTAINABLE CRAFT IN WEST SWEDEN - Friday 14 May, 2pm - Online film and discussion

Image credit: Hillevi Nagel - Annika Anderson's 'Landscape in Connection' (woven shibori, wool and silk)

Presentation by Katarina Karlsson, Regional Craft Advisor, Department for Cultural Development, West Sweden of interviews with four makers whose practice is inspired by environmental and sustainability issues.  Film followed by questions and discussion via Zoom.

Annika Andersson, Tollered/Nääs. Textile artist with sustainability as her guiding star see her work here

Eva Zethraeus, Gothenburg. Ceramic artist with a passion for natural dye and fungi. See her work here and here

Johan Åberg/Dye for Indigo. Textile designer who make a big lifestyle change leaving the commercial textile business and works with traditional Japanese textile techniques, local farming and sustainability. See his work here and here

Anders Lindberg, Gothenburg - A passionate woodworker with a fantastic setting. See his work here and here                                         


CATHY FITZGERALD - Thursday 20 May, 2pm - Online presentation and live Q&A

Image credit: Martin Lyttle

Cathy Fitzgerald is an eco-social art practitioner, researcher and educator based in Ireland whose long-term Hollywood Forest project explores how a move towards ecological forestry will be a critical response to the environmental emergency. Cathy also discusses her wider practice and activism role. Recorded presentation followed by live discussion and questions via Zoom.


VERONICA SEKULES - Thursday 27 May, 2pm - Online film and discussion

Veronica Sekules is Director of Groundwork Gallery, King’s Lynn. With an extensive background as a curator, writer and educator, Veronica talks about her development of England’s first gallery with a specific focus on environmental issues and her wide-ranging collaborations with artists, environmentalists and other specialists.

Recorded film followed by live discussion and questions via Zoom.


Walking by Water: Three morning walks from Gargrave, Airton and Kirkby Malham and afternoon Artist-led Workshops (bookable separately) - £15.00

Please Note: In line with Covid regulations, places on the walks are limited to a maximum of 15 people plus walk leader and workshop places are limited to 5 people plus the workshop leader. The workshops are designed to follow the walk, however, due to restrictions there are more places available on walks, therefore you must book each separately.

WALK 1 (Postponed)  Guided walk along the Leeds Liverpool canal from Gargrave to Bank Newton, then returning to Gargrave, led by Jo Bell.

Image credit: Rick Faulkner, Chrysalis Arts

Jo Bell is a poet, writer and boat dweller whose work is inspired by her life and work on the water. She was the first Canal Poet Laureate and is a former industrial archeologist. Her walk will focus on using the material and structures of the canal to look at the physical environment, exploring how we manage and channel water and use it as are source. Meeting Place: The Art Depot, Gargrave

WORKSHOP 1 (Postponed) - Writing workshop with Jo Bell

The walk will be followed by a writing workshop with Jo that will explore water-inspired ways of writing in this particular place and time. The workshop will be held at The Art Depot, Gargrave.

WALK 2 (Postponed)- Ebb and Flow: River Aire walk from Quaker Meeting House in Airton, Facilitated by artist Rachel Howfield Massey and researcher Jo Birch.


Image credit: Paul Floyd Blake

Walking artist and wellbeing expert Rachel Howfield Massey is creating this bespoke, evidence-based session dedicated to slowing down and exploring what nature can teach us about artistic practice, our feelings and our thoughts.  On arrival, participants will receive an invitation with guidance and prompts to walk alone or in pairs along the River Aire, starting from the beautiful village of Airton. You will be invited to linger by the river, savour the sights, smells and sounds around you and reflect on your discoveries through writing or drawing. The walk will be followed by a workshop and discussion in the afternoon, see details below (bookable separately)

Meeting Place: Quaker Meeting House, Airton


WORKSHOP 2 (postponed) - Interactive Discussion with Rachel Howfield Massey and Dr Jo Birch

Rachel will be joined by researcher Dr Jo Birch of Sheffield University for an interactive discussion which explores the value and potential of creative approaches to connecting with nature and their impact on health and wellbeing. This interactive discussion is designed to follow the morning walk (see details above). To be held in the garden of The Friend's Meeting House, Airton (in inclement weather this will move to The Art Depot, Gargrave)


WALK 3 - Friday 28 May, 10.30am - Walk at Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve led by ecologist Fran Graham  

Image credit: © National Trust, Simon Dewhurst

National Trust Ecologist and artist Fran Graham will lead this walk around Malham Tarn, the highest marl lake in Great Britain and known for its outstanding views and rich variety of wildlife, including a number of rare species. This is an opportunity to explore this SSSI and National Nature Reserve from an ecologist’s perspective. This walk will be followed by a workshop with Alice Fox (details below, bookable separately)


WORKSHOP 3 (Fully booked)- Friday 28 May, 2pm - Workshop with Alice Fox

Alice Fox will run a workshop following the Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve walk with Fran Graham, recording your experience of the place through a series of creative activities on paper. The afternoon creative workshop will explore ways you can record your personal experience of the landscape. You’ll make a series of simple book forms as personal gathering places, building up text, marks and stains from the place.



These events are free of charge and will be available via our Facebook and Instagram.

Image credit: Sue Harrison

Project Presentation by Sue Harrison - Available from 10th May 2021

Climate change has got personal. As Sue travelled on the sea with her husband she witnessed the land from a different perspective. Tides, water levels, wind and weather controlled the passage and gave a keen understanding of the fragile coastal edges and existence. The very process of penetrating her sail-like cloth with her needle and thread in order to ‘tell the tale’ of their journey captures the process of their nautical wayfaring.

Image credit: Sarah Feinmann (from The Hexting Project)

Project Presentation by Sam Pickett - Available from 17th May 2021

The Hexting Project is a series of visual essays produced by thirty contributing artists. The project evolved over lockdown as way to explore interconnectedness and the potential for ‘idea’ cross-pollination - like a bee visiting multiple flowers – through the exchange of text messages. Each essay takes thirty days to complete and begins with a ‘source’ text; a short paragraph containing underlying themes such as anthropocentricism, political systems and post-humanism.

Image credit: Jacqui Symons

Artist Film by Jacqui Symons - Available from 24th May 2021

From Plant to Print: An exploration of natural colour and plant-based pigments

Jacqui Symons of Slow Lane Studio presents 'From Plant to Print', a film that showcases plant-based pigments and the use of these within her printmaking practice.  The film embraces a thoughtful and slow-art approach to her work, with considered steps and time to reflect on one’s practice.  It invites viewers to step off the conveyor belt, slow down, consume less and be more aware of their materials and processes.

With thanks to Fabrizio Paterlini for his wonderful music and Richard Dawson for creating the film.

Fabrizio Paterlini:

Richard Dawson:

Jacqui Symons:

Booking Information

All events are bookable via Eventbrite and will incur an Eventbrite booking fee. If you require further information about any event, please contact Chrysalis Arts Development :

A Zoom link to online events will be available via Eventbrite once booking is confirmed.

Online sessions may be recorded for promotional purposes but will not be shown in their entirety. Pre-recorded films will only be shown as part of the event and will not be available outside the event.