We are in good company

October 5, 2017

Art Agency, Partners. A subsidiary of Sotheby’s

Beyond the Wall
By Chelsea Perkins, editorial assistant at AAP

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lightning Field. Walter D Maria               Snow Circle. Martin Hill & Philippa Jones 

Snow Circle 1996 was recently included in a curated gallery of Land Art on the AAP website.

We are pleased to be placed among the world’s most significant Land Artists including Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Walter D. Maria, Nancy Holt, Agnes Denes and Maya Lin, by New York’s significant art advisors.
22 works are featured dating from 1970s to today.

Slideshow: Land Art    VIEW GALLERY

 

Beauty celebrated

September 29, 2017

 

In a world currently focussed on so much conflict, hatred and ugliness it is inspiring to be featured in BeautifulNow where beauty is a guide to wellbeing and happiness.
If we look at the world with a child’s eye it is still very beautiful. If we look through nature’s lens it is wondrous. How we choose to frame the world becomes how we live in it. It is our choice to follow the beauty or the ugliness.

Enjoy BeautifulNow it may not last.

“The Art of the Sustainable” – an interview published by PhotoWorld China

September 21, 2017

Back in April 2017 PhotoWorld China published an interview about our environmental art by Alasdair Foster, a cultural development consultant based in Sydney, Australia. This is his introduction:

The forms and processes of Nature are not shaped by design, but by time. Yet, when viewed as pieces of design, they prove both elegant and efficient.

While human designs are created by intention, natural design evolves simply by being sustainable. But if natural design takes time – eons of it – human design is impetuous and short sighted.

This has been especially so since the age of industrialisation, for the aim of human industrial design is money and instant effect. It travels the shortest distance between wanting and making; and when wanting fades and making proves imperfect, the product is cast aside and the voracious appetite of humanity pushes onward, making more and more things, using more and more resources, creating more and more waste.

Such a design process is called a ‘linear system’ and it follows a ‘take-make-discard’ model of production. Natural processes, on the other hand, test every variation that arises in the crucible of time. What does not prove efficient and maintainable dies away simply by the fact that it cannot be maintained. What is left, after the test of ages, is design which is not only efficient, but sustainable. To be sustainable, it cannot be wasteful as are the processes of industrial humankind. It must extract maximum effect from minimum materials and energy; and it must recycle perfectly, as the dying remains of one natural form become the means by which another comes into being.

Such a design process is called a circular system and it follows a restorative and regenerative model of production.

The New Zealand artists Martin Hill and Philippa Jones have been collaborating over two decades on the creation of ephemeral sculptures and land installations, which they then preserve as photographs. Their images speak to these concerns for sustainable design and circular systems, urging us to recognise the wisdom time has bestowed on Nature and to understand that we too can learn and adopt its processes.

This is no idle matter for, as we are now becoming increasingly aware, the stability of the macro-systems of climate and environment, which form the very space in which we all live and air we breathe, are under severe threat from the intense and wasteful linear systems of the past few hundred years.

So intense is this change, that archaeologists and geologists used to measuring the geochronological epochs in millions of years, have named this newest geological era the Anthropocene, because it is the period during which industrialised human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment. On its current trajectory, the Anthropocene promises to be very short indeed. Unless we change the ways we live, and learn from the efficiencies and cycles of natural systems, our linear design will drive us straight to oblivion.

Nonetheless, the art of Martin Hill and Philippa Jones displays great peace and poetry. They address these threatening and potentially overwhelming questions through installations and images of great stillness and simplicity. Their sculptural forms harness the very processes they wish to promote, creating images that are both symbolic and elegantly demonstrative of Nature’s circular systems and
truly sustainable design.

Below, the article, including an indepth interview as it appeared in China:

 

Symbol of hope

July 2, 2017

In 1996 Philippa and I made Snow Circle on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand.
The idea behind the sculpture was to refer to the need to shift to a circular regenerative economic model to become ecologically sustainable. To eliminate waste, flows of materials in the economy must circulate by becoming resources for something else, as in nature.

We spent a day piling and carving snow into a symbolic circle of life and photographed it with the volcanic peak of Mt Ngauruhoe beyond.

More than twenty years later Kate Raworth has drawn the same shape as the model for the economics we need for the 21st century to become safe, fair, destributive and regenerative.

Her briliant book Doughnut Economics eloquently describes how the old linear economic frame has failed us and how the safe and just place for humanity to flourish lies within a circle of life between ecological planetary boundaries and the social foundation of wellbeing – the space where we can meet the needs of all within the means of the planet.

If you believe that images can be powerful, memorable metaphors that people can use to create new meaning and as models to share new thinking, this book is recommended reading.

Vision for the future

June 27, 2017

Sky Stone Circle: This sculpure was made by floating pumice stones on the still surface of Lake Taupo in New Zealand in 1993. I wanted the stones to appear to float in the sky so I made the image without showing the surrounding landscape and focussed on the clouds reflected in the lake to achieve the impossible appearance of stones in the sky. I made the sculpture in order to refer to carbon in the atmosphere causing global warming. The circle refers to the design of a circular regenerative economy modeled on nature as its solution.

Here I am floating the volcanic pumice stones to make the sculpture in 1993

In the same year Paul Hawken’s breakthrough book The Ecology of Commerce was published, opening the world’s eyes to the potential of a regenerative economy. Now with an outstounding worldwide group of qualified scientists and researchers he has done it again with DRAWDOWN

The path to reversing global warming in thirty years is within our grasp. Drawdown is the point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begin to decline year by year. The Project Drawdown team over the past few years has identified, researched and modelled the hundred most substantive existing solutions to address climate change: “The task now is to accelerate the knowledge and growth of what is possible”.

 

 

“Is Nature Stable, Delicate or Random?”

April 24, 2017

Nine years ago Stone Circle was chosen for the cover of a Yale School of Forestry and Environment report titled “Toward a New Consciousness: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities.” Yale Programme on Climate Change Communication have chosen to use Stone Circle again for an online report they are releasing for Earth Day this week titled “Is Nature Stable, Delicate or Random?”

Here is the summary:

“Americans have diverse beliefs about the balance of nature – ranging from very stable, to very delicate, to random and unpredictable. Differences in these underlying mental models about the balance of nature are related to more specific beliefs about particular issues. For example, people who believe nature is very stable tend not to believe that global warming is happening, while people who believe nature is delicately balanced are much more likely to believe global warming is happening.

“Here we explore these deep underlying mental models of nature, how they influence global warming beliefs, and which demographic groups tend to prefer one model vs. another. The analysis comes from a nationally representative survey on the environment conducted in November, 2014 by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.”

The report should reach more than 100,000 social media followers.

The full report is available here

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Synergy with Paris Opera

March 9, 2017

It is an honour that the Opera National de Paris have selected  “Synergy” to be presented as part of the on stage production of La Ronde by Philippe Boesmans opening November 2017

My photograph of the sculpture appears in the Operas 2017/18 season calendar here

 

Rich experiences

March 8, 2017

50 years ago today my friend Andy and I left UK on an overland journey to Everest, driving through the Middle East  and India in an ex army truck and walking from Katmandu to Mt Everest and back.

Last week I returned to serious mountaineering two years after double knee replacements, by soloing the Grand Traverse of the Remarkables 2000 metres above Queenstown with our friend Wendy. For me life is an adventurous journey and these two significant experiences separated by 50 years of living on the edge remind me how rich life can be without being rich.

 

 

 

 

Circular design goes mainstream

January 22, 2017

When I made Stone Circle in 1994 it was because I believe that sustainability will be achieved by ‘circular’ design.
I am delighted to announce that today the Circular Design Guide by the top international design company IDEO was launched at Davos, Switzerland.

This link takes you to: circulardesignguide.com 

It offers a set of publicly-available, practical tools and methods to help innovators, entrepreneurs and designers to apply ‘circular’ design thinking – a new value creation lens through which to view products, services and systems that support the transition to a circular economy.

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO says: “Transitioning to the circular economy is one of the most important design challenges of our time. For designers, it means rethinking traditional approaches and retraining in circular principles. This guide was created to provide the tools needed to move from ideas to action, creating solutions for the circular economy that give businesses a competitive edge and are regenerative for our world.”

Now there is no excuse for designing linear systems that continue to destroy our natural world or deplete resources and continue to cause climate change.

Congratulations to all involved especially Ellen MacArthur Foundation, IDEO and McDonough & Braungart authors of Cradle to Cradle design published 2002, who brought circular design thinking to the forefront of design today.

Tamatea – Dusky Sound exhibition launch

December 7, 2016

In the summer of 2015 we were invited, along with ten other artists by DOC to take part in an extraordinary art and conservation residency in Dusky Sound, Fiordland. The journey, the wilderness environment, the experiences and the friendships we shared  were significant to us.

We chose to spend a week working alone on Resolution Island. Two of the resultant environmental sculpture photographs and a video are now part of the touring exhibition Tamatea – Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound which is to be officially launched in Invercargill: Southland Museum and Art Gallery, 17 December 2016 – February 19 2017.Antarctic sculpture 5 (7)

 

Tamatea – Art and Conservation in Dusky Sound has been developed by DOC in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ōraka Aparima, and is supported by the New Zealand National Parks and Conservation Foundation.

http://www.doc.govt.nz/pagefiles/164158/tamatea-exhibition-catalogue.pdf