What a delight for Philippa and I to work with young primary school children to make an environmental sculpture at Bremner Bay, Lake Wanaka. This is our local beach where we have made many sculptures over our 18 years living in Wanaka.
There is nothing better for young people than engaging with nature and each other in a wild place and being creative. Learning from nature is what our art practice is about and passing this on to the young is very satisfying and a lot of fun.
“There is no substitute for the deep learning that unfolds through building a connection to our people and place,” said teacher Estelle Moore.
Thanks to Estelle Moore, Jodie and Te Kura O Take Kara school for their initiative in making this happen.
To celebrate Earth Day and to open the NZ Festival of Nature Philippa and I worked with Wild Dunedin community volunteers to make a land art sculpture on St Kilda Beach using natural materials found at the site that returned to the sea by the incoming tide.
We marked out the shape of a 25 metre circle on the sand below the high tide line and cordoned it off with ropes. Into this we all dragged and arranged the materials without making footprints on the beach around it, by walking in the wet sand as the tide receded.
The day was cold, windy and intermittently stormy but everyone put their heart and soul into collecting mostly kelp and driftwood. Over three hours of very hard work we completed the installation with some people creating intricate personal art works within the circle.
The whole event was livestreamed with cutaways to interviews, and videos about our art practice. A time lapse and aerial drone footage shot by Graham McArthur document the inspiring outcome, which everyone agreed was a big success.
On Saturday at the Otago Museum Philippa and I gave video presentation of our art practice including the Fine Line project and book and the community beach sculpture.
We thank all the Wild Dunedin organisers, volunteers, sponsors and supporters for their contributions to the event
This month the Sustainable Business Network launched their first ever circular economy directory featuring Kanuka Sphere to illustrate the principles that a business is required to follow to become circular and regenerative like nature.
As founding members of SBN and promoters of circular systems for 25 years we are delighted to be part of this essential initiative for change.
Our listing below explains how we can help a business go circular by using our powerful land art images as part of their communications, branding or product offering.
Kathryn Ryan interviewed Philippa and I about our book Fine Line on Radio NZ
You can listen to it here on NineTo Noon.
Lens Culture, one of the most significant Art Photography platforms, has listed our Fine Line book among the best Photo books of the year Selected by Alasdair Foster of Talking Pictures.
FINE LINE is now available in book shops in New Zealand and internationally online at Fishpond and MightyApe
Reviews of Fine Line are praising the book as a remarkable creative achievement: “This is an amazing book about an amazing project. Beautifully produced by Batemans it’s visually riveting with some superb photography and a great absorbing thought-provoking read.” Tony Orman, CORANZ
On Monday night our book Fine Line was launched at a well attended function at Edgewater, Lake Wanaka. Our long time friend Gus Roxburgh did a great job as MC and climate scientist Tim Naish spoke of the timeliness and power of Fine Line.
We had timed the launch of the Fine Line book to coincide with the termination of COP26 when we hoped to celebrate the defining moment in history when world leaders finally acted to prevent climate breakdown with an agreement to hold global heating below 1.5 degrees.
Tragically once again governments failed to act decisively enough and the goal of COP26 was not achieved. The fine line we are treading just became even more fine.
But it was a defining moment for Philippa and I after 25 years working on Fine Line around the world – celebrating with so many friends and supporters.
Some asked what will we do next? Our answer – keep creating art about solutions.
Above photograph: Christine White
Below Photographs: Tim Hawkins
Alasdair Foster interviews photographers around the world on his website Talking
Pictures. His in-depth interview with Philippa and I currently heads up his website.
Of all that has been written about us it is the most most accurate description of our
work, its philosophy and ecological approach.
Burning Issues. Albert Burn Saddle. 2012
We never thought it would take so long, but we have finally completed our global project and on 15th November we launch the book Fine Line.
Watch a 90 second video preview of the book:
Fine Line is an environmental art/science project that draws a line around earth connecting 12 ephemeral sculptures we made in wild mountain regions around the world beginning and ending in New Zealand. The work is our artistic evocation of the inter-connectedness and circularity of the web of life, promoting design solutions to climate, ecological and social collapse by learning from living systems.
Sir Jonathon Porritt, founder Forum for the Future said Fine Line is one of the most eloquent projects he has ever been involved in.
The book is structured around the 12 sculptures and shows where and how they were made over 25 years. It includes descriptions of the journeys and climbs to make and photograph them. Featuring over 200 photographs and essays by specialists in Systems Theory, climate science, fine art photography and regenerative design, Fine Line elaborates on our underlying ecological philosophy.
We were recently filmed by BBC2 for inclusion in a three part TV series titled Nature and Us , A History through Art, presented by the eminent art historian James Fox.
We chose to make an ephemeral sculpture on Albert Burn Saddle near Mt Aspiring which we knew would provide an awe-inspiring visual landscape. Fresh winter snow meant the conditions were perfect to execute an idea about the conflict between linear and circular industrial systems.
Titled End of the Line? the sculpture is a snow circle with an improbable horizontal line breaking it in two. There appears to be nothing holding the upper semicircle from collapse, but this illusion is achieved with rocks embedded in the sculpture.
The circle of life is now so undermined by linear extractive industrial systems, that we are seeing signs of its collapse around the world. Unless we end the use of these polluting processes and move to a circular regenerative economy, climate and ecological collapse is inevitable.
The BBC 2 TV series Nature and Us is due to air October 11th and includes interviews with international artists, philosophers and scientists asking the question “Are we part of or apart from nature?”