CROSS DISCIPLINARY PROJECTS
This module reaches across the creative disciplines at WUC as well as across our different levels of study. Both undergraduates and postgraduate students on the Art and the Environment and Landscape Architecture and Garden Design courses have explored the idea of creating art for a community response. The wide range of outcomes to the brief has proved innovative and an interesting challenge to all in exceptional circumstances.
This work was created with the aim to highlight how we, as a society, have coped with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused us to be isolated from the world and forced us to drastically change how we interact with family and friends, which has consequently affected the mental wellbeing of the population. Throughout numerous lockdowns we have viewed the outside world through a ‘window’ and when we have interacted it has been limited to a ‘Rule of 6’, resulting in a time of unique experiences and a very individual recollection of the past year. I found the limitations and planning required for socialising reminiscent of happenings, a form of performance art made famous by Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, and Allan Kaprow, as the sense of spontaneity was lost.
I used social media to ask people what their ‘window’ to the world was during the pandemic and collected images of people’s own ‘happenings within the rule of 6’, in order to create the piece using Adobe Photoshop. The collection of words and images portray a sense of how society have coped with the effects of the pandemic, and how our need for human contact and interaction has found a way to flourish even when it is restricted.
Lizzie Cannon is studying for an MA in Landscape Architecture. She has been a practicing artist for over 15 years and this site-specific work at the London Wetlands Centre unites her interests in art and the landscape.
‘Intervention’ (2021) is an embroidery cited on a window of the Peacock Tower bird hide at the LWC. It explores the laborious methods of habitat management used to maintain the grazing marsh which can be seen beyond the window.
‘Stitch’ derives from the Germanic word meaning to stab or pierce, yet stitching is associated with methods of mending or healing (both physically as in darning holes and spiritually as a therapeutic activity.) Drawing upon this paradox, the process of stitch is used to think through the tensions between the wild and managed landscape beyond the window. Reflecting what might seem destructive methods of conservation such as cutting, mowing and uprooting, the needle is used to pierce and break down the fabric whilst embellishing it with thread chosen to reflect the colours and textures of the landscape. Mirroring the continual accumulation of sediment and spread of species that would eventually turn the marsh to woodland, the thread is knotted and looped as the stitches ‘colonise’ the view. Simultaneously mimicking the image of a tranquil nature haven and beginning to obliterate it, the embroidery draws attention to the labour invested in creating the landscape, whilst recognising its own quiet but relentless agency.
‘Intervention’ (2021) was created for ‘Wetlands Unravelled, a collaboration between the London Wetland Centre and Unravelled and is sponsored by the Arts Council England. Further information can be found at http://www.unravelled.org.uk/news.html
Artist - Lizzie Cannon
Photographer - Julian Abrams
As a Japanese student studying BA (Hons) Art and the Environment I am researching the cultural differences that exist between my country and the UK.
My work explored the concept, “crack” for expressing the themes such as community, space and so on. Following the concept, I made a digital work. This work has several ideas which is related to the concept, crack, for instance, earthquake, “Kintsugi” I chose the back ground image which I had an earthquake in Japan in 2011. Putting gold chain on the ground is inspired by Kintsugi too and it link to the reconstruction tax for restoring the public location after the earthquake, and emphasis the crack shape that leads to the feel, ‘scar’ that people got and they still have.
BA (Hons) Art and the Environmentを専攻している日本人学生として、私は日本とイギリスにおける異文化について勉強しています。私の作品は、コミュニティ、スペース等を探究するためにコンセプトとして「ヒビ」に関して探求しました。コンセプトであるヒビを基にデジタル版画を制作しました。この作品は、様々なヒビに関連した地震、金継ぎ等のアイディアアイディアを有しています。私は、背景に関しては2011年に私が地震を経験した場所を選びました。この作品は記念碑の一面も持っています。金色の鎖は,金継ぎや地震後に公共物を修復のための復興税と関連付けられています。そして、ヒビの形は人々が得た恐怖と依然として抱く恐怖の気持ちを表しています。
I am in my final year of study on the Landscape Architecture and Garden Design degree. My design philosophy is driven largely by the phenomena, natural or created, of a landscape. With the ever-growing social crisis of mental and physical health and the global climate crisis, how we care for our landscapes is becoming more important than ever. For seismic change there must be societal buy in. I aspire to design magic emotive spaces that connect people to the landscape and keeps landscape in the minds of the people to influence future change for the better. This artwork was part of this philosophy, a reflective piece featuring real responses from the community at Writtle, creating a secluded retreat to engage with and consider all we have learnt and experienced, good and bad since the beginning of the pandemic. An ephemeral piece it will slowly dry and fade away reminding us of the human’s propensity to allow negativity to recede from memory but conversely how hope can sometimes fade away.
The artist has previously worked predominantly in very formal geometric forms of topiary and indeed has family context in this area. Thinking about the entering of an undeniably Anthropocene age led the artist to consider how humanity intervenes in the ecosystem: does society have a maternal role over the natural world or vice versa?
Many pre-modern artists feel they are not creating new work but merely revealing what already exists in the spirit world. In this piece the artist works with traditional topiary tools to reveal what the plant tells him wants to be revealed. This then became a mechanism for the community to engage its own thoughts on maternal roles in the world.
It was significant to the artist that the plants used for the piece were self-sown and grew to substantial size during a period of dereliction for a site that is now run for the benefit of the local community.
Living art: back to nature
This project explored the relationship between a piece of community art, the setting within the landscape and how it was responded to by visitors. The project involved the community helping to build a wavy log wall that is now home to wildlife and plants and will slowly return to the earth from which it came.
I am in my second year of studies on the Art and the Environment BA (Hons) course at Writtle. This work was made with the intention of engaging and enticing a reaction from a community which was a new area of investigation for me.
I used natural materials and a new drawing technique using the medium of pyrography. Using logs as trail markers in the countryside I have engaged the voices within my own community. It was interesting to see the wonder and excitement shown by the locals even though the work was anonymous.