As artists and educators we are interested in using a variety of formats and media to explore and communicates issues of how we can encourage a more careful engagement with the material world we share. One such format is film, so we were very pleased to have a film accepted for the Nordic Geographers Meeting 2019, in Trondheim, June 2019.
Making a film, however is not something we can do on our own as we lack the required skills and knowledge. This opens up opportunities for collaboration: an important skill to encourage develop in general if we are all to make a shift to living more sustainable in the world. So we were delighted earlier this month to meet a bath based young film maker Zenna Alsop-Howard. Zenna is going to help us put together a film using pictures and commentary drawn from Alison’s artwork, followed section of Alison and Sarah discussing key aspects of this year’s project on Deep Materialism.
The reflections in the film will include an exploration of how feminists thinking on care can contribute to the caring and material relations needed in n the 21st Century: time of ecological crisis. We will be sharing our exploration of feminist thinking on ethics and care in future blogposts!
Sarah, very much a technical novice, has also managed to put together a short film on the National Woolen Museum in Wales using the iPad memoirs feature as a starting point and then editing this in media player to add music and change speed of transitions. Using a variety of formats is more accessible than one might think!
As well as the Deep Materialsm film being shown in Trondheim, both films will be included in our forthcoming residency and exhibition 13 May to 23 June 2019 at the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter Penryn Campus, Cornwall You are very welcome to come along! More details of the residency and exhibition coming soon!
Our abstract for Trondheim.
Matter and life become, and become undone. They transform and are transformed (Grosz 2011)
This presentation takes the form of a film exploring a collaborative arts-based research project undertaken in 2018/19. The film reflects on the final exhibition and workshops held at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), University of Exeter, UK, during May/June 2019.
Alison, an environmental textile artist and Sarah, an educational researcher, sought to find ways to deepen connections with matter/the material world, through making, through experiential processes, and through highlighting forms of creative thinking which could and would inculcate a ‘shift’ in our relationships with matter: proposing less harmful ways to be in the world we share. This shift is a re-appraisal of the value of all matter, seeing no matter as ‘waste’. In accepting that we too are made of matter, it follows that if we denigrate the material world then we too are diminished. We propose that if we develop our relationships with materials, so that they become closer to us, become us and are seen as a part of us, we will feel responsible and care for their journey through the biosphere.
Notions of textile craft, encompassing elements of thrift, resourcefulness and the domestic, and the relationality we propose with the material have drawn us toward a revisiting of the (problematic) role of care and caring relationality in feminist thought (Tronto and Fischer 1991, Noddings 2013, Puig de la Bellacasa 2017). Feminist, new materialist and complexity thinking inform the outcomes of the collaboration.