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Art and Landscape Symposium

Unearthing Landscapes Logo small

A one day symposium exploring how arts can enable a deeper understanding and connection to landscape

Unearthing Landscapes was our first art and landscape symposium held at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham in October 2019. It explored how people can connect to their natural surroundings through the arts. With a series of talks and debates, the symposium covered historical land art, commissioning new work, engaging communities and wellbeing. The day brought together commissioners, land agencies and artists to learn from and share with each other.

“The experience of entering the landscape, using its materials and engaging with its outstanding features directly, remains as profound and affecting as ever. Unearthing Landscapes explores some of the ways in which that experience has, is, and can continue to be fundamental and inspirational.”

Joy Sleeman, art historian, lecturer, researcher and key note speaker.

Chaired by Professor and Author of ‘Land Art in Britain’, Joy Sleeman, the day included speakers from the National Trust, Forestry England, AONBs, artists and outdoor arts organisations.

Artists Jonathan Parsons and Mary Branson discussed how their projects have built a greater understanding of the landscape and brought together communities as part of the Surrey Unearthed programme. Choreographers Katie Green and Rosemary Lee revealed what drives their site-adaptive dance work in response to outdoor settings including beaches in Cornwall and East Anglia and the caves of Somerset and Yorkshire.

Hayley Skipper from Forestry England and Grace Davies from the National Trust, shared their wealth of knowledge commissioning work across the UK. We heard from artist Russell Jakubowski on the ability for artists and participants to mutually benefit from meaningful engagement in their projects. Kate Wood, Director of Activate Arts, shared why the organisation works in protected landscapes such as Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the impact of the work.

Following the symposium, delegates were invited to a guided tour around Heathland Artworks, temporary site-specific works by BA and MA students from the University for the Creative Arts around RSPB Farnham Heath.

With thanks for additional support from: