Artful Science and Scienceful Art: Forum of Exchange

Written by Miche Fabre Lewin and Flora Gathorne-Hardy.

On 16th July 2019 at CAWR, Research Associates Miche Fabre Lewin and Flora Gathorne-Hardy of Touchstones co-hosted with Martin Wilkes an experimental Forum of inspiration called Artful Science and Scienceful Art. The forum was an exchange between David Gibbin from CIWEM, the Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience (CAWR), with contributions from Clive Adams of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), which is co-founder with CIWEM of the Arts and Environment Network. Like CAWR and Touchstones, CIWEM has a commitment to creating safe spaces for collaboration encouraging many ways of knowing as essential for working towards a just and inclusive world that also embraces the other-than-human.

group photo 1

Introducing ourselves using a touchstone [BENJAMIN COOK]

As Stuart Kirk, Programme Manager in Research at the Environment Agency, reflected on the forum, for our society to be successfully transitioning to sustainable ways of living, we will need to transform both our hearts and minds. He continues: ‘Art and its role in storytelling has perhaps never been as important as it is today as we find ourselves at such a crossroads.’

The day began with introductions by Julia Wright of CAWR and David Gibbin. Clive Adams concluded the morning session with a slide show of a selection of artists whose work represented the evolution of CCANW giving us a picture of how the arts offer new insights into our place within nature. At the heart of the forum was an installation that recreated a studio and a laboratory environment, in which Miche and Martin improvised through the matter and artifacts of their practices an exchange of words, gestures and interactions.

The Forum was completed with a convivial lunch of Deep Soup made from organic and seasonal vegetables harvested from Five Acres Farm at CAWR’s Ryton-on-Dunsmore site. At the lunch a conversation took place between David and Martin representing the realm of science, and Miche and Flora inhabiting their role as artists. Below is a selection of images from the day, which are feeding into article for CIWEM’s The Environment journal. Gratitude to all the CAWR team for their support in making the day possible.


Further reading: