Teaching on the Medical Humanities Special Studies Unit at Exeter Medical School, introducing fourth year students to conceptual and environmental art, looking at meaning-making and how we turn ideas into art, making art.
The amazingly creative Chloe Uden from Art and Energy has made oak gall ink, so I attempted watercolour for the first time, and a Great Oak Beauty moth.
#ice #crystals #fractals #window #sky #monastery #gate #bars #tunnel #amphitheatre #grass #bowl #blue #green #light #dark #2×2 #patterns
The nodding donkey is a grotesque distortion of circular natural seasonal fecundity into linear exploitative extraction. The donkeys are nodding to capitalism’s exponential growth message, always looking down even when their head is high, never looking up to reality or the future.
Studies of form and pattern, inside and out, natural and artifical, found and artefact.
This was an opportunity for me to pilot my latest work, with some interesting outcomes and lessons!!
I’m looking forward to piloting “Minecraft Climate Quest” at the ExIST STEAMM Show, an interactive exhibition of commercial, research and creative projects from the south west which combine arts, sciences and technology.
My fourth and absolutely my last attempt for Turnip Prize glory. Although you never know. After all, the Tories shouldn’t have a monopoly on U-turns, flip-flops, deceiving the voters, or otherwise go against their word.
In which the UK Climate Projections 2018 meet Minecraft and “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain”.
This is an update to my previous post on trialling a Lego visualisation of UKCP09. This second trial uses the latest data from UKCP18 and covers the whole UK.
A show of the conceptual artwork produced by my 4th year medical students, and the Little colouring books of climate mindfulness in Lego.
Since my wander around St Loyes with Rosie King, I’ve been continuing to think about migration patterns. The daily migration of workers on Sowton Industrial Estate became particular obvious to me during “The Birds of Sowton Industrial Estate” as it emptied of cars at the end of the working day. How do we make this migration pattern less harmful? How can we persuade people out of their cars and onto their bikes/feet?
I’m delighted that Josh Hamilton, the Community Builder in St Loyes, now has a page on the Working with Gold website, which lists a gajillion activities and groups in the area.
Mikrofest was a free mini festival to launch Kaleider’s new home. I took the opportunity to trial an installation of “Listening to Silent Spring” in a couple of bird boxes in the building.
Set on a high point within Ludwell Valley Park, Exeter, the Angel’s weathered steel reflects the rust-red warmth of the local stone. It serves as a focus and an anchor, helping to tether us and give us a sense of place in an ephemeral and rapidly changing world.
Following the “Star Spangled Kyrangle”, it’s great to see the idea of Community Star Gazing taking off around Exeter.
Ruth Bancewicz of the Faraday Institute asked me to write a piece for the blog “Science and Belief – A blog about the positive interactions between science and faith”. I finally took the opportunity to write up my reflections about “Green|Blue” more fully.
Giving fourth year students at Exeter Medical School an introduction to conceptual and environmental art, looking at meaning-making and how we turn ideas into art, making art.
While I was developing the original proposal for the Working with Gold programme, I came up with many ideas for events and activities. There were too many to be able to do all of them, so instead of losing the ideas I turned them into resources for schools and communities.
It took several days to create a sand painting of the Compact Muon Solenoid at CERN, laboriously piling grains of sand one on another. Then soon after completion it was destroyed.
The two events of the Star Spangled Kyrangle were opportunities to bring people together, and encourage them to be attentive to their place, surroundings and nature. The night sky holds many myths and stories in its depths. It has spoken to humanity since our earliest times. We too can step outside and look up, and gaze at the beauty of the night sky, and wonder.
Not far from Land’s End, there is a small south-facing bay comprising St Loy’s Cove and Paynter’s Cove. Not many years ago, storms washed up a large chunk of metal onto the top of the beach. Now, it has been resettled to the M5 Services at Junction 30.
In which I spoke for 6 minutes 40 seconds about how I fell into my art practice, and about how I have followed a number of threads, but mostly my own nose.
As part of Working with Gold, I have been writing some nuggets about the area for the website. Here, then, are its Horrible histories, Ghastly geographies, Problematic politics, and Nasty numbers.
After complete and utter failure in 2016 and 2017, here is my third and possibly my last attempt for Turnip Prize glory.
“Listening to Silent Spring” is a piece of sound art, based on a listening walk around east Exeter on the 50th anniversary of publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. The sounds I noted became the script for the piece. The work is mostly silence, which allows the listener to become aware of their own ambient soundtrack.
“Q is for Quarries” is an A-Z trail that allows people to discover the distinctive Heavitree Stone used to build the red skeleton of Exeter.
I originally created the A-Z trail around Heavitree Stone sites on Placeify. But then I came across TiCL, who were really enthusiastic about adding “Q is for Quarries” to their portfolio of Exeter trails. So now there are two versions!!
Many of the roads on Sowton are named after birds, and there is other evidence of bird life to be found. The Birdman and I hatched a plan for a walk to discover the birds, both real and imaginary, of one of Exeter’s most neglected ecosystems.
The Perseids in August are one of the most prolific meteor showers. They take their name from the constellation Perseus, the point in the sky where they appear to come. So on one Monday in August people gathered together on the Kyrangle in Digby to look up as the skies darkened and the planets and stars appeared.
Today was the day when we launched the Heavitree Quarry Trails on Exeter’s historic Quay! Performances, leaflets of ready-made trails, A-Z trail, umbrella website, and all!
Steven Bramble designed the alphabet. I turned it into the font used on all the Heavitree Quarry Trails outputs. I’ve made it available to download it for your own use too.
When Steven Bramble suggested designing an alphabet of Heavitree Stone, I immediately thought of its potential use in an A-Z. I came across Placeify some years ago, powering Exeter University’s Sculpture Tour, and the two things came together as an idea for a trail.
A small example of how Minecraft can be used to imagine our place, to the extent of forming part of an official Exeter planning meeting!
“See Exeter by Minecraft” is a series of old-style railway posters and a postcard, created for the utterly imaginary St Loyes Tourist Board. A second postcard was created for the equally fictitious St Loyes Education Board, and a very one-off poster for the totally fabricated St Loyes Astrophysics Board.
“Minecraft my home” is an ongoing activity as part of my “Working with Gold” programme of public art in St Loyes. It is a re-creation of St Loyes as a world in the Minecraft game. During Art Week Exeter, I held a meetup to explore the world together, share what we have been creating, and build more stuff.
Art Week Exeter is a go-go! And it turns out that I had a bit more in show than I thought. The main event (for me) is “Minecraft my home”. The Minecraft St Loyes world is available to download and play online, and on Saturday 26 May I’m holding a meetup to share our explorations and creations.
Create giant sculptures in your neighbourhood
Pave the streets with gold
Turn your home into a castle
Subvert urban design: cover it with flowers
Over the last few months, I’ve been collaborating with local artist Steven Bramble on producing an alphabet and font for the Quarry Pod.
“Minecraft my home” is a re-creation of St Loyes as a world in the Minecraft game. The Minecraft world lets residents explore their neighbourhood in a new way and imagine new possibilities for it.
My ‘thoughts looking sidewards’ about travelling the D bus route in Exeter, from the vantage point of my home office.
What three words…? is an online tool that captures in a simple way what places mean to people. It is aimed at encouraging people to pay attention to place. Between January and March 2018, I used it as a way of gathering insights into people’s views of St Loyes as a place to live and/or work.
I haven’t written much about the progress of the Heavitree Squilometre Quarry Pod. It’s been a period of research then consolidation and creative pondering, by turns fascinating, inspiring, and great fun!
Last night I finally met Minecraft, and had my first lesson in moving and building from a 10-year-old.
FALAFELS stands for Free Art Friday Exeter St Loyes Loves Anagrams. You have to think about it a bit!
Pop over and take a look at the new website for “Working with Gold”, or get in touch and get involved with the programme on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @workingwithgold.
My “Green|Blue” tiny tears were on sale in the Art Vending Machine during November and December. I’ve just had an update from The Vendor, with news of sales so far and some upcoming appearances.
In the spirit of sharing the uphill struggles as well as the good times…
One of my undertakings as Artist in Residence with Digby Community Association was to write about my work for the “Digby News”, that is published each November.
I should have been mowing the lawn, but instead I created my entry for the 2017 Turnip Prize. Early viewers of the work immediately grasped the referencing of Magritte and its significance, which prompted a vibrant cultural debate.
The Art Vending Machine is a fun installation that sells playing card-sized art to the regular punter. “Green|Blue: Drop Slow Tears”, the mini mirror tears, are one of eleven different multiples during the 2017/18 season.
Culture & Review is the monthly round-up of cultural activity in Exeter. My Cathedral Chapter House show was reviewed back in June by presenter Josie Sutcliffe, musician Emma Welton, and playwright Emily Holyoake. Five months later, I’ve managed to get hold of the recording!
Way back in the mists of time, during Art Week Exeter 2017, I had a conversation about patterns with Veronica Gosling of Studio 36. Five months later I’m singing 20th century classics and knitting on stage.
I’m delighted that Exeter City Council have agreed to part-fund “Working with Gold”. The money is a Grass Roots Grant, which comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy.
I’ve been having a play, and come up with a logo for “Working with Gold”, and I think a working design. Hope you like it!
“In this environment, the task of the prophet is not initially to lead a movement toward social renewal, but to lead the people in creative, artistic, public lament.” – Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination
Yesterday I had a great meeting with print artist Lynn Bailey, who had come to Kaleider to hear my talk on Working with Gold. She had produced work responding to Mincinglake Valley Park for the dissertation part of her Fine Arts masters.
Twas on the day of the autumn equinox that Diana and I decided to walk the Northbrook from mouth to source.
Further to yesterday’s post about my five-minute talk “Working with gold, weaving with data” at Exeter City Futures, I thought I’d share more of the talk content.
Exeter City Futures’ Connect events are an opportunity to share ideas on the big problems that they believe Exeter needs to solve as it transitions towards becoming energy independent and congestion free. At the Autumn Connect, I presented my developing vision for a programme of art in St Loyes, aimed at nurturing a sense of place and building community.
I’ve been playfully exploring my local area for a number of years, its history, geography, biodiversity, archaeology, and myth – some invented! This Kaleider Lunchtime Talk was a shout-out to anyone with an interest in any aspect of place-based art and/or who lives in St Loyes.
The Church Times editor was kind enough to pop round… and not once but twice, as I was still setting up the first occasion. So I thought it was quite likely I’d be in the review, but it was still nice to see my name in there.
I had a wonderful time showing Green|Blue at Greenbelt… mostly! It just wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t cursing how complicated and time-consuming it is to set up my art stuff, especially when I only had 3-6pm on a Sunday afternoon to set up, show, and take down.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been part of a group assembled by the force of nature that is Veronica Gosling at Studio 36. We’ve been bouncing ideas around and exploring inspirations on the theme of “Patterns”, and working towards a performance at St Sidwell’s Community Centre on 21 October.
My ideas for an artist’s residency in St Loyes Exeter are gathering momentum. I’m close to putting in my first grant application, and on Friday 28 July Rosie King kindly joined me on a walk around the ward. It’s an area ripe for an artistic response!
In past years they’ve kindly supported my mad-cap safari concerts. Now Digby Community Association, within St Loyes, is another key supporter of “Working with Gold”.
Really honoured and excited that “Green|Blue” is part of this amazing line-up that will be “On Common Ground” at Greenbelt 2017. I’ll be showing once again in the Allotment Shed gallery, on the Sunday afternoon. Come and find me!
The Heavitree quarries have been voted by the people of Heavitree as the next theme for the Heavitree Squilometre. Of course, the quarries are actually in St Loyes.
Today, my “Little colouring books of climate mindfulness” popped up in the Exeter University Forum alongside “Green|Blue: Exe”. I was doing a colour-by-numbers activity as part of “Think…Art”, a day of free fun artistic activities linked to the University’s research themes.
Now that my Cathedral show and “Primordial Soup” at Fringe Arts Bath are over, here is the two minute video I created for the latter and included in the former.
“Green|Blue: Exe” is showing in “The Observatory: perspectives on landscape, society and spirit” in Exeter University Forum. It’s on until Sunday 18th June, and open 10am-5pm each day.
Spacex commissioned Juneau Projects to create “Makers of the Multiverse”, presenting work as multiples, by multiple artists, for the duration of Art Week Exeter and beyond.
After Art Week Exeter, I had a week to turn around and prep the next outing for “Green|Blue”. And it was my most high profile yet: a solo show in the Cathedral! Featuring work previously shown at Dartington Garden Room Gallery, work coming up at Fringe Arts Bath, and new “Patternings”.
Today’s the day when I got into the Chapter House to set up my new show. It’s fair to say that I’m really happy how it’s turned out.
I’m showing “Green|Blue” in the Chapter House at Exeter Cathedral, and would be delighted if you would join me for a Private Viewing.
One of the brill things happening during Art Week Exeter 2017 was the AWEsome Art Show featuring work by most of the participating artists.
For Art Week Exeter, I thought I’d open my newly-painted garage studio up to the world. Complete with kettle and lots of cake. It was a chance to show some of my work since 2014, and to ask for ideas for art in St Loyes.
This was my second trip to Pint of Science. In 2015, I took “Particulart” into The Ship Inn. In 2017, it was the turn of both “Green|Blue” and “Little Colouring Books” in the Exeter Phoenix workshop room. With a small bar in the corner, pints were assured.
Along Broadfields Road in St Loyes, the roads are named after English composers and it’s always summer. A goodly number came and joined Sine Nomine in serenading the neighbourhood with the music of each composer on their eponymous street corner.
Three days to the start of Art Week Exeter, 13-21 May 2017, and I’m burning the midnight oil prepping contributions to an installation and an exhibition, one concert, one talk, and two days of open studio. So here’s a nice soothing sunset…
I’m delighted that “Green|Blue: Exe” has been selected to show in “The Observatory: Perspectives on landscape, society and spirit” in Exeter University Forum during 11-18 June 2017.
The Garden Room Gallery is a lovely space for a show, just down the hill from the main buildings on the Dartington Hall estate. It was a first opportunity to show my new framing of “Green|Blue”, together with “Drop Slow Tears”.
“Kuuki : the things we take for granted, but cannot live without” is a response to climate change and other environmental concerns, and a statement on the desperate need for social change.
I’ve just received an email to say that “Green|Blue” has been accepted for the splendidly-entitled Fringe Arts Bath show “Primordial Soup” at the equally splendid-looking Cleveland Pools, to appear 26 May to 11 June.
Liz McGowan and I have been hard at work today hanging our joint exhibition in the Garden Room Gallery at Dartington Hall. We’re really looking forward to welcoming you to the show, which runs from Thursday 30th March to Tuesday 18th April.
I’m delighted to be showing my work “Green|Blue” at Dartington Hall. I will be sharing the space with Liz McGowan, who will be showing “Will-a-Wix”, and we would like to invite you to a Private Viewing.
I’m delighted to announce that “Green|Blue” will be appearing in the Chapter House at Exeter Cathedral from 28 May to 4 June.
Last week, I received the good news that “Green|Blue” has been selected for showing in the Garden Room Gallery at Dartington Hall. Today I got confirmation that the dates will be 30 March – 18 April 2017.
Fantastic coverage of both the “Little colouring books” and “Freefall Climate Graffiti” in the Winter issue of Green Christian.
The idea for the “Little colouring books” originated partly in the games I made for my “Particulart: Up in the Air” show. It seemed a natural progession to create more playful engagement with climate change. Although the maps are of the UK, they can be applied elsewhere, and I am very happy that they have made their way to other lands.
Particulart features this month in the “What is Art?” issue of Average Art Magazine, 1 December 2016. In its use of knitting as a medium for a message, Particulart is an example of ‘craftivism’. But is it art?
Clare Bryden. Particulart: the art of knitting, chemistry, and gentle protest. Average Art Magazine, “What is Art?” issue, 1 December 2016.
I introduced my new work and together we explored “GreenlBlue”, which uses flood risk data from the Environment Agency to question our knowledge and power in the face of uncertainty and the force of nature.
In modern times, origami has been used as a beacon of hope. I created the origami “Soul Cube” to help me get past that powerful critical voice in my head and access the deeper nurturing wise voice that speaks words I need to hear.
In 2007, the Turnip Prize disqualified Banksy from competition for “trying too hard”. In 2016, I think I probably tried too hard.
Five of the eight “Ghost Bees” I knitted for TRAIL and three of Cleo’s four remained at the end of the summer. My five are currently appearing in a gem of an exhibition at the Barnfield Theatre.
“Fun Palaces is a movement campaigning for culture by, for and with all – with a firm belief that community belongs at the core of all culture – and an annual weekend of events… Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist.”
I’m delighted that my Ghost Bees are going to appear during October in the Barnfield Theatre gallery.
It’s a toy shop that isn’t a toy shop, full of toys that aren’t toys.
I was at the Greenbelt Festival over the August bank holiday. As part of a fantastic weekend, I gave a Pecha Kucha talk about my art work, and “Particulart: Up in the Air” popped up in the Allotment Gallery.
For the second time, I was at Greenbelt giving a PechaKucha about my artwork. Last year it was about “Particulart”. This year I was showing “Particulart” in the Allotment Shed gallery on Sunday, and my PechaKucha on Saturday was about my work and motivations more generally.
I’ve finally finished my fourth and fifth “Little colouring books of climate mindfulness”. You can now get hold of “Winter Blues”, “Summertime”, “Middle Course”, “Grandchildren” and “Worst Case” in the shop.
You are welcome to download my instructions for making “Ghost Bees”, which includes a knitting pattern for the body, a size guide for cutting out the wings from milk cartons, and instructions for assembly.
This summer, if you happen to be wandering along the Teignmouth sea-front, you will happen across twelve “Ghost Bees” hovering in the flower bed between Pavilions and Pier.
Some people suggested they would like to buy my artwork. So I have set up an online shop, where you can get hold of prints and greetings cards based on “Touch:Triptych”, “Green|Blue”, and “Little colouring books”.
The overall aim of Particulart is to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. In addition, “Exhausted” aimed to promote public awareness and provoke reflection on urban air quality, through a quirky display enabling playful interaction. It appeared at “Test Drive the Future”, an exhibition of electric vehicles, that will help solve the problem of air pollution.
The overall aim of Particulart is to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. In addition, “Greenhouse Effect” aimed to promote public awareness and provoke reflection on climate change and the underlying science, through appealing to different ways of accessing information – words and numbers, sight and touch – and enabling playful interaction.
This weekend, there are going to be not one… not two… but yes OK two Particulart events in Oxford as part of Low Carbon Oxford Week, and they’re both brand new exhibitions and both FREE!!
Whenever I have approached them, Reconnect have always been really helpful with publishing my news. Here’s their snippet about “Freefall Climate Graffiti”.
I confess to getting slightly confused by Exeter Life, Exeter Living, Devon Live, Devon Life … but we made it into a glossy!
Just had confirmation that my new Ghost Bees are going to be appearing in Teignmouth Recycled Art in the Landscape… yay!
The visible results of Freefall Climate Graffiti at the Exeter Phoenix will be ephemeral. Have a drink in the café outside seating area, and ponder the graffiti climate maps of the UK, before they’re painted over. Help yourself from, and add to, the woolly wall. Pick up a booklet about the project from the Phoenix box office.
Repainting Exeter Phoenix’s graffiti wall with UK Climate Projections, with Miss*C and the Freefall Youth Group.
The other TED. The Exeter Daily bills itself as “your Daily: You make the news”, ie you contribute and write the news. I’m not sure how many people read it either, but it seems worth including in the press release list. So here’s something I wrote earlier…
Finally on the Saturday we could get down to the real painting. It was brilliant to see most of the Freefall group join us for a session outside their regular Thursday evening slot.
A nice piece on p19 of the Express and Echo. Pics of Cleo enjoying herself clearing up, and of me up a ladder in my paint-spattered oldest of old clothes, appropriately next to “Model agency searches for the next star”!
Making the stencils was a big job, literally. We are going to build up the images from a base layer of the main colour, and add the other colours as layers on top. It means we can be canny re what stencils we need.
While the Freefall youth group took it in turns to bluewash the Phoenix graffiti wall… the Met Office knitting group gave the others a crash course in crafting, and much crochet and more pompoms were created.
A few greenhouse gases and accompanying information are currently winging their way over to Wallingford. They will be popping up as part of an event under the Oxfordshire Artweeks umbrella.
This week and the next two weeks Cleo Heard and I are running workshops with the Freefall youth group in preparation for painting the Phoenix graffiti wall with the UK Climate Projections during Art Week Exeter. As well as climate science and street art, Workshop 1 also covered design for colour blindness.
Free Art Friday is a worldwide movement that has existed for many years. I started Free Art Friday Exeter in July 2015, and collaborate with other artists in leaving pieces in public places to be discovered and taken for free.
I’ve been working on a set of 21 images of flood risk around the south coast of England, from Sussex to Bristol. What has emerged is a beautiful forest of sometimes fragile, sometimes twisted trees.
Clare was honoured to be able to show Particulart at TEDxExeter 2016, in between a nice lot of Particulart-relevant talks(!) such as Danny Dorling on different ways of mapping the world, Alan Smith on how statistics are about Us, and the video of Al Gore’s latest TED talk on climate change.
On 14th May, the route between the Exeter Phoenix arts centre and Exeter Library will be transformed, as the Freefall Youth Group wield spray cans and stencils to create a new graffiti artwork. The work, called Freefall Climate Graffiti, will feature maps of the UK showing how our climate could change in future decades.
That’s nothing to do with the 1980s pop group, but the Festival of Weather, Art and Music. The 2016 event was all about “Extreme Weather and You”, and there were loads of activities on the programme, from print-making to climate roulette.
The fantastic folk in Fore Street Exeter are holding a Cheese and Wine Fundraiser for Refugees, to include a raffle of artworks and craft. I am donating a carbon dioxide molecule, also under the aegis of Free Art Friday Exeter. Further donations from artists and makers still very welcome.
Exciting news! From nugget of an idea to almost fully-funded project in less than a week! Clare and Cleo present… Freefall Climate Graffiti.
Today I p-p-picked up a pilot from the University printshop. I am very excited to see my idea for presenting the UK Climate Projections 2009 as a colour-by-numbers booklet coming to fruition! So, I present to you…
“Something Wonderful in My Back Yard – The Musical” was originally conceived by producer Chloe Uden, and written by poet Matt Harvey and composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. The musical songbook features “Particulart” and the pattern for knit-your-own carbon dioxide!
The Holy Ground service happens once a month in Exeter Cathedral. The evenings very often engage in social issues, which is why this December it was held to coincide with the Paris climate negotiations, and why the “Up in the Air” pop-up made a special appearance.
Exeter Cathedral is hosting an “Up in the Air” video installation for the duration of the Paris climate negotiations. I’m proud that it is part of ArtCOP21, the global climate art festival.
Abingdon is my home town, so I took the opportunity to be a visiting speaker at the Carbon Cutters monthly meeting.
My talk at Abingdon Carbon Cutters tonight receives some advance publicity in the Oxford Mail.
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,
or given understanding to the mind?
Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
— Job 38:36-37
“Up in the Air” popped up for a second time at the Relight My Fire festival of energy and the arts run by RegenSW. Indoors this time, and slimmed down without roof or games area. It just about fit in the space.
Released on Ozone Day 2015, knitted representations of the three main stratospheric ozone depletion equations: the breakdown of CFC-11 in sunlight releasing a chlorine atom, and the cycle of ozone destruction catalysed by this chlorine.
Exeter Green Fair on 5 September saw the debut of my new “Up in the Air” pop-up. Under a blue gazebo (the sky), I suspended eight pale blue hula hoops (clouds), and from these the eight greenhouse gases.
PechaKucha is a new way of doing Powerpoint presentations. There are 20 slides, which must be images only, and they change automatically every 20 seconds, so the talk is only 6 minutes 40 seconds in total. It becomes more of a performance than a presentation.
As part of the publicity for “Up in the Air” in July, I gave away my prototype for Particulart, the carbon dioxide that ended up a bit too big and time-consuming to knit. It was a bit of a wrench!
Particulart is the art of knitting, chemistry and gentle protest. It’s about engaging people with environmental and social issues and challenging the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. You too can now knit your own chemistry using these patterns.
Particulart has been mentioned in Chemistry World, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Can’t get much more illustrious than that!
RegenSW asked me to write for its new blog “Power Culture: exploring our energy generation through the arts”. It took me 44 years to learn to follow the energy, so here’s the story of how Particulart sparked and took on its own energy…
The overall aim of Particulart is to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. In addition, “Up in the Air” aimed to promote public awareness and provoke reflection on climate change and the underlying science, through appealing to different ways of accessing information – words and numbers, sight and touch – and enabling playful interaction.
I didn’t know whether Up in the Air would be picked up by the local press, but the 23 July edition of Express and Echo gave it a couple of inches in What’s On, just before the end of the show.
“Sulphur hexafluoride’, ‘Tetrafluoromethane’ and ‘Fluorform’ [sic] might not be words you expect to see as part of your everyday art exhibition, but then again, Clare Bryden is not your everyday artist (if there even is such a thing!).”
As part of the Particulart: Up in the Air exhibition, Diana Moore of Particulart and Knit-Stop ran a knit-your-own carbon dioxide workshop.
An innovative art installation goes on show this week to bring alive the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. Local artist Clare Bryden has been knitting larger than life versions of the particles and making card games. The exhibition, which will be on display from 11-24 July at the Glorious Art House in Fore Street Exeter, is designed to be a playful way of sparking people’s interest in the science and issue of climate change.
Buy a coffee and cake from the Glorious café on the ground floor, and wander up to the second floor gallery for 3D knitted molecules floating in the Earth’s atmosphere!
My first piece in my first exhibition! The three panels of Touch:Triptych together for the first time.
On Monday 18th May, I took “Particulart” into the unfamiliar territory – The Ship Inn in the middle of Exeter – as part of the annual worldwide Pint of Science festival.
Clare Bryden. Knitting and other revolutionary acts. Third Way Magazine, May 2015.
As competing political voices reach election crescendo, could it be that artistic, home-spun forms of activism are more positive and quietly persuasive? Clare Bryden hails the rise of ‘Craftivism’ and explains how knitting can change the world.
I got some excellent news this morning. Exeter City Council have approved a small arts grant towards my next Particulart exhibition.
During Lent 2015 – 18 February to 4 April – the Church of England in the South West ran a Carbon Fast. It was 40 days to reflect on how we affect our planet and consider what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. “A Stitch in Time” ran roughly concurrently, showing 3D knitted representations of a series of greenhouse gases that are implicated in climate change.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: The Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground, a Lenten Carbon Fast; and how I take the long view in my knitting and arts practice.
You’ve probably heard of Lent fasts: giving up chocolate or biscuits or swearing for the 40 days before Easter. The Church of England in the south west is going to be running a Carbon Fast this year, and Particulart is going to be involved through a new exhibition in Bristol Cathedral.
Last night, at somewhat short notice, I stepped into a breach and gave a St Michael’s Lecture. I liked the title so much, I adopted it for the work.
Particulart is all about knitting. It’s also all about the Exeter Incinerator, which was inaugurated on 16th October 2014, and about waste management strategy, and monitoring emissions, and the environment, and health, and transparency, and visual impact, and chemistry.
The original “Particulart” was a collaboration between Clare Bryden and Diana Moore, exhibiting in the Exeter Real Food café during autumn 2014. Knitting and emitting particles was our way of telling other people about the Exeter Incinerator and its potential impacts.
Good news! The Real Food Store has given us three more weeks, so you will be able to view the Particulart exhibition there until 29th November.
I’m exhausted, but feeling exhilarated and satisfied. Diana and I have managed to hang the show, with some absolutely critical help from Naomi Hart. So we’re all set to open to the punters on Monday.
We are in today’s Express and Echo. Page 44 isn’t quite “hold the front page!” but we still got a colour photo!
An innovative community art installation goes on show this week to bring alive the impacts of Exeter’s new ‘Energy from Waste’ incineration facility. Members of the community have been knitting larger than life versions of the particles that will be emitted from the new facility. The exhibition which will be on display at the Real Food Café in Paris Street, is designed to tell people about the incinerator, encourage Devon County Council to ensure it is operated properly over its 25 years contract and think harder about their future waste management strategy.
It’s been months in the planning and making, and now Particulart is at hand. The exhibition will be in the Real Food café from 13th October to 8th November, with a launch party on the evening of 15th October.
Clare Bryden. Blackberrying for beginners. Resurgence Magazine, Sep/Oct 2013.
Shortlisted essay from the Resurgence & Ecologist Nature Writing Competition.
It happened! Possibly not one of the daftest ideas I’ve had, but must be one of the dafter ideas I’ve pursued.
I have a dream of a mix of local retail, local business, charities and social entrepreneurs, artists’ studios and housing.
Last year, I did the first half of a walk down the 1800s route of Woodwater Lane. I managed the western half as far as the Retail Park, before giving up due to the rain. Exactly one year later, I completed the journey.
I intended to spend the morning re-reading Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, but instead spent the morning reading around it. So after lunch, I allowed the sun to call me out for a walk down by my very own Tinker Creek that is the Northbrook.
Brueggemann: “the yearning for land is always a serious historical enterprise concerned with historical power and belonging. Such a dimension is clearly played upon by the suburban and exurban real estate ads that appeal to that rapacious hunger.”
There’s a rowan tree planted beside the bus stop on Grecian Way, and this autumn it’s laden with bright red berries.
In honour of Silent Spring, I spent two hours wandering around my neighbourhood and listening. Listening not just for birds, but for everything, including all those sounds we usually tune out.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In its honour, I am spending a couple of hours walking around my neighbourhood listening for bird song. In the meantime, here are three short posts I wrote a year and a half ago, reflecting on the book.
Today was the first time ever, at least for years, that I’ve seen another deliberate blackberrier in Ludwell Valley Park.
It was late afternoon when I walked down to Ludwell Valley Park to pick blackberries. I’d just started, around a kink in the hedge and mostly hidden from the gate, when I heard lads’ voices.
The house martins were gathering and sporting on the wing, prior to departure for warmer climes, and Mark Lane from Wilderness Guide kindly popped over to see what plants we could find in Woodwater Lane in September.
I cycled to the dog-walkers’ field above Ludwell Valley Park. I found blackberries. I picked blackberries. I cycled home. I made blackberry water ice.
Sometimes the mystery and the not-knowing are more satisfying and enjoyable than solution.
I’ve always had a problem with buses. Mythogeography tells me to get on a random bus, and see where it takes me for a set number of stops. But I’m able to end up here there and everywhere, even when I’m just trying to get home.
I was away from Exeter for a couple of weeks, and when I returned (though I returned) I remained absent. It was several days before I remembered it was ‘high summer’ and there was free fruit to be had in Ludwell Valley Park and along the suburban margins.
Much of the stone used to build St Loyes Chapel looks as though it came from Heavitree Quarry, but there were many other types of stone there.
When did the Heavitree quarries stop being worked? The old maps provide some evidence.
Seeing the stone in St Loyes Chapel made me want to walk back up Quarry Lane and look for evidence of the quarry.
It’s a pleasant little segment in Rifford Road, set in a garden surrounded with metal railings. There is a bus-stop in front, and it is very ease to miss St Loyes Chapel altogether if you don’t know it is there.
Once upon a time I saw a very old OS map of Exeter in the Treasures of the British Library exhibition. Now through the miracle of Google, I know that it was the Drawing for the first edition Ordnance Survey map of Exeter. 1801 Maps OSD 40.(3).
I spent a day immured in the office at the computer, feeling wintry-cold while it rained and rained. By night-time, I was completely frowstie at being stuck indoors. As the rain had pretty much dried up, I decided on some mythogeography. Going for walks at odd times, like 10.30pm, follows mythogeographical principles, after all.
I found this marvellous book from 1892 in the Westcountry Studies Library, now Devon Archives and Local Studies.
As a birthday treat, I promised myself a walk down Woodwater Lane, from home to water to wood to home again. A satisfying experimentation in exploring the present day.
Yesterday, cycling down a section of Woodwater Lane, I noticed a corn cockle in the bank. It struck me that I have cycled down the lane many a time, walked down it occasionally, picked blackberries at that time of year, but I have never really paid attention to it.
It was a happy accident that the house I bought when I moved to Exeter is very close to Ludwell Valley Park. It is my slice of countryside in the city, where I can wander down enclosed lanes, through fields of nodding purple grasses.
“Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson is among the most influential books that have been published. On its 50th anniversary in 2012, I honoured the work and its impact by taking an awareness walk around my neighbourhood, and listening. In response I made a piece of sound art.
My vision: Through an programme of public art in its broadest sense to nurture a sense of place among St Loyes residents and workers, and build community.
What seems to be the most solid and robust is in reality the most fragile and vulnerable.
Available in the shop
The Ghost Bees symbolise bees that have died, bees that are not. There is hope, though. Using recycled materials shows the possibility of change. And we can all help bees by sowing bee-friendly plants and cutting out the pesticides.
Repainting Exeter Phoenix’s graffiti wall with UK Climate Projections, with Miss*C and the Freefall Youth Group.
Colour in the maps, and think about what the future holds for our weather under climate change.
Available in the shop
The Turnip Prize is “a spoof art award of the lesser known Turner Prize” run by the New Inn, Wedmore in Somerset. My entries are doomed to failure.
For the time being, this is a collection of three kinds of work. Some I have not (yet) made, but presented as though I have. Some are internet-only works, or best distributed over the internet. And some I have made, but not yet sent forth into the world.
Artists leave pieces in public places to be discovered, enjoyed, and taken for free.
I AM ENOUGH
I HAVE A VOICE
The art of knitting, chemistry, and gentle protest.
Twelve touches. Three images: Alight, Unless, and J’adoube.
Available in the shop