“Particulart” (2014-16)

Acryclic yarn and mixed media
particulart.org.uk

The original “Particulart” was a partnership with Diana Moore, a local activist, and in collaboration with Benjamin J Borley, photographer. Diana and I wanted to encourage Devon County Council to ensure that the Exeter Incinerator is operated properly to minimise harmful emissions, and to develop a coherent and transparent waste strategy.

I developed the concept further to create “A Stitch in Time” on the subject of climate change. This was exhibited in Bristol Cathedral in spring 2015 as part of its Lent Carbon Fast, and had some really positive responses such as: “I love the concept of this and recognise the need to have these conversations. Thank you for blending science and religeon/spirituality [sic].”

With support from Exeter City Council and the Diocese of Exeter, I exhibited “Up in the Air”, also on the subject of greenhouse gases and climate change. And with support from RegenSW’s “Relight My Fire” festival, I created a pop-up version of the exhibition. This has also appeared at TEDxExeter, Exeter Green Far, in Exeter Cathedral and at Exeter University, and featured on ArtCOP21 the global climate art festival.

“Particulart: Up in the Air” comprises 3D knitted representations of greenhouse gases causing climate change, hung in a 3D graph according to data on global warming potential, lifetime in the atmosphere, and concentration. The original exhibition also included the data and interpretation; a knit-your-own carbon dioxide workshop and materials; games including variations on Happy Families and Top Trumps; and the accompanying website encourages political and personal responses.

“Particulart” aims to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art, and to:

  • Promote public awareness and understanding of the issues and the underlying science, and provoke reflection
  • Spark encounters and open up conversations
  • Interrupt the day-to-day, enable playful interaction, and tap into mindfulness and creativity
  • Appeal to different ways of accessing information, both analytic via words and numbers, and sensory via sight and touch
  • Create a connection between science and the rest of culture

I have retired the “Particulart: Up in the Air” pop-up exhibition and workshops for the time being, but am happy to speak or write about the project.

What will the future hold for “Particulart”? As well as climate change, I’m now thinking about ozone chemistry and/or bees and pesticides. I’m looking for collaborators, so please get in touch if you would like to discuss.

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