Funded Projects

Future Pasts

"Future Pasts: Sustainabilities and Cultural Landscapes in West Namibia"

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Care for the Future;

2014 – 2018; £766,260. Principle Investigator Professor Sian Sullivan. See project website.


“Towards hydrocitizenship. Connecting communities with and through responses to interdependent, multiple water issues”

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Connected Communities Environments and Sustainability Large Grant;

2014 – 2017; £1,477,202. Principle Investigator Professor Owain Jones. See project website.

Landscaping Change

"Landscaping Change: Exploring the transformation, reconstitution and disruption of environments through the arts and humanities and social science"

British Academy, Rising Star Engagement Award 2015-2016; Rising Star Follow-on Funding 2016-2017;

Principle Investigator Dr Samantha Walton. See project website.

Troubled Waters, Stormy Futures

"Troubled Waters, Stormy Futures: Heritage in times of Accelerated Climate Change"

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Care for the Future;

2015 – 2016; £13,347. Principal Investigator Sara Penryhn Jones.

Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing

"Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing: Connecting Health and the Environment through Literature"

Arts and Humanities Research Council, Early Career Fellowship Leadership Award

2016 – 2018; £131,114. Principal Investigator Dr Samantha Walton.

Current PhD Projects

Laura Denning

Recipient of the Bath Spa Research Centre for Environmental Humanities inaugural PhD Studentship: Laura Denning

My practice-led research asks - what are the parameters of an arts practice which seeks to articulate located subjectivities that can disrupt dominant discourses surrounding climate change? The overall research seeks to critically develop creative language which might successfully embody the feminist subject-as-process as a critical testimony, and to ask of those embodiments how they can impact upon our capacity to address the political bias that defines the climate change narrative. How can different subjectivities be articulated within practice in ways that are specific, dynamic and with the potential to disrupt dominant discourses surrounding climate change? If the global-scale, technocratic perspective marginalises a plethora of significant issues and dimensions, can arts practices which focus on the subject and the location intervene? What is meant by location and locatedness that is expressed through practice and that is significant in the discourses surrounding climate change?

I trained as a painter and now work in moving image and sound, creating (sometimes silent) films and sonic drawings. My work has been exhibited widely, particularly over the last 2 years. Following inclusion in Raw Catalyst (Cambridge Sustainability Residency at Anglia Ruskin University July 2015) a sonic piece entitled ‘Underheard’ was selected by Theaster Gates to form part of Sanctum Bristol (Oct 15). I undertook a month long residency at Arts Quarter Budapest (Nov 15) to harvest material at the various thermal baths in Budapest. This work was screened at Fringe Arts Bath, Language, Landscape and Sublime (Schumacher College), Journeys and Transmission at University of Plymouth, Place Ecology & the Digital (University of Brighton) and as part of the Korean Biennale. The Fringe Arts Bath screening formed part of an exhibition I guest-curated bringing UK and Hungarian artists together on the theme of Liquid. (All 2016).

Liquid will be shown in Budapest in February 2017. In the Spring of 2016 I was commissioned by the Media Wall at Bath Spa University to produce a moving image piece entitled Submersive Testimonies. From December 2015 to July 2016 I was Artist in Residence at Plymouth School of Creative Art. I made contributions to Balance-Unbalance International Conference (May 2016), and Language Landscape and the Sublime at Schumacher College (June 2016) and Place Ecology & the Digital (University of Brighton Sept 16). A showcase of my sonic work was broadcast on Radio Revolten as part of the International Radio Art Festival, Germany, October 2016.

I broadcast regularly on Soundart Radio with two shows: – monthly broadcast bringing Artdotearth (Arts & Ecology at Schumacher College), CCANW (Centre for Contemporary Art and the natural world) and RANE (Research in Art, Nature and Environment, Falmouth University) together to explore threads and themes which bring the 3 institutes together. Sonic Drawing – monthly broadcast exploring sonic arts and acoustic ecology.

From January 2017 I start a 3 month residency in the town of Burry Port, Carmarthenshire. Working with teachers and students at Ysgol Glan Y Mor to develop digital creativity within the school, I will also produce a substantial body of work relating to the tidal environment of the town.

Exhibitions 2015-2017  

  • Liquid II - group show curated by me, Arts Quarter Budapest, February 2017
  • Art Language Location, Cambridge, October 2016
  • Plymouth Art Weekender, September 2016
  • Place Ecology & the Digital (University of Brighton Sept 16)
  • Korean Biennale – one of 174 international artists showing work on the theme of Water. Aug 2016
  • Liquid - group show curated by me, Fringe Arts Bath, June 2016
  • Submersive Testimony - Media Wall, Bath Spa University May/June 2016
  • Stratum II -Large scale projections/sound,Buckfast Church, March 2016
  • Sanctum Bristol – sound installation ‘The Underheard’, Oct/Nov1015
  • Plymouth Art Weekender – 2 moving image installations, Sept 2015
  • Selected Artist (one of 8) for Arts & Sustainability Residency, Cambridge School of Art, July 2015
  • Raw Catalyst Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University July/August 2015
  • From Cowboys to Astronauts: Exeter University, May/June 2015
  • Just Add Water: Group Exhibition –Hannahs at Seale-Hayne: June 2015

Patricia Brien

Imagining Networks

Patricia Brien is the Principal Lecturer & Academic Manager of Fashion & 3D Design at the University of South Wales. Apart from working in Higher Education for the past 15 years, she has continued to be a freelance writer in the fashion and lifestyle area during this period. Her MA Design (Textiles) included the participatory and collaborative project Spiritus Loci which looked at fashion, textiles, ecophilosophy and ecofeminism during a span of one season in 2012-13 in Melbourne. Working with seven other practitioners the group worked individually with a chosen and meaningful ‘nature place’ as muse to create a body of work made from hemp and found materials. All participants observed and shared their experiences and outcomes with the group in self-designed rituals. The premise of this collaborative and reflexive practice with place and design informs the current PhD direction.

This research approaches material culture, in particular garments and textiles, seeking to develop and/or re-establish ‘invisible’ networks and interfaces as articulated in the fields of new materialism, ecofeminism, ecophilosophy, ecophenomenology and alternative spiritualities. Working within social-action and reflexive practice-led methodologies this project aims to craft and nurture an understanding of the more-than-human world and establish networks that respond and formulate deeper understanding of place, identity and being.

The project will investigate specific human and non-human networks that converge in the development of textiles, dress and decoration, across time and geographies. These investigations will generate approaches for understanding experiences within a sentient environment where stuff (stoff: fabric) is an interface not purely surface. This body of research explores narratives of visible and invisible networks that exist around or create a textile interface that are intergenerational, intercultural, interspecies and interwoven into our experience of being and identity. It is acknowledged that there is a gap between our current experience of garments and textiles and themes of mythology, cosmology, ecospirituality, this project aims to reinterpret these networks.

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