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Earth Charter International 2017

I am is delighted to announce that I have been awarded an Earth Charter International Scholarship for their 2017 Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics Programme. 

The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development.

The Charters 4 pillars: Respect and Care for the Community of Life, Ecological Integrity, Social and Economic Justice, and Democracy, Nonviolence and Peace, outline 16 guiding principles for living, that seek to steward into being, a future of greater justice, sustainability and peace. The language of the Charter calls people towards collective action in order to address the issues that connect us together as a global community.

I started my socially engaged artistic practice in 2012, and engaging others in new ways to navigate issues of environment and international conflict has been the central concern of my work. As I begin to take steps towards developing a pedagogical arts framework suitable for a changing world, I increasingly find myself drawn to the practice of Education for Sustainable Development. The Earth Charter’s ethics and concerns speak poignantly to me and raise, a diverse array of new approaches from which I can learn and embody in my artistic practice.

The Earth Charter Initiative is the global network that embraces, uses and integrates the Earth Charter principles. This January I will join a programme which will connect 30 emerging practitioners from all over the globe. The Earth Charter Initiative's Youth Programme in Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics seeks to "prepare young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects, contributing towards a more sustainable and peaceful world.

The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at the University for Peace will play online host to the network of learners. I will be carrying out my Earth Charter inspired projects on the Isle of Gigha where I will seek to connect their children and youth to other Island communities living in different environments around the world. I will also be offering Human Rights Education and opportunities for the community to creatively investigate their environment and the current environmental issues that affect their lives.

To read more about the Earth Charter Initiative and read the Earth Charter online for free visit EarthCharter.org

If your not already moved by the Earth Charter’s vision then I will leave you to contemplate the future with the words of Prince Ea from Spencer Sharps award winning short film from Film4Climate Global Video Competition 2016

Amy Wilson

JUPITER ARTLAND 2016

Dedicated to sculpture and environmental arts, Jupiter Artland is a historic estate radically transformed through one couples contemporary vision.  

Robert and Nicky Wilson bought the Jacobean Mannor, Bonninton House and its estate in 1999. Since then Jupiter Artland has slowly emerged through their woodlands from the ground up. The Estate hosts a contemporary permanent collection with works by internationally acclaimed artists such as Antony Gormley, Cornelia Parker and Andy Goldsworthy. This permanent collection sits alongside a programme of temporary exhibitions through out the year. These exhibitions invite visitors to consider their environment and how they interact with it through new, site specific, experiential and experimental works.  

Open season to season, the educational programme engages all ages, from toddlers to teaching professionals and art practitioners. When I heard about JAL's Continual Professional Development Course for Art in the Outdoors I was instantly on board. 

AUTUMN

Throughout my early years, I was raised outside and on the move over Canada's various monumental landscapes. I have nurtured a great love of nature and over the years have aimed to become more critically conscious of my environment and how I interact with it. Working outside and site specifically is starting to become integral to my work and raw materials from breath to dirt, natural to the reclaimed hold increased fascination for me. The opportunity to encounter a diverse collection of contemporary works which focus on the matter of nature, either in thinking or physical form, was really exciting to me.

I had never been to a sculpture park before and this was the first time I had encountered the work of some of my favourite artists in their intended form (not in books, tv, or in a gallery format). On a rare sunny/warm Scottish autumn day I joined a group of educators and artists for a guided tour of the estate and the works rooted in amongst it. 

Suck by Anish Kapoor is a towering prison of red rusting metals which can be encountered amongst the lime green of JAL's beach forest. The cage positioned just so, offers you a seemly bottomless void within. No position you take on the periphery can reveal its depth. Voids are a fascination in Kapoor's work. Suck invites you into that mystery and challenges the  imagination to confront an absence that is somehow ominously present. 

My favourite work came in the form of Stone House Bonnington by Andy Goldsworthy, a bothy hidden amongst winding paths and dimly lit tree groves. The house is inhabited by bed rock, which is slowly revealed as an occupant as the eye adjusts to the changing light from moving trees outside. There is a particular sense of stepping on someones toes as you walk over crevice and mound. This unsuspecting house, built not as gallery but a home was an unexpected surprise. Goldsworthy's work Stone Coppice litters the trails in amongst the Badger Wood. Boulders perch and recline into the folds and arms of coppiced trees to create a growing/living work. The weight of gravity and vertical lifts form a beautiful trail of relationships to observe, the energy palpable between rock and tree.   

Helen Chadwick's garden of Piss Flowers are arranged in one of the many court yard spaces across JAL. Amongst one of the first to be nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize, Helen Chadwick embraces the use of materials shunned for being culturally or historical taboo. Urine presents to us one such material. The flower like forms were cast via impressions left from urinating in snow. Chadwick's work instigates a focus on the borders which govern what we see as beautiful or ugly, clean or dirty. Such a successful demonstration of how such borders can be transversed makes these flowers worth a second, third and forth look. 

Christian Boltanski has several works throughout the estate, both inside and outside, including a new addition to the permanent collection Animatas. Using an island site, Boltanski spiked the ground with fine bells, a skyward representation of the stars visible the night of his birth. The sounds of the bells in high and low wind are enchanting as you walk through high grasses on the shore. The bells remind me of the Will-o'-the-wisp in ancient tales; spirits of change, direction and dis/orientation. Boltanski also offers the opportunity for visitors to record their heart beats for his famous work Les Archives de Coerur. The recordings made here join a colossal archive. Our familiar yet displaced sound waves upload and soon take up residence on the uninhabited Isle of Teshima, Japan. 

Rivers by Tania Kovats gives us a beautiful structure to consider the mapping of distance, time and substance. The work combines geographical research with expanded forms of drawing which play a key part in all of Kovats' works. Rivers is a beautiful space for contemplation, viewing the pond below and a brilliant quiet zone for reflecting on H2O whist soaking up its reflecting light. 

Jupiter Artland is currently closed to visitors for the winter until May 2017. To check out more artworks and past works from Jupiter Artland have a look at their website. 

Amy Wilson