Teacher and practitioner: Senior adjunct lecturer, with an interest in visual
in ecological transformation and community arts practitioner
School of Humanities, at the University of New England NSW
my work: Paul Reader is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer, in the School of
Humanities, University of New England. His research interests are in
visual arts, adult education and transformative learning. Over the last
seven years his work has also contributed to teaching and research in
professional development. Painterly Methodology: painting and digital
inquiry in adult learning, his doctoral thesis (2007) explored visual
methods in education research, with a strong emphasis on the relationship
between consciousness, theory and inquiry through visual practice. Art &
Learning Networks (ALN) his community development practice, has worked
with community arts, indigenous, environment and adult education projects
for over 30 years, with career origins as a Fine Art student exhibiting in
British art festivals and galleries during the 1970s.
Creative by Nature Centre
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
my work: My elementary school environmental education teaching left me
searching for ways to deeply embed myself and my students in Nature.
Through creating in general, and painting in particular, I found what I
was looking for the day I painted the way a vase of tulips felt instead of
the way it looked. I continue to be inspired by the transformative
potential of creating with Nature. I now teach Artful Nature Communion
courses in my studio, on-line, in Nature and at local schools. I am based
on Salt Spring Island on the west coast of Canada.
In my newly released book Beauty Muse: Painting in communion with Nature I
share my ten year journey of creative exploration with my muse, a
Cecropian silk moth. In the book I invite the reader to engage in a highly
intuitive hands-on practice that brings art-making back to its living
roots and transforms relationships to self, others and Nature. My website
www.creativebynature.org contains many images, “artivities” and
resources for communing with Nature through the arts. I also invite you to
join in artful exchange on my Ning at
Painting/Drawing light and shadow
Lisa painting how
Drawing and Earth Drawing
|Cecropia Moth -
inspiration for Beauty Muse Book
Sand Play Circle for
creating scenes with found beach objects.
Dr. Celeste Snowber
Dancer, poet, scholar, educator
Simon Fraser University
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
About my work: I am a dancer, writer, poet and educator, and
Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser
University, outside Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I have written numerous
essays and poetry in various journals and chapters in books in the areas
of the arts and embodiment and ams author of Embodied Prayer and
co-author of Landscapes in Aesthetic Education. I focus on
arts-based educational research methods which support both academic and
artistic ways of writing and knowing and and teach ways of writing from
the body and its connection to arts, ecological, contemplative and health
education. My deep love of place has informed both my performative and
poetic work and I continue to create and perform site-specific work in
connection to the natural world.
I am currently working on a long-term site-specific project called,
Ocean Poetics. I integrate autobiographical inquiry and arts-based
research methods to create site-specific dance performance, poetry, and
essays in the thresholds between land and sea. The body has a knowledge
and wisdom all to itself, which is felt in the lived experience of fingers
and toes, shoulders and hips, through the heart of veins and on the breath
of limbs. Through a dedicated practice of integrating walking, dancing and
writing over years, I connect a variety of arts-based research methods
which honour embodied and poetic forms to create. The practice of walking
and dancing within creation are inextricably linked to writing and
performance. Out of this project in the last decade has emerged a variety
of site-specific performances of poetry and dance including, the Port
Moody Shoreline Park and Montague Marine Park on Galiano Island. Future
sites are planned for connections to the Atlantic Ocean including New
England and Ireland.
Kohala dance, photo by Wendy Wagner
photos by Carolyn Sullivan
Zuzana Vasko, PhD, practitioner,
teacher and researcher
Practioner, teacher and researcher
Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
About my work: I am
interested in the aesthetic connections we form with natural areas
close to home, and the role that these connections play in helping
preserve wild areas. Specifically, I am interested in how the arts
can help build emotional bonds with other life forms.
One personal project I have done to better come to know a place
consists of a series of drawings, done over the period of a year, of
a set of woods close to my home. Once I completed each drawing, it
was buried in the place where it was made, and the forest kept it
there for me until I retrieved it next time. Finding the drawings,
buried under logs, mounds of leaves, or in stumps, was a special
task in itself, as I needed to remember the niches and details of
the forest. Once the collection was done, the drawings were then
photographed in the places where they were made.
|Buried Drawings 'Moss'
||Buried Drawings 'By the
Lasten Aurinkojuhla / Barnens
Solfest / Children's Sunfestival
About our work: In 2004, a group of young women, artists
and culture workers met by chance and decided to arrange a down to earth and playful event for children. Lasten Aurinkojuhla, the Children's Sunfestival, was
established at Kimito island in Finland
at a paradise-like
organic farm called Westers (www.westers.fi).
The festival day was full of workshops in which children were offered natural and re-cycled materials, to make toys and fantasy costumes. The theatre and dance performances showed how immaterial consuming can give great moments of togetherness. At a tiny museum of natural history the children explored the world's greatness, through looking carefully at the shapes of bugs or leaves.
The day was a success and the happy faces of the children and adults inspired us to continue working
in ways that combine both environmental, art and hand craft education.
The Children's Sunfestival is a combination of the children's own fantasy, and the power of play and imagination. The child's own sense of
aesthetics is in focus, their own need to play and explain the world through
their imagination. Aurinkojuhla is a place for children to be children and it provides adults a chance to learn again how a less consumerist and less ready-made world
provides an opening to a more natural way of living. At Aurinkojuhla, adults offer possibilities, but not ready-made
models. That gives children more opportunity to get familiar with ecological choices. They can form and adjust their ideas through the most natural way of learning,
which is play. The adults arrange the children's moments in the natural world, but the way they
learn stems from their own creativity. Aurinkojuhla gives children opportunities to enjoy the very simple wonders
of life, nature's shapes and feelings. At Aurinkojuhla, children are creators
just like nature itself is.
Aurinkojuhla is arranged yearly at Westers farm and also in Somero, a small rural town in the south of Finland. During the years,
the organisers of Aurinkojuhla have developed their methods while facilitatng various workshops, side-happenings and thematic days.
In the summer of 2008 they published a book, entitled
Lasten Aurinkovuosi (Children's Year of the Sun) that
explores how different seasons offer different possibilities to engage in plays and to enjoy the simple wonders. In
2007 Aurinkojuhla received an award for its efforts in art education from Finland's Ministry of Culture.
my work: I am from Istanbul, Turkey and currently live in Finland. In
my education, my aim increasingly has become to "unlearn the learned," and
to treat the universe as an open university. Stemming from my interest in
alternative education and early childhood education I set out to gain more
experience in outdoor education and the Reggio Emilia approach. I have
been in Finland for almost two years now, working in
kindergartens, exploring the beauties of Finnish nature and have been
learning Finnish as well (the children are the best teachers in many
Art, Ecology & Education
Lars Schmidt, Stefa Roth
About our work: We support individuals and groups in the process of
transition towards a low impact society.
Integrating modified exercises of artistic areas like acting and bodywork in
accord with intellectual and visual input, we facilitate workshops which give
access to a holistic understanding of the world and ourselves and allow to
experience this understanding on a mental, physical and intuitive level.
Pani (Panayota) Stathopoulou
17562 Paleo Faliro, Athens
E-mail: pstath(at)ceed.uoa.gr, panista56(at)yahoo.gr
About my work: I am a sculptor and art educator. My diploma was about open air sculpture and my PhD was about how environmental art can promote the
students' environmental awareness. So, I usually design audiovisual material for my lessons or for conferences and workshops concerning art and science matters, mostly through education. Also, we are planning to have a group of
three artists-educators that are going to propose some environmental art projects very soon.
Surabhi, S.N. Park, Thrissur
About my work: I am a seeker learning from children the biological roots
of aesthetic sense and beauty. Every year I conduct a workshop called "Sensing
Nature; Knowing Nature"; to remind me of the ability of children when left alone
and away from the intellectual and egoistic theories. (Beauty is a biological
fact but art is a cultural construct.)
Click on images to enlarge
The workshop begins with children sitting
in silence and consciously listening to all the sounds
De Smaak te Pakken ('Getting a Taste')
Esther Boukema, Marc van
Leimuidenstraat 46 2 hoog
1059 EK Amsterdam
About our work: Our aim is to
establish a personal way in which children can relate to nature. In order to
achieve this, 'De Smaak te Pakken' ('Getting a Taste') uses art and and food
as its basic elements. Art, because it helps children to express their
relation with the world around them in a personal way, and food, because
cooking is an every day opportunity to encounter natural processes. Once the
heart of a child is touched, it will always keep that experience in its
heart as its own treasure box. De Smaak te Pakken works with children from
ages 4 to 12 years old. We work in schools as well as outside, on location.
In the open air we put up our big yurt (six meters in diameter) in which we
cook with the children. In our cooking we use natural and non-treated
seasonal food. Besides children we also train teachers.
Children preparing medicinal teas to
cure their fathers, mothers or friends. Photos: Philippe Vélez McIntyre
Herrekijker ('Seeing again')
Madelinde Hageman: mail(at)madelinde.net
About our work: human being can only observe five to seven things
at the time. This circumstance is useful, but also has its
disadvantages. Our daily environment becomes predictable and we just
walk by it. The things that inspire us, that ignite our imagination,
hardly stand out any longer. A society with a narrow-minded focus on
economic gain limits our view and we forget the 'free space' in our
Can one see with one's ears, look with one's nose? Did you ever hear
of the trea bark dwarf? Herrekijker is about looking with fresh eyes
to the things around us. It could be a park, or the road you take to
school: everywhere you meet things that you have not seen before or
which ignite your imagination.
Herrekijker offers children (mostly between 8 and 10 years old) a
programme that encourages them to use their senses as broadly as
possible. Together, the children make photographs, make drawings and
write texts. In the project there is often cooperation with
Jan van Schaik
About my work: I make my art and sometimes there is this idea tot do
something with children (see at my website under 'workshops'). The age
of the children is between 6 and 12, and the size of the groups varies
from 10 to 30 childeren. I work with alive and dead wood, and
sometimes with stone too.
About my work: I have been running The Art School in my studio on
Engeløya for 7 years. It is a part of the regional Culture and Music school, an
ex-curriculum activity for children, and accommodates 25 students between 6 and
16. My aim is to give the students experiences that nurture their connections
between their local environment and the process of creation. It is not about
rights or wrongs, nor about marks or achievements. It is about being alive and
aware! I want the children to push their own boundaries and explore new ways of
thinking and making and coming to knowing. By giving them an arena and the tools
for enquiry I encourage them to explore new ways of seeing and sensing that
moves their perceptions and triggers their curiosity. The process develops their
unique and creative language and also puts art in the wider context of a greater
expression where nature unfolds and perpetually transforms all matter of life.
Here you can get the taste of what we do.
About my work: From the early 1980's
onwards I have been engaged in teaching children and youth about nature by
taking them outside and to engage them in direct experiences: at farms and in
school gardens. With Living School and Living Learning we have developed a
programme in Norway called "the farm as a pedagogical resource"; I have a
background as a teacher in biology at Waldorf schools, and over many years I
have taken youth from 16-17 years of age on a 10 day botanical excursion to
Fjelberg island. Beside botanizing plants, they get art tasks revolving around
themes like "seeing green for the fist time", using water colours or pastells
and other tools to capture some of what they find in their surroundings.
About my work: I am teaching at the moment in three different
architecture schools, but used to teach environmental art a shorter period
in university as well. I have also been organizing workshops for children,
where we make environmental art in the forests, or 'art for animals', of
things we find there.
In my own projects I like to think it is not only possible but highly
necessary to try to fuse the notions of environmental art, visual art
generally, and finally architecture into a functional whole.
Researcher and art educator
Assistant professor in art education
University of Agder (UIA), Faculty of Art, Norway
tel: +47 47277033
my work: I have been working with art in teachers education since
1977. Since 1985 I have developed a main interest in Nature Art Education.
In 1991/92 I developed the cross-Nordic network kalled Esja. In 1997 this
network made a visual presentation of children's land art from all the
My experience with nature art education has mainly been concentrated on
land art in our close surroundings. But situated in Grimstad in Norway,
this means forest areas, parks and gardens, stone and sand morenes, and
sea and water environments. Students have adapted ideas from land art and
nature and created their own ideas in groups of three to four students. We
have always been aware of the value of presenting the processes and
products in visual exhibitions. This we call aesthetic documentation.
Throughout the years I have had the possibility to do small projects of
nature art also with children and young people at several places in
Norway. For the last ten years I have been concentrating more on
environmental art (also as winter-art), site-specific art and even
performance art in the works of the students.
2011, Jan-Erik Sørenstuen published the richly illustrated book
Levende Spor (see to the right). An early version of the manuscript
called Dancing Flowers - to discover nature through art, and
art through nature, can be downloaded
here (34 MB).
you can download the text Land art
i Nesna 2008 (in Norwegian)
Click on images to enlarge
Joanne B. Kaar
my work: The inspiration for my work can come from many different
places. Sometimes it's an object or location which inspires, and the
natural materials I find. I love to make things with my hands. Often I
read about the history of a place, and then go and search for the
location. Materials I choose to use are inspired by the location, a
particular event in the past either mythical or real, the geology of the
landscape or the weather. It's a combination of things that shapes my
ideas. I like to place the objects I've made in the landscape they are
about, and document them with my camera. I like to learn new craft skills
too - it may be the traditional use for a material found at a location
which decides the direction a new piece of work will take. I like to draw
detail not the vast landscape. Pocket size books to take with me, and a
black rollerball pen to draw, not pencil. The books are bound by me, and
often include my own handmade papers, they become objects too.
my work: Chris Fremantle is a freelance arts researcher, producer and
fundraiser. He has developed and/or managed a number of significant
art/nature/environment projects including Place of Origin, Aberdeenshire,
Scotland; Cairngorm Mountain Art Project, Aviemore, Scotland; and Helen
Mayer and Newton Harrison's Greenhouse Britain project. Fremantle is a
Research Associate with On The Edge Research at Gray's School of Art,
Niall Benvie & Cat Lee-Marr
65 Barry Road
DD7 7QQ Carnoustie
About our work: Niall and I are the directors of a project called
Rewilding Childhood, a new media initiative highlighting how
children across Europe experience wild nature and investigating how
that affects their social and emotional development.
When it comes to children’s direct enjoyment of nature, marked
cultural divisions have emerged in Europe in the space of just one
generation. Now, in many places, their freedom to enjoy wild nature
is being severely curtailed.
By creating contemporary, conceptual imagery and combining it with
soundscapes, we hope to act as resource for the effective
communication of these concerns to the widest possible audience at a
time when interest is at an all time high.
Our work is aimed at anyone concerned with how we bring up our
children and the sorts of experiences we give them. We provide ideas
and inspiration for parents and educators keen to encourage their
children’s experience of wild nature while also promoting children’s
right of access to green spaces and their freedom to enjoy them.
Rewilding Childhood can almost be seen as a promoter of nature
education initiatives that already exist, we ourselves don’t
actually run a programme but work to promote and connect those
already working with these areas.
Niall Benvie has worked as a professional Wildlife Photographer for over
15 years. He is the author and illustrator of three internationally
published books and a founding fellow of the international league of
Cat Lee-Marr is a freelance sound artist and researcher exploring the
nature of our relationship with the environment and how sound can
influence this. A fairly recent graduate Cat hopes to return to
university to complete a Masters.
Land art crossing
Marie Gayatri Kristoffersson
Teacher & practitioner
Syster Estrids gata 2
413 25 Göteborg
Tel. +46(0)704 43 58 59
About my work: As a artist, I have since the late 90's
specialized in art projects in nature and outdoor environments and
worked with installations as a recurring medium. I am actively
involved in comprehensive networking in many parts of the world and
2013; I participated in the first global World Conference on Nature
Art for Curators in South Korea. In addition to an artistic activity,
I have 14 years of teaching experience in visual art for students and
pupils of different ages. I have also completed a Master's degree in
Art Education and right now completing a teaching tool for teachers
who want to further develop teaching using creative visual methods in
the outdoor environment in their own professional profession.
• Practical guidance in workshops where the students do their own
projects: the aim is to explore places and to work with new materials;
• Lectures on Art in Nature / environmental art: What about art's
message and the different directions in environmental art? The aim is
to know more about this type of art theoretically.
• As an artist, I can serve as a mentor for students when they feel
curious to choose a relatively narrow track in the arts (such as
environmental art), and advice them about strategic choices, risks on
the road, about doubt and how it feels to actually succeed with
different goals along a professional path as an artist.
workshop preschool and outdoor
workshop with teachers
workshops with therapists
Dr Joanna Mayes
Practitioner and teacher
About my work: I make work about natural processes - using
participation as a way in which to engage audience.
Performance/action/process based. I also work with video and film.
15 Vieux Close
Otterton, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 7JT
phone: 07980 601830 or 01395 261089
About my work: learn to play, play to learn. bushcraft,
didgeridoo, environmental art, foraging, nature awareness, outdoor
play and storytelling for schools, families, training, teambuilding
Signed copies of Chris¹s new book I love my World:
Mentoring Play in Nature,
for a Sustainable Future
are available from the website.
London, Cambridge, UK
Jura Mountains, Switzerland
About my work: Françoise Sergy grew up in Switzerland and
lives in the UK. Her art practice may have evolved over the
years but her primary focus has always been political: feminist
aesthetics, art as a social tool and the importance of the
environment. For many years she was a multidisciplinary
performer, devising dance shows and photographic installations.
She then studied computer animation before learning a completely
different trade as a gardener. She now works as an artist and a
gardener, both looking after plants and looking at them through
various photographic and computer lenses. Many of her works were
devised in collaboration with other artists and she has also
studied and exhibited alongside scientists and medical
organisations. She has taught residencies in live art to other
artists and students.
Her website is the final chapter of a long-term project focusing
on the relationship between people, plants and the environment.
Here, the project has been created as a complete online
educational resource and digital artwork, with a dedicated
website which includes an interactive animation, interviews,
text, links and a wealth of images. Hop, Stock & Bent is a
photobiography of five common plants: hop (Humulus lupulus),
scented stock (Matthiola incana), bent grasses (Agrostis
spp.), spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus) and London
plane (Platanus x hispanica). The artist chose these
plants because they are ordinary plants, not rare or
particularly valued for their looks or roles in gardens. She
researched their uses, the place where they grow wild and the
farms, parks and streets where they are cultivated. She also met
the people who work with and enjoy them. From this research
emerged a series of intimate plant portraits which clearly
demonstrate how plants are, in more ways than one, vital to our
everyday lives, let alone to our very own survival as humans.
Laurie Seeman, Director
Artist / Educator
Joanna Dickey, Assistant Director
Artist / Educator
Phone: (+1) (845)558-0877
388 Strawtown Rd.
West Nyack, NY 10994
About our work: As a team of
artists and outdoor educators we are dedicated to creating hands-on nature
discovery programming for children and communities.
By combining Nature, Art & Science with creative inquiry, we seek to
develop new ways of seeing, interacting with, and understanding the
my work: My journey as an artist began during my childhood in Northern
California, where I loved to make constructions on the beach from sand,
rocks, and seaweed. Throughout my life, I've created art from and in
nature as a personal practice. Since 2004 I've focused on the social and
environmental dimensions of my art - hosting group art-making events and
workshops, teaching in public and private schools, training teachers and
museum staff, and installing hands-on "Create-With-Nature Zones" in parks,
schools, museums, and public spaces. My endeavors are in the tradition of
social sculpture, in service to nature and to society. Collaboration with
other artists, environmentalists, scientists, educators, and parents is
key to my work. I strive to create models and methods for collective
creativity; to connect people of all ages with each other and with the
natural world; and to inspire joy, spontaneity, and environmental action.
Wendy Strauch-Nelson, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Department of Art
work: I am an associate professor of art education at the University of
Wisconsin Oshkosh, inspired by the work of Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852)
and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). Both of these men believed in
the unity of all living beings. I am interested in using art activities
that are based on Froebelian and Goethian ideals to re-acquaint children
with their bond to the natural world, to help them build personal
relationships with nature, and to provide them with ways to express their
curiosity, wonder, and dialogue with the natural world.
my work: I am interested in the connection between art and the natural
world, and helping teachers become aware and informed to teach students
about this. The book, Art Education and Eco Awareness, a Teacher’s
Guide to Art and the Natural Environment, is a result of that concern.
The unique biodiversity and wilderness of our planet spark a desire to
protect a few special places. I try to capture the spirit of those places
as I paint with overlapping brushstrokes of color, spatial relationships,
tension, and strong rhythm. My hope is to connect with others in a concern
for a world with wilderness, to share in Rachel Carson’s “sense of wonder”
through my book and paintings.
to view sample pages from Heather's book, in PDF:
Sky: Artist Activist
Los Padillas Water Project
About my work: Los Padillas is an
ongoing educational, environmental project in the south valley of Albuquerque,
New Mexico, The project started with an educational component on water.
Intensive workshops were conducted in the local Elementary school. The students
designed various water catchment systems. Their input formed the final design.
Medium: ends of propane tanks, steel, river rocks, gravel, plantings
To download the book 'Reflections on Water; The Story of Los Padillas', go to
About my work: It is my premise that in order to effect cultural change in human
relationship to environment, we must begin at the youngest age to promote
understanding and stewardship. My educational programs are aligned with my art
practice goals, providing ways for children to enter, explore, engage with, and
reflect on their local landscapes. I mostly work with children from preschool
age through high school, and have done this in several formats, from small group
one hour workshops, to large multi-grade group day long events, to long term
About my work: I have written Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology,
textbook series (Artnow Publications).
1. ECOcentric Topics: Pioneering Themes for Eco-Art, 2006
ECOcentric Topics: Pioneering Themes for Eco-Art explores how the burgeoning
environmental movement is reformulating popular cultural values. Ten
contemporary artists manifest the shift away from attitudes that are
species-centered (anthropocentric) and self-centered (egocentric). Instead, they
present intentions and behaviors that are habitat-centered (eco-centric). By
combining the principles of ecological science and the values of sustainability,
these artists redefine such elemental principles as “nature,” “desire,”
“globalism,” “power,” and “death.” Suggestions for student art projects are
2. Cycle-Logical Art: Recycling Matters for Eco-Art, 2007
Cycle-Logical Art: Recycling Matters for Eco-Art assembles eleven artists whose
ingenious schemes divert waste and cast-offs from the purgatory of landfills.
These artists display cycle-logic by transforming material discards into
resources that replenish the earth’s ecosystems. Some artists invent ways to
reuse rejected and defunct materials. Some recycle. Others reform wasteful
material habits. Cycle-Logical Art establishes the context for these diverse
explorations by presenting a synopsis of the history of garbage, analyzing the
primary substances responsible for material glut, and guiding readers in
selecting sustainable art mediums. Projects guide student explorations of art
strategies that assure the well-being of the Earth.