Archive 2008

Below is our archive of inspiring past projects of arts-based environmental education,
and artistic activities in and with nature.


Art and Sea expedition

Twenty artists from Finland, Poland, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden, plus a crew of four, sailed with the schooner Helena from Oslo, Norway, to the harbor town Uusikaupunki in Finland, during April 2008.

See a selection of images
See more images and read blog 'Artsailing 2008'
Read another blog
(at Sail Training Association Finland website)
Article in Gotland's news portal (in Swedish)

Read and see more on Art and Sea



Conversation with a river

Short video of David Abram, ecologist, philosopher, performance artist from the American southwest, and author of The Spell of the Sensuous, drawn into conversation with a mountain river.


See film



Jamming with whales

David Rothenberg plays music with Beluga whales in Russia. Gari Saarimaki's video of a clarinetist jamming live with white Beluga whales in the White Sea, Karelia, Russia: interspecies jazz?





Burning the Holy Moose

This environmental art project was carried out in November 2007 by students in environmental art at the University of Art and Design (TaiK) in Helsinki. The project involved reading texts on the old mythology about the moose and the importance of fire and offerings. Then a common story was created of offering a wooden moose to the gods. The students traveled to a spot far in the wilderness in the middle of Finland where the moose was built and then put to fire, as part of a costumed drama act. Local people collaborated and attended the final event.

See images

Website Master's degree in environmental art at TaiK


United States

Musical performance with bird

David Rothenberg jams with a White-Crested Laughing Thrush.






Music for Large Mountain and Vibraphone

(partly quoted from
For a real mountain experience, you have to stay in the mountains for more than just a few days. 2002, the UNESCO year of the mountains, seemed the appropriate time to do just that for Kjell Samkopf and Floris van Manen. Being in the mountains for longer changes your perception of time. And that changes your perception of music. Which is how the idea of bringing a vibraphone into an open mountain landscape came about.
It turned out to be an exciting experience. Kjell played the vibraphone for hours and hours - day in, day out. He played in, with and against the landscape.
Kjell discovered that the instrument sounded completely different in this environment. During the six days, his playing became softer and softer, more and more open. In the same way that the landscape at first seems to be just an endless expanse of stones, but gradually transforms itself into an image full of infinite detail and variation the longer and closer you look at it, so the music reveals itself in the same way. The repetitions never repeat themselves.
Floris made recordings of this (modified) soundscape. Recordings were made in bright daylight, in the dark during the night, in the transition between day and night, in rain, in thunder and in strong wind - more than twelve hours of digital stereo material. The sound of the landscape - the soundscape - was to be a central part of the final sound picture. In the same way that a photographer frames his pictures, Floris (as the sonographer) framed the music in different ways, sometimes placing the microphones very close to the vibraphone, sometimes at a distance of 1000 meters or more. In order to capture the sense of time in the mountains, long tracks were recorded. Just like the music itself, recordings should have their own time span. Their dynamics and the rhythmic patterns should counterpoint the music itself.

Read more

Visit website of Kjell Samkopf

(picture from Kjell Samkopf's website)




Could art change the climate?
With this question seventeen international artists were sent into the Waterloopbos, an almost exotic forest in the Netherlands.
In this former, open air laboratory where hydraulic engineers have dealt with the water in a technical way for decades, Kielzog appeals to the imagination. Amongst overgrown sluices, harbours and river courses, the artists worked on location on a new view on the typically Dutch battle against the water.

Kielzog invited artists to develop a new point of view on climate change.
Given the visions of a future with palms in the Nordic countries, due to rising temperatures and the subsequent rising of the sea level, creativity might now be more essential than the technician's way to find a solution. Thus Kielzog has a twofold goal: creating a provocative art project with professional artists, thereby rising the interest of the public for unexpected points of view with regard to climate change / water issues.
The project also involved a educational art workshop with children.



March 2009

A tribute to Etty Hillesum, the Dutch writer who died in a concentration camp during the Second World War.
Under her pillow she kept the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.
Voice: La Pat. Camera: Pat van Boeckel, ReRun Producties

Text of Rilke's poem




Workshop i konst & miljöhistoria (Swedish/Svensk)

Dokumentär av en workshop i konst & miljöhistoria, Nordingrå, Höga Kusten, 2005. En film av Jenny Appelblad och Oscar Franzén. Klipp Albin Ponnert. Medverkande: konstnärerna Jan K Persson & Dag Wallin, arkeolog Bernt Ove Viklund samt studenter och kursledare från kursen Global Miljöhistoria vid Centrum för miljö- och utvecklingsstudier, Uppsala Universitet.

Se filmen





By Eva Bakkeslett

This project was originally tailor-made for a school in a small, coastal village in Northern Norway, but subsequently adapted for many other occasions.  It was a three-day project in May, and I wanted to focus on the migrating birds that return to this part of the world after their holiday in a warmer climate.  I wanted the children to connect with the birds, get involved and imagine their long journey and engage in why their particular place was chosen for these birds to make a home and have their chicks.  I had initial contact with one of the teachers to prepare them and the children for the work we were going to do. They had set aside three days for the project with 15 children between 7 and 10.  It was the first time this school had a visiting artist, and the children were SO excited and rushed up to me the first day to hold my hand and show me their school and ask me questions.

After an initial introduction where I showed slides and talked about my own work, and the children introduced themselves to me. We then walked to the woods behind the school to paint, armed with primary colours and big sheets, sponges and brushes.  I encouraged them to look at the colours around them and engage in the place by involving some of the movements from the trees or other elements that moved them being in that place in their paintings.  This exercise is like “warming up”, accompanied by co-coo birds and starlings.  I wanted the children to EXPERIENCE the vibrancy of the colours in spring and get influenced by the birdsong, the fresh leafs on the birch trees and the warm spring sunshine.

Day two we started to engage directly with the migrating birds by going to the local beach.  We spent hours there, drawing big drawings inspired by the birds and talking about where they come from and where they are going.  The charcoal encouraged bold lines and we talked about charcoal, where it comes from and how it is made.  We had lunch on the beach and walked back to the school.  Here we started with the three-dimensional part of the project.  I now wanted the children to create their own birds inspired by a poem by the Norwegian poet Andre Bjerke.  I encouraged the children to imagine what their bird would look like, where she had come from and where she was going.  The children had picked bits and pieces from the beach and brought back with them.  This was going to be incorporated in the sculptures.  The children worked in groups and I encouraged them to cooperate on all decision making.  Magically the birds bodies started emerging out of the chicken wire.  Very individual shapes, beaks, wings and some even had nests with eggs.  They covered the birds with tissue paper and wallpaper paste.  When they were all dry, and the final touches had been put on we brought the birds to the woods where we had started our journey.  The children found suitable nesting places for their birds and we rounded off with an exhibition of their paintings and drawings and a barbeque in the woods to celebrate the naming of the birds.


United Kingdom

Rewilding Childhood

Rewilding Childhood is a multimedia initiative highlighting how children throughout Europe experience wild nature, investigating how that affects their social and emotional development. We have a had a busy 2 years initiating the project and are ready for the official launch this September.

A large part of the project is the "100 ways" element , the idea is based on the premise that 100 different children need 100 different ways be inspired to get out and enjoy wild nature. As part of the project we aim to put together a list of the top 100 ways that children across Europe are experiencing and have experienced wild nature in the past, but in order to do this we need to hear from real people about their experiences.
You don't have to have been a crazed caterpillar collector as a child, nor do you have to be a keen outdoors person now, but if you were / are then great everyone's story is important. You can contribute your stories or ideas on our website.


United States

Bird Brain Dance

September 25, 2002, Dawn Workshop, Outer Banks, NC

"We pulled ourselves out of bed and arrived at the beach as the light began to simmer in the East over the ocean. Students from William Stotts environmental studies program and various others from Pocosin Arts straggled across the dunes to join us for a dawn movement workshop. As the sun rose above the ocean we began moving in the sand, against the wind, tracing each others bodies and movement. At the end of the workshop everyone ended up in the water, its strong current energizing and powerful."

BIRD BRAIN is a multi-year navigational dance project that investigates migratory patterns and habits of birds and other animals, as well as their biophysical and metaphorical relationships to humans as fellow travelers in the world. Directed by choreographer Jennifer Monson.

Watch video
Visit website



9000 Solar Circles

9000 Solar Circles was a project organized by Hämeenlinna School of Fine Arts where history together with art environmental education provided the camps with a rich source for various activities.
A number of craftsman, artists and teachers studied with the children humankind's relationship with nature and time. The frame for activities was a prehistoric village community, its cultural life, industries, tools and items.

An experience based on participation was the bridge across the layers of time. Ancient techniques and work processes were a concrete tool used by the children to discover the significance of the cultural heritage and for forming themselves an understanding of the development of culture. People of the old times looked for materials in nature and they lived in accordance with the seasonal changes of climate. Imagining their lives and identifying with it helped the modern children to see themselves as a link in the circle of nature, and hence, gave them skills and prepared them for a life and actions of sustainable development where nature is respected and valued.

Read more




Fragility of Flight

The Fragility of Flight highlight
ed the environmental links between suspected declining bird populations in the Uists and climate change in a project combining ornithology and origami. This exhibition was created using elements made by primary schoolchildren in the Uists and visitors to Taigh Chearsabhagh museum & Arts Centre.

The project started with guided visits by school groups to Balranald RSPB reserve where some wader species are found in their highest worldwide densities. Workshops in the schools involved examination of global environmental issues, in particular increases in air travel.

Fine Art PhD. student, Hiroko Oshima, led workshops in the Japanese art of Origami with recycled paper to teach children how to make various styles of origami birds and planes.

were invited to create an origami bird to be included in the exhibition. Educational visits to the exhibition resulted in facts about waste awareness being attached to the birds on the walls. Origami birds were also be posted around the world to encourage further environmental education and promote better use of the Earth's resources.

Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, 2007
Lochmaddy, North Uist, Western Isles, Scotland




In March 2008, Internationally acclaimed environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy spent a week on North Uist at the invitation of Taigh Chearsabhagh. This exhibition of photographs documents some of the ephemeral works created on Baile Sear beach during that short residency.
A unique exhibition catalogue in concertina form has been produced to accompany the exhibition.
Andy Goldsworthy creates sculptures in the landscape, using nature as the raw material and subject of his work. Goldsworthy uses materials, from stones and twigs to snow and icicles to create works that offer the viewer a heightened experience of the energy and patterning of the natural world. Photographs often provide the only lasting evidence of the artist's reworking of nature, preserving "the optimum moment, the moment when I had not just made the piece, but understood the piece".
Born in Cheshire in 1956, Goldsworthy grew up in Yorkshire where he made his first outdoor sculptures. He now lives and works in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He has travelled extensively in Britain, and throughout Europe, America, Japan, Australia and to the North Pole, allowing the diverse landscapes to inform his work.


Passing Places - The Real Outer Hebrides

Over 100 people from the Western Isles of Scotland, from Barra Head to the Butt of Lewis, made the films in Passing Places during the year 2000. Starting in Barra at the beginning of the year 2000, the film records a year in the Western Isles through the eyes of the people who live there. The cameras travelled northwards through the islands over the course of the year being passed from person to person, each having their own story to tell about their community.

Website (with videos of Passing Places)




In the beginning was the word...

Video of art performance in nature, 2007

ReRun producties, Netherlands




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