Abstract for Guest presentation: “The work is a chant and was made to be read aloud.”

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on December 18, 2019

Title: “The work is a chant and was made to be read aloud.”*
Chris Fremantle and Anne Douglas


Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison (b.1932) are pioneers in bringing together art and ecology. Their work is combinations of text and image, always intended to ask us to put ecosystemic health and wellbeing first in all our decision-making. More timely than ever, their works speak to improvisation and offer ways to think about adaptation.

The Harrisons worked together in a fifty year partnership drawing on their skills as researchers and artists to engage different publics across the globe in understanding the entangled nature of rising temperatures, loss of biodiversity, sea level rise among other issues. They pose the question of how we as a human species among many others will cope with these changes.

Reading (or re-enacting) the Harrisons works is a process of exploration of experience and meaning distinct from critical writing (which we have also done).
We will perform a selection of texts chosen from three periods of the Harrisons’ work. We will introduce each of these readings with a view to developing a shared discussion on what the arts contribute to the current environmental crisis.

Theatre Studies, University of Glasgow, 5.30 pm 23 Jan 2020

Anne Douglas is an artist and researcher. She has focused over the past 25 years on developing research into the changing nature of art in public life, increasingly in relation to environmental change. She has published extensively on artistic leadership, improvisation and participation exploring the function and poetics of exemplary artistic practices, including that of the Harrisons, the latter in collaboration with Chris Fremantle. She is a professor emeritus from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and continues to develop and support practice led research through the arts at doctoral and postdoctoral levels.

Chris Fremantle is a Research Fellow and Lecturer as well as a Producer for art projects across health and environment. He has worked as Producer on the Harrisons’ work Greenhouse Britain: Losing Ground, Gaining Wisdom (2006-09) and more recently as Associate with On the Deep Wealth of this Nation, Scotland. Together with Anne Douglas, he has written on the practice of the Harrisons. Chris established ecoartscotland in 2010 and has been Chair of the Art Focus Group for the Ramsar Culture Network since 2016. He studied English and Philosophy and has a Masters in Cultural History.
* Harrison, H.M. and Harrison, N. 2001. From There to Here. San Diego: Harrison Studio

2 Responses

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  1. John Thackara said, on December 18, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    do you have more details of the event so I can tweet it?


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