Saving the Environment and the Arts

I have been trying to experiment with how to communicate research through the use of the arts. We created a CRC Arts Committee but have yet to move forward on our ideas and any ideas or suggestions you have would be appreciated, funding will be important.

The idea is really simple, by engaging both the heart and the mind, you move to action faster. So, how to engage the heart through the senses, and particularly through beauty, what brings me to nature-inspired art.

I recently gave a talk to people who are interested in helping to build the Robert Bateman Centre at Royal Roads University (a website will be forthcoming shortly), one of its mandate will be to showcase nature-inspired art. In preparation for that talk, I thought a lot about how art could be used for action and dialogue around the meaning of sustainable communities. I came across two very interesting pieces, one visual, and the other textual. The first is a painting by Bateman, entitled Reconciliation, Ravens, showing two ravens flying through the sky, simple, clear and direct. He was inspired by a guy called Motherwell, so I looked up Motherwell, who gives a very succinct definition of why nature-inspired art is so important. For the artisti is "a person skilled in expressing human feeling. . .Far from being merely decorative, the artist's awareness. . .is one. . .of the few guardians of the inherent sanity and equilibrium of the human spirit we have" (Motherwell, 1970).

My presentation is captured on the website under What's New.

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