4 thoughts on “16: Art for Wilderness

  1. It’s interesting to see this proposal. There are already some similar initiatives in existence (such as the Global Nomadic Art Project run by Yatoo in Korea) and if WILD’s proposal goes forward it should probably not be planned in a vacuum.

    While it’s fine to have more outreach and more art on wilderness subject-matter in circulation, the approach of the travelling museum proposal perpetuates a view of the role of art which is problematic and in fact often demeans what the art represents. Too often we see art being relegated to the fuel for some other purpose (such as interpretation or awareness about conservation), rather than having its own purposes and meanings that are themselves part of what is to be conserved.

    Vita’s comment partly addresses this in relation to indigenous and local artistic expressions, so that’s helpful. But the point should apply as much to the creation of new art that represents (and expands) the continuing human-nature perceptions and interactions at the heart of the wilderness cause.

    Another issue is that the proposal appears to envisage artists contributing physical artworks to some central collection which will then travel the world. This implies an environmental impact (carbon footprint of travel, no sustainability stipulations as to use of materials, or whatever) which could reflect badly on the initiative as a conservation initiative. Why not facilitate local, environmentally-sensitive endeavours in situ, and build the “museum” from some imaginative methods of international virtual networking? And why only a collection of physical installations? There are many other art-forms (conceptual, performative, ephemeral, literary, musical, ecological etc) that need not imply the production of objects, and may in fact be better suited to the purpose. Eco-art restoration or social engagement projects for example could be the best types of ingredient.

    This rather belated response is provided in some haste and I apologise for not providing specific drafting suggestions, but perhaps someone can consider how best to address these points in the text.

    Regards,

    Dave Pritchard.

  2. I would like to make a further suggestion for inclusion into this Resolution:

    and which could be added as last paragraph under WHEREAS

    Acknowledging that Wilderness has since time immemorial been inhabited by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, wilderness areas contain sites of cultural and spiritual significance. Such sites reflect multiple aspects of tangible and intangible heritage, e.g. rock art, artefacts and traditional and unique artistic expressions that warrant protection.

    Comment to the above: often people, when thinking of wilderness, think that because it is sparsely inhabited that it is devoid of people. As we all know, this is not true, wilderness is a symbiotic expression of life and there are people and communities.

    Emphasis on wilderness art is not only about ‘reflections’ of wilderness, e.g. visual images, but also acknowledging the people who live wilderness, are themselves an expression of it, their cultures and traditions that have over time been shaped by wilderness, their beliefs, their tangible and intangible heritage and traditions and their artistic expressions, be these from ancient pasts or the present.

    Governments and states often organise cultural events and it would be good to have a focus on wilderness included, be this through music, dances, artefacts, stories or visual arts. Wilderness is alive and wilderness is an asset, wilderness is a way of life and wilderness is a natural phenomenon that contains cultural expressions.

    it is this message of wilderness that can be so well conveyed through arts and that is why applaud this resolution and why I suggest such an addition.

    Kind regards,

    Vita

  3. This resolution is much appreciated. May I suggest that ‘artistic expressions’ may be used somewhere in this Resolution, as there is an impression (maybe erroneously) that the focus is on visual arts, while traditional people and communities celebrate and honour nature with dances and songs.

    With appreciation,

    Vita

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