July Green Tease Reflections

7th August 2015

Our monthly Green Tease events took a different approach in July as we went Pecha Kucha style in both Edinburgh …

Our monthly Green Tease events took a different approach in July as we went Pecha Kucha style in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Alongside free pizza and low cost beer, both nights saw us enjoying eight presentations from artists discussing their work, its connection with sustainability and how they can get involved in ArtCOP Scotland – our project this November and December to encourage creative responses across Scotland to the climate change negotiations that will be happening in Paris at COP21.

Pecha Kucha is a style of presentation where the speakers show 20 images, each for 20 seconds, and frame their talk around this. The pace of the presentation is both terrifying for the performer and enjoyable for the audience and is a really good way to discuss a lot of ideas in not very much time. Our speakers didn’t follow the format precisely, but it certainly got things moving.

Despite the common format, each presentation differed wildly from the last as our brave volunteers gave us insight into their very different worlds. From curators of galleries to visual artists, sculptors and theatre directors, the creative industries were well-represented as we were given a whistle-stop tour of sustainability across the art world.

Edinburgh Green Tease

In Edinburgh we had presentations covering everything from wildlife photography to outdoor children’s theatre to using plants to create landscape drawings and turn unappreciated brownfield sites into living works of art.

FANK

Andrea Geie. FANK site with Chlorophylles. Image courtesy of Public Art Online

Landscape artist and sculptor Andrea Geile discussed her work creating imaginative sculpture/plant combinations in which the plants and sculpture reflect each other and interplay to form a symbiotic relationship of sorts. In particular, she talked about her new piece FANK on the Isle of Mull which she hopes will permanently and sympathetically integrate with the surrounding environment.

Interestingly, Lothian-based visual artist Karen Gabbitas takes the opposite approach and aims to leave no trace. Karen’s art centres on walking VERY slowly through one’s environment, taking each step, each breath at a time. The group becomes a living drawing in the landscape, an interesting contrast to the pace of modern life. To this end, Karen proposed an interesting project for ArtCOP – a Christmas Slow to counterbalance the notorious Christmas rush that we all know and loathe.

Indeed, walking seemed to be a common theme as John Ennis, curator of Gayfield Creative Spaces, discussed new exhibit Pace, in which an old garden path that can be seen on maps from 1876 is being retraced and recreated through 20 minute strolls every lunchtime. People walking the path on the map recreate the path in the real world: walking by design.

Of course, walking is not always an optional activity. We were joined for a remote presentation from the Isle of Skye by Hector MacInnes, an artist who participated in our second Mull residency, and who is working on a piece called Arburo, a vocal piece of music  examining enforced clearance of people from land by powers that be.

Glasgow Green Tease

In Glasgow, we were pleased to be joined again by Hector and his remote presentation, but also by a very different crowd. It’s always interesting to see the difference between the Edinburgh and Glasgow Green Tease events – a difference which often reflects the unique characters and atmospheres of the cities. This was especially true this time as it is the first time we have held the same Green Tease events in both cities.

While in Edinburgh the ArtCOP Scratch Night was held in the Eltham Suite at the Eric Liddell centre, in Glasgow we were at the Vic Bar at the Glasgow School of Art. Being in a public venue changed the nature of the event as speakers needed to use a microphone and people who were not originally there for the event were drawn in and engaged. There was a very different atmosphere and so, despite the same format, the two ended up being very different events.

Andy Rutherford. Weaving Sample. Image courtesy of www.threadfallen.com

As we once again enjoyed free food, eight brave presenters stood up and did their bit to keep us entertained. We were not disappointed. Designer and artist Andy Robertson gave an excellent presentation on his work weaving unwanted telecom cables into beautiful textiles. Artist-in-residence Ailie Rutherford told us about a theatre project that she is currently running for young people, while Kate Foster discussed her new project exploring carbon flux in the water and rivers of Dumfries and Galloway. Glasgow wasn’t short of ArtCOP ideas either, as Tom Butler discussed his plans for running a protest song workshop.

All in all, both of the ArtCOP Scratch Nights were an unmitigated success. Plans for our August Green Tease events are now live so sign up here for Ecology and Theatre Making with Eco Drama in Edinburgh or here for discussion and an informal, unpredictable drawing experiment with visual artist Rachel Duckhouse in Glasgow.

In the meantime, we’re always on the lookout for exciting proposals for future Green Tease events. Check out our new Green Tease DIY Handbook which enables you to use the Green Tease model to explore the links between arts and sustainability.

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We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.


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A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network