BioCity and the Fall

It’s only when we understand the meaning of ‘enough’ that we start to accumulate real wealth. As in nature, ‘enough’ gets the job done well; doing or having more than we need wastes time, resources, and ultimately, our lives. Andy Middleton, TEDx Biomimicry program

BioCity and the Fall is Salt Road’s Arts Council England funded visual art commission, workshop & exhibitions program exploring aspects of biophilia/biomimicry. In this project we created 7 commissions of 19 artworks including:

  • 8 paintings by Sally Payen
  • A motion capture artwork by Jaime Jackson ‘Uneasy sleep’
  • Moving image artwork by Jaime Jackson ‘Interior portrait 1’
  • Mixed media installation exhibited at Queenswood visitors center
  • Relational wishing tree installation exhibited at Winterbourne House and Gardens
  • Biophilic exhibition of artworks co-produced by participants at Bearwood Primary school
  • Relational artworks created by participants from SHYPP Supported Housing for Young People project exhibited at Queenswood Country Park

Exhibition stage:

  • Installation at Winterbourne House and Gardens University of Birmingham
  • Installation exhibitions and pop up events showing commissioned artworks at Queenswood Country Park visitors Centre and Queenswood Aboretum
  • BioCity exhibition at the Manchester Contemporary
  • Biocity exhibition at Berlin Sluice  EXCHANGE BERLIN with Sluice London and The Institut für Alles Mögliche Berlin at KühlhausBerlin

We led relational workshops with 301 participants in 37 workshops in Herefordshire, Worcester and Birmingham and held exhibitions at Manchester Contemporary, Winterbourne House and Gardens and Queenswood. In total 22,846 people engaged with this project as audience members and participants.

BioCity and the Fall exhibition at Manchester Contemporary

BioCity and the Fall engaged communities, artists and scientists/academics in a co-creation project about our connection/disconnection to nature, the one thing that binds us all regardless of culture, race or country. As a result of this project we have connected with arts organisations and academics in Berlin, Bilbao and the Basque Country with Biomimicry and Biophilia, around the Biophilc City Network.

Salt Road is working with Universities involved in scientific research, art organisations and government partners across the six partner countries, we seek to share knowledge about climate change and the enviroment, to uncover our shared connections to nature by exploring our individual responses through art making. We collaborate with scientists and researchers in climate change, biomimicry (learning from nature to solve human-made problems), biophilia (love/affinity with nature), and the social sciences. He develops collaborative art practices to communicate and interpret climate change science through the lens of biomimicry.

Biophilia means love of natural/living systems, based on the belief that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature, which holds keys to answer our human created problems. Biomimicry in design is a contemporary multi-disciplinary approach to mimic nature, its models, systems, and processes. We aim as artists to bring in social responsibility and poetics to this paradigm.

Current Salt Road projects include an international collaboration between the University of the Basque Country, the Basque Centre for Climate Research BC3, the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council developing a joint seminar and exhibition program on art and climate change in 2020.

Salt Road held a planning a biophilic city workshop at the University of Greenwich Activating Biophilic Cities conference. The main aim of the conference was to bring together academics, built environment professionals, educational and health professionals in order to share the latest research and best practice in biophilic design.  The outcome was to build a community and create a biophilic ‘framework’ or guidance that could be benefit all.  Our partners at Greenwich think they are well on our way to achieving what we set out to do and look forward to continuing and expanding the community.

 

This project builds  on our Biomimicry artist commission program Treeline Salt Road delivered for the sustainability charity New Leaf, BioCity and the Fall is a Salt Road program with seven linked visual art and relational commissions, workshops and exhibitions, exploring aspects of biophilia/biomimicry at Winterborne House & Gardens (University of Birmingham) and parks in Birmingham, Worcester & Hereford. The project will realise a new body of work related to biomimicry and the wider sphere of climate change. Investigating social, eco-activism & the broader realms of nature and art.

Through art-making in relational & studio based practice using biomimicry LiDAR mapping laser scanning & living walls, engaging with Winterbourne’s botanical collection & with communities from across the region. We aim to challenge the dualistic separation between mind & body, humans & nature, to release thinking & artworks that re-glue the separation together or explore the falling apart. 2 artists will make action research biophilic artworks leading and connecting to 5 engagement artists working with communities from across the region.

Strengthening bodies of work around the aesthetics of Biophilia and Biomimicry, BioCity and the Fall will enable us to integrate artist practice within models of social sustainability and green infrastructure development. To work with sustainability organisations regionally, nationally and internationally (through the global Biophlic City Network) to put artists into the frame.