Jones, O and Keech, D (2013) The transgressive art-action-policy work of the environmental charity 'Common Ground': a retrospective appraisal. In: RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 28 - 30 August 2013, Kensington Gore, London.

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It seems a good time to re-appraise the pioneering work of the arts and environment charity Common Ground. This influential organisation has wound up its campaigning work on the retirement of its co-founders, Sue Clifford and Angela King, though its publishing work is to be continued elsewhere. Common Ground was formed in 1983 and quickly gained a reputation for a range of work which set out to celebrate the distinctiveness of everyday places, the wisdom of subjective and continuing local knowledge, and the meanings which nature brings to life. Their work often revolved around collaboration with significant artists and writers - notably Peter Randall-Page, Andy Goldsworthy and Stephen Turner, among many others. It stimulated direct community participation and was practice-orientated. Common Ground’s work attracted some commentary (and even some criticism) from 1990s cultural geography. This paper will critically explore how Common Ground's approach was transgressive in terms of its inter-leavings of nature-culture; and spanned practice and theory in relation to a range of substantive theme which are now prominent within geography, for example, local food production; trees, woods and orchards; river catchments; notions of 'local distinctiveness' as articulated in material culture and habit; the wider interface of geographical inquiry and art. Ground's Grounds work will also be placed in the wider contexts of environmentally focused "new nature writing" and "land art" which have emerged so strongly over the last two decades or so and which now have significant inter- linkages with various strands of geographical thinking.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 12:33
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:28
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