Emergence - Creativity and a Sustainable Future
23rd October 2010
Fern Smith has been on sabbatical from Volcano Theatre this year as she has been awarded the Arts Council Wales Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme. Fern has spent the year developing ideas about the inspirational power of networks and of the arts.This has resulted in a collaboration called 'Emergence'.
"I am very interested in the power of artists and the arts to bring about change in wider society. I believe that we have an enormous capacity to not only vision new possibilities but we also have the organisational and production skills to bring those visions into the real world should we wish to do so. With this in mind as part of my work on the Clore Programme, I seconded myself to Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales and co-created 'Emergence'".
To give some context for Emergence Fern states that she is interested in the response of artists to the challenges which we as a global society are now facing. She went on to say "It is a time when the actions of any of us can impact on all of us for ill or for good - either on an interpersonal or international level. I am interested in the responses of artists and those working in the arts to sustainability. Sustainability is one of those words which means everything and nothing. It can be a powerful concept but when it is seen as mere policy speak it loses any potential power it once had. I believe the essence of sustainability is that we are at a time where we have to rethink the very nature of how we live in relation to ourselves, each other and the natural world. This is not about problem solving or even 'creative' problem solving. We need to be more creative than that. It is for this reason I believe that the artists need to be actively engaged in this visioning exercise - the most important one any of us will ever be called to be involved in".
"We can be involved in different ways - on a practical level of learning how we as individuals and as a sector can work in ways which have a less harmful impact on a sensitive, dynamic ecological system. This might mean looking at our practices, assumptions and materials in new ways. Our involvement may also be in actively calling up those visions of what a new Wales (a 'One Planet Wales in Welsh Assembly Government language) and a new planet might look like. We are at a 'Tipping Point' and at this time small actions of the heart and soul as well as more 'worldly' political or strategic actions regarding carbon emissions and renewable energy are all needed and of equal importance. As one of the most courageous artist/activist/politician/leaders once said 'we must be the change we seek to create in the world’".
If you are interested in any part of the sentence 'artists must be the change we seek to create in the world' then you will be interested in Emergence. Emergence is a space in Wales where we can explore, discuss, meet others, share ideas and support once another in creating a vision for Wales (borrowing from the New Economic Foundation) 'as if people and the world really mattered'. It is also a place to gather information.
Culture Colony supports Emergence and its intention to become a new forum in Wales where the arts can really see its own power and potential to create change. As part of this new and exciting initiative a Platform is being created on the Culture Colony network to empower and enable the sharing of ideas. We hope that this Platform will help bring people together to maintain and develop discussions and debate that will help inform the series of gatherings that have been planned. Culture Colony is pleased to be involved and to demonstrate our support of this exciting and necessary initiative.
'When power leads a man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his experience. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgement. The artist, faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an offensive state' (A.Politician)
So come to Emergence Cardiff on 28th October at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 9.30am – 5pm. There is a fantastic line-up of speakers and contributers including National Theatre Wales Artistic Director John McGrath, who will be responding to Dr Simon Bilsborough and ‘One Wales : One Planet’ the Welsh Assembly Sustainable Development Initiative and asking what it means for the arts in Wales. Centre for Alternative Technology and Julies Bicycle will be presenting sessions on ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ and lessening the environmental impact of touring theatre, bands and orchestras. There will also be an opportunity to share and present ideas with one another as well as featuring the work of artists Paul Emmanuel and Martin Powell.
Space is limited so book now by going to www.sustainwales.com and click ‘Emergence’
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