Mosses and Marshes

Mosses and Marshes (2019-2022) is a project spanning two countries – the UK and Australia, both with Ramsar-listed wetlands of international importance, bringing together artists, land managers, and scientists to reimagine the future of these landscapes and the place they have in our communities.

In a time of world misery, it’s a delight to find two artists who are adding both constructive intellectual content and aesthetically creative mind-food to the world. We need artists to inspire us and flood our minds with healthy, exciting, intellectually engrossing things of beauty in an otherwise consumerist, greedy world.

Dr Liz Charpleix, editor of MOSSES AND MARSHES

In 2018, artists Andrew Howe (Shropshire, UK) and Kim V. Goldsmith (NSW, Australia) came together as part of the international art program, Arts Territory Exchange. Both artists have also worked for decades outside their practices in the natural resources and environment space – as a c­ivil engineering/environmental consultant and as a communications consultant/project manager respectively.

Whixall Moss and Macquarie Marshes maps

With a common interest in environmental issues as subject matter for their practices, Howe and Goldsmith spent a year exploring how they might create an international project presenting the Ramsar listed areas of the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses (UK) and Macquarie Marshes (Australia) alongside each other.

The key objective of the project has been to use available information about the Mosses and Marshes ecosystems to put the spotlight on the significance of them as highly productive and biologically diverse habitats that play a role in managing water in the landscape, and home to a diversity of lifeforms (including humans), and identifying issues central to their future through creative expression.

Key outcomes to date have include the creation of bodies of traditional artwork, videos, soundscapes, and add-on experiences bringing people into the Mosses and Marshes from wherever they are, presented in exhibitions and online, along with documentation, writings, and media coverage of the project and resulting exhibitions. There have been several secondary outcomes, including the development of ongoing interest by creatives in the Mosses and Marshes, the establishment of networks between creatives and scientists and/or landscape managers, and a broader understanding of why these habitats should be part of our future.

The project’s next stage is called Values. Voices. Action. This has come from earlier work and the International Panel Discussion held in late 2021. This part of the project aims to not only continue fostering connections with and conversations about the wetlands, but create a list of actions communities might feel responsible for and empowered to enact from where they are now. It’s envisaged this may happen through talks, other projects and continuing to share the outcomes of the broader project.

Find out more about the project on the following pages, including how you can be part of the conversation that has stemmed from the project.
Story map – Macquarie Marshes (audio stories from the Marshes)
Sonic stories of the wetlands (soundscapes from the exhibition works)
Mosses and Marshes, the book
ecoTALK – International Panel Discussion
Values. Voices. Actions. (includes a link to the Panel Discussion recording)
Events (past and upcoming)

For further updates on the project follow the blog posts on Cadence or on Andrew Howe’s website, Of the Mosses.

The public programming around this project, Mosses + Marshes in Conversation, is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. Mosses + Marshes in Conversation aims to take the conversation beyond the gallery walls.

The development of works for Mosses + Marshes and some of the associated exhibitions costs have been funded with support by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.

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