Mosses + Marshes 2020 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 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.
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 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 are 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 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.