| Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

Chris Fremantle

Research Fellow and Lecturerat Gray's School of Art, Robert Gordon University
United Kingdom
Focus area: Environmental Art, Eco Art, Land Art, Public Health, Systems

My current research focuses on the role of artists in public life, through attention on exemplary practices (in particular the pioneering ecological artists Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison (b.1932) ‘the Harrisons’) and through practice-led work as a producer/curator. I have been Producer for artists’ collaboration with natural and social science researchers at James Hutton Institute, Rowett Institute, SRUC, NRI, Tyndall Centre, and in the context of the UK Research Council's Valuing Nature Programme. In parallel I have also worked extensively as a Producer for art and therapeutic design in healthcare, developing strategic approaches to patient centred care environments.
My work is policy and impact oriented, with a particular concern for how different disciplines and practices work together across distinct potentially incommensurable ways of knowing. This is particularly focused on the role of artists in environmental and landscape decision-making, understanding the ways that artists frame and conceptualise eco-centricity seeking to reposition the human within the ecological, including how to imagine societies which put back more than they take out of ecosystems. This has a pedagogical dimension which is common across eco-art (and design) practices where the work seeks to engage audiences and participants in new ways of understanding interdependency. It also has a significant policy dimension which I have been investigating through an examination of different approaches to time and temporality manifest in global environmental policy and in artists’ practices, particularly those engaged in ‘deep mapping’. I am currently researching the concept of adaptation as it features in policy discourses in parallel with an investigation into understandings of improvisation in arts practices.
I have an ongoing investigation into social practice focused by conceptualisations of agency manifest in forms of shared of authorship demonstrated by artists, particularly working in healthcare and environment contexts. I am working on juxtapositions of parallel discourses of co-creativity in visual art, performance art, design, architecture and in computing.

Journal Articles:

The Art of a Life Adapting: Drawing and Healing

February 2020