Summer Solstice Newsletter 2021

It’s the Summer Solstice, the sun is at its most powerful, fuelling long days full of creative energy and abundance. Join us online or in person at our activations and digital projects to connect with our environment and each other. 

Read on for more about our collaboration with Birmingham-based GirlGrind UK, our Wild Museum workshops at the upcoming Timber Festival, and to find out what some of our associates have been up to at the community arts project Yarmouth Springs Eternal.

Events

Do you work or volunteer with a school, youth group or community group in Lewisham?

We’re able to offer three final fully-funded workshops for Lewisham residents and organisations. Take a look at possible themes here, from sessions we’ve run in the past, including a Future Archaeology Lab and Creative Writing. If you’d like to organise a free session for a group you’re involved with we’d be delighted to help.

BLK + GRN, a new partnership with GirlGrind UK

We’re really excited to be working with GirlGrind UK through June to help empower young Black & Asian women in Birmingham. BLK + GRN is a cross-cultural movement operating at the intersection of the arts and the environment. To help inspire and support the women taking part we’ll be running two workshops in June, one on green futures (led by Oak Lawrenson) and one on how creativity can help us understand and tackle the Earth crisis (led by Bridget McKenzie). We’ll share creative and green work that comes out as a result. 

Watch Bridget’s interview with GirlGrind UK here, and get in touch on hello@girlgrinduk.co.uk to find out more.

Wild Museum workshops at Timber Festival, 2-4 July


Artwork of animal costumes by Meg McKenzie

Squirrel, Badger, Magpie and Beetle will be showing their collections at this year’s Timber Festival, giving clues to the site’s history – of coal, clay and rubbish. They will need help from humans, with our amazing hands and imaginations, to create new seeds to make a wilder, greener place. All ages welcome at these wonderfully wild workshops. 

There are still a few tickets left for the festival, book here for yours

‘Eco Lens on Things’ training for museum staff

Over the past year we have been running lots of training workshops and talks for various professional groups. Our main audience for these has been museum staff, and we are now offering a menu of professional development opportunities called ‘Eco Lens on Things’. See the page For Teams to enquire.

Digital takeover 25th June 

On 25th June our social media will be taken over by Ria Mehta from Kids in Museums, as part of their climate-themed young people’s takeover of museums. Make sure you’ve liked and followed our socials so you can follow events in the day. Connect with our Twitter, FB and Insta accounts here.

Global Goals guide

See our learning resource, a guide to the Global Goals, which we produced and shared on Earth Day.

Coming up

Eco Art Action

Training for 9 Polish cultural staff who have funds to come to London to explore environmental creative ways to engage people, as well as form movements and structures. It’s been delayed due to the pandemic but we’re looking forward to when they can (hopefully) visit in the Autumn. 

Design collaboration; Collecting in an Earth crisis

We are working closely with 5 MA students of Design History at Royal College of Art to develop our approaches and possibilities of collecting in the teeth of an Earth crisis. Together we’ll be contributing a chapter towards a book about the prize Reimagining Museums for Climate Action, with Colin Sterling of the University of Amsterdam.

Plans and collaborations

We have a number of exciting projects and funding bids in development right now, including Canary Wharf inviting us to be resident in the area, working on three funding bids with Goldsmiths College, and talking about a possible Museum of the Environment in Ipswich.

Are you interested in collaborating with us?

We are a distributed organisation keen to work collaboratively with organisations and individuals. 

Our newest associate is set designer Tamasin Rhymes, who works across theatre, education and events. Find out more about our associates here. Get in touch to explore possible partnerships as we continue to grow our work, or find out more about becoming an associate yourself.

Yarmouth Springs Eternal, fading into Summer

Genevieve Rudd

Yarmouth Springs Eternal was a community arts, walking and nature project led by CMUK associate Genevieve Rudd, in partnership with originalprojects. It explored overlooked and everyday experiences of the natural world around Great Yarmouth, during Spring 2021.

In April, we began with a series of community walks/workshops led by local artists, working collaboratively with adults referred from Herring House Trust homelessness charity and GYROS migrant support agency. Together, we walked the streets of Great Yarmouth noticing, documenting and sharing the delight of witnessing Spring unfold.


Taking a tree rubbing, photo by Genevieve Rudd 

In May, the project ran a public exhibition at PRIMEYARC, featuring artwork made by the community group, alongside Bill Vine, Company Drinks, Jacques Nimki, James Aldridge (fellow CMUK associate) and Jason Evans. Plus displays of CMUK print-it-yourself posters, a plant swap table and homemade fermented goods.

The Summer Solstice weekend marks the end with a final series of artist-led walks/workshops and the launch of the Yarmouth Springs Eternal Play Book – a creative arts and nature resource inspired by walking.

The project has been made possible with funding from Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Arts Council England, East Anglia Art Fund, Norfolk County Council and Better Together Norfolk.

Grow Wild

In 2020, our young associate Meg McKenzie was successful, with Climate Museum UK, in achieving one of Kew Gardens’ Grow Wild grants to make artwork inspired by British plant species. She has made an animation and a painting inspired by the Celtic story of Airmed and knowledge of healing plants. This will be exhibited with work by other young artists at St Mary Axe in September.

We’ve just heard that our supported application for a young associate has succeeded for a second year, this time for Seamus Coyne-Bailey who aims to make a film exploring the various qualities and uses of nettles.


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