In partnership with The Hepworth Wakefield, Co-Constructive Humanities organised a two day symposium on the themes of Modern Nature. The symposium explored how expanding cities have shaped and redefined modern experiences of nature and use of the land whilst considering the critical role the arts and humanities play in that relationship and how the arts and humanities can be crucial to imagining and designing better cities and the built environments.
Day 1 explored different artists’ engagements with the beauty and aesthetic qualities of the natural world and how this nurtures an essential ‘nature connectedness’ by capturing it in words, art and photography.
Speakers include author and natural navigator Tristan Gooley, writer and environmentalist Zakiya McKenzie, poet Helen Mort, and three of the photographers featured in the Modern Nature exhibition: Daniel Meadows, Peter Mitchell and Simon Roberts.
The second day looked at how gardens and green spaces contribute to wellbeing and making better city spaces. We facilitated critical debates between the arts and humanities and social sciences on questions such as: how is access to green space mediated by ethnicity and class? In what ways do people experience wellbeing through engagement with nature? What are the tensions between informal and planned uses for green spaces? What impact does austerity have on the green space and wellbeing agenda?
Speakers included gardener, writer and presenter Alys Fowler and Anna Da Silva who is leading on the RHS Bridgewater project.