In October 2018 we held three Wednesday evening events to focus on Autumn Colour, Liquid Assets and Taking Care with expert and diverse speakers across the arts, engineering, and natural resource management. We explored colour relationships and the movement of colour, seen and unseen in the context of nature. We celebrated urban water, discuss resource management, the cultural and engineering assets of the past and what could be the future in London. The third Landscape Learn event invited custodians of some of our most complex, fascinating and loved London landscapes to discuss underlying inspiration and long-term stewardship.
Autumn colour heralds the gently approach of the dormant season, characteristic of our temperate climate, when nature prepares to close down and restock.
Our relationship with colour is complex. When we are making decisions about colour it is fraught with associations and cultural signals. How we see colour and how we use it is often at odds. The world we live in changes dramatically under different light spectrums, materials hold their own source of colour under different conditions. Artists Kate Blee, Vinita Khanna shared some of their thoughts, Beatrice Bless, educator at New North Press, held a demonstration on making ink from natural pigments, while Jo Gibbons and Neil Davidson explored natural pigments in fungi and the art of camouflage deception.
Fresh water is one of our greatest assets. If we love the verdant nature of our landscapes, why treat rainwater as a waste product?
Climate change is predicted to have dramatic impacts on weather patterns and London’s population is increasing at record rates. Heavy downpours pose a significant flood risk to our city. Jo Gibbons and George Warren discussed the potential of transforming the city through a sustainable drainage approach. Black and grey water samples provided by Marie Raffin focussing thoughts on recycling and reuse. Stephen Myers described his innovative idea for the revival of the Fleet River and Neil Davidson proposed amphibious living as an alternative to holding back the tide
No landscape on this earth is untouched by man.
Jo and Neil considered the form of stewardship for landscapes of different scales and time depths, narrating personal and professional journeys. Ruth Holmes revealed what it was like to care for thousands of acres of Royal Parks and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In the life of a landscape, John Watkins asked how do we foster continuity of management, indeed do we want continuity? Artist Finn Thomson’s expressed a desire for ambiguous space in the artist studio that allowed for taking ownership in a highly personal way, a model exemplified by Marie Murray and Brian Cummings’ nurturing of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.