The arts and cultural practice are a powerful means of reawakening our sense of the familiar, connecting to the past, and exploring possible futures. They play a pivotal role in addressing environmental challenges and are a compelling route into understanding how people are connected to landscape. Art can often articulate emotional connections to a landscape in entirely new ways.

The very notion of being human and sharing collective cultural histories is often embedded in connectivity to place, and stories, and how they are told, are a foundation for understanding the concerns and hopes of people who live in landscapes undergoing change. The use of creative participatory approaches to understand the stories of local people is critical to the work of engaging, supporting and sustaining local communities.

The Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme has a vision for landscapes where nature thrives without the need for intensive and costly management – places where people’s connections to nature can be deepened by the surprise, creativity, and awe that it inspires. The arts can powerfully reconnect people to nature and communicate the challenges, impact, and opportunities for revival. In the context of landscape restoration, place-based artistic practice can also act as a catalyst, helping to engage new national and international audiences.

The Endangered Landscapes Artist Residencies and Arts Prize is a new collaboration between two programmes: the CCI Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme and the CCI Arts, Science and Conservation Programme. Both programmes are keen to encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary arts practice that celebrates the landscapes and communities supported by the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme and that reveal the hopes, ambitions and opportunities that come with landscape restoration.

These new artist residencies build on the CCI Arts, Science and Conservation Programme’s work to develop interdisciplinary art actions that respond to the biodiversity and climate crisis. In particular, how collaborations between artists and scientists can help transform the way we undertake conservation.

Residencies are accompanied by awards between $3,150 and $5,400 and were awarded by an external judging panel: Tundi Agardy, an internationally renowned expert in marine conservation, with extensive field and policy experience; artist Heather Ackroyd, of Ackroyd & Harvey, who has exhibited extensively in international galleries, public spaces and sites of special interest; and Karen Thomas, based at Kettle’s Yard, who works with artists, selected by the community, to explore local areas and create new artwork together.

Natela Grigalashvili - Iori River Valley, Georgia