Wilderness for the Mind
12 June – 3 July 2020 
Live event: Thursday 11 June (7-8pm)

Artists from the Wilderness Art Collective have created ‘Wilderness for the Mind’, an online exhibition in the time of Lockdown due to COVID 19, which has been a creative time for many, and a challenging time for all in different ways. We want to highlight the connection between nature and mental wellbeing at this strange and unprecedented time.

The exhibition will explore: the nourishing effect of wild places on mental wellbeing; how we imagine and visualise places; and how to be more mindful and present in nature. It includes a curated selection of works by 32 artists – including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, collage, weavings, photography, artist’s films and installations. There will be ‘behind the scenes’ interviews, studio visits and artist demonstrations, live and scheduled events.

Our courageous, experimental explorer artists whose life experiences inform their works vary in extremity in their desire to connect fully with nature: wild swimming, parascending, mountaineering and extreme sailing for example. During Lockdown, many of the artists have found new sources of inspiration in their local environments. Laura Melissa Williams and Anne-Laure Carruth offer mindfulness meditation and walks in nature specifically recorded for this exhibition.

Examples of artists amongst our members whose practice is directly influenced by their pursuits: Sax Impey documented the voyage of a small yacht across the Pacific, Hannah Scott created installation art with plastic pollution collected from oceans across the globe, Lucy Devenish videoed coastal swimming to inform etchings, Sam Gare has climbed mountains to create giant canvases, Geraldine van Heemstra created etchings ‘drawn’ with a device that captures the movements of the wind, Conceptual artists who have collected photographic data documenting the world from above, Luke Walker has mapped and measured walks, Catalina Christensen collected minerals in deserts for an extensive collection of natural pigments. 

Sam Gare, co-founder of the Wilderness Art Collective says:

“The Wilderness Art Collective was set up to bring together and support creatives, organisations and individuals, and help us all to reconnect with the natural world. ‘Wilderness for the Mind’ is a result of what can be achieved when physical art shows and outlets have been cancelled. Not only is the show an incredible group effort, and testament to the talents and passions of our artists, but it has also been an opportunity for artists to explore their own feelings during recent events, and how nature can support us. 

The show offers opportunities for audiences to not only view artwork but engage more deeply though a series of events. At a time when people are reconnecting to their local surroundings due to the lockdown, the show hopes to encourage this connection to continue into the future, for the happiness and health of people and nature”

Featured artists: Abigail McDougall, Anne-Laure Caruth, Anthony Garratt, Caroline Ross, Catalina Christensen, Catherine Greenwood, Clare Dudeney, Felicity Flutter, Hannah Scott, Helen Jones, Helen Oakman, Geraldine van Heemstra, Laura Williams, Louisa Burnett-Hall, Louisa Crispin, Louise Ann Wilson, Lucy Devenish, Luke Walker, Michael Freedman, Sam Gare, Nickolai Globe, Peter Geraerts, Polly Bennett, Sam Peacock, Sax Impey, Simon Hitchens, Sophie Mason, Stephen Bennetts, Tessa Lyons, Trish Lock, William Bock

Curated by: Clare Dudeney, Geraldine van Heemstra, Catherine Goodman and Simon Hitchens.

Social media led by: Polly Bennett and Helen Jones

Website: www.wildernessart.org
IG: @wildernessartcollective
Fb: Wilderness Art Collective

Behind the Scenes: Interviews, artist talks, demonstrations and meditations

Date Event Description  
11 June, 7pm Private View WAC co-founders Sam Gare and Catalina Christensen will open the exhibition. With artist interviews. Live on Instagram.  
15 June Hannah Scott interview Interview from a voyage on a freightliner in which she researches and documents the impact of plastic pollution on the ocean and creates powerful artwork as a result.  
16 June In Pursuit of Colour  Video by Catalina Christensen documenting gathering of natural Mineral Pigments and creating an extensive range of natural paints.  
17 June, 9pm LIVE Full Moon Mindfulness Meditation  Meditation with Guest Nicci Parry from NP Natural Health  
19 June, 11am LIVE Studio Demo Catherine Greenwood In conversation with Prof. Susan Groce, Uni. Maine USA. ‘A look at Non Toxic Printmaking Alternatives in the Studio’.   
20 June  Wavescape Album Track & Video Release Art & Music collaboration by artist Catherine Greenwood & composer Matt Gooderson  
22 June Water colour with Household Items Demonstration video by Polly Bennett  
23 June Discussion of Maps & Data in relation to the wilderness Stephen Bennett and Laura Melissa Williams  
24 June, 10am and 2pm Meditation & Visualisation Live meditation & visualisation on instagram with Anne-Laure Carruth  
24 June Nature and the mind’s eye Live on instagram Clare Dudeney in conversation with Professor Adam Zeman, neuroscientist, on nature, the mind and visual imagination   
26 June Pacific film screening  Film by Sax Impey (1 hour) life as an artist at sea.  
27 June Re-immersion at Baggy Point caves  Short film by Lucy Devenish, a wild swimming printmaker with a go pro.  
28 June, 11am Oceans of air meditation Live meditation with Laura Melissa Williams  
1 July A walk with the wind  Geraldine van Heemstra describes how she uses and creates drawing devices to capture the essence of the wind.