In this discussion about how we can craft a meaningful relationship with landscape in the 21st century, our speakers will draw on their experiences to consider how the ways we think, behave and engage with landscapes play a part in tackling the environmental crisis.
Addressing the environmental crisis requires not just technological changes, but adjustments to how we think and behave. This event will look at how we can re-connect with our landscapes and value them in cultural, aesthetic, and spiritual ways as well as practical ones. Artist and film-maker Terry Flaxton, author Jini Reddy, anthropologist and artist Dr. Leila Sinclair-Bright and academic and writer Alice Tarbuck will outline their own perspectives, drawing on Terry Flaxton’s film To Stand and Stare and Jini Reddy’s book Wanderland to illustrate their points. This discussion will be followed by Q&A and space for open conversation.
Alice Tarbuck is an award-winning poet and writer. She has taught Creative Writing at the University of Dundee, and is a 2019 Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Awardee for poetry. Her debut non-fiction book A Spell in the Wild: a year (and six centuries) of Magic is published by Hodder & Stoughton.
She works as a Lead Reader for literacy charity Open Book. Additionally, she has taught workshops for the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library, the University of Edinburgh and further afield. She has chaired events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Dundee Literary Festival and at bookshops around Scotland.
Leila Sinclair-Bright is an artist and a social anthropologist. Born in the UK and raised in Zimbabwe she has always moved between cultures and places. Between 2012 and 2016 she completed a PhD in social anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis focused on the topic of ‘belonging’ in the context of Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform program. Primarily she examined the social politics around land ownership and authority in new resettlement areas – formerly large, singular farms owned by white farmers. What, she asked, does it mean for a person to claim to ‘belong’ to a place? Her work on Zimbabwe has been published in academic journals as well as in the London Review of Books and The National. Following her PhD she worked as a lecturer in human rights and began a series of mini-film festivals on the topics of patriarchy and human rights. In 2019 she moved on from academia and now works in children’s theatre productions as well as teaching various courses at the Edinburgh College of Art. She is also a collage artist and a gardener with a life-long interest in film.
Jini Reddy is the author of Wanderland, shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Award and for the Wainwright Prize. She has contributed to three anthologies including Women on Nature, penned a guidebook, and her texts and poems have been displayed in exhibitions at London’s Southbank Centre and at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As a travel writer, she has written widely national press and in 2019 was named a National Geographic Woman of Impact. Jini holds an M.A in English Literature from Avignon University, France and a B.A. in Geography from Mcgill University, Montreal. In her work, she occupies a cross-cultural, cross-genre space where place, spirituality and culture meet. Jini was born in Britain to Indian parents from South Africa, and raised in Quebec, Canada.
British artist Terry Flaxton (b. 1953) has worked with sound composition, photography and film, developing a particular interest in analogue video during the 1970s. He received a BA Hons in Communication Design in 1979 and spent over 30 years working as a cinematographer, which included shooting the third ever electronically captured movie with Channel 4 and the BFI’s Out of Order in 1986. His work today focuses on durational forms of the digital including sound, video, print and installation.
Since 1979, Flaxton has exhibited internationally, including Tokyo, Moscow, Xi’an, Milan, Algiers, Strasbourg and recently Florence, Dublin and New York (recent shows at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in NY attracted over 1.2 million visitors). His work has won various awards including both the Montbeliard and Locarno Prix Graphs and Prix Nike Amsterdam. Future shows include San Francisco, New York, Bristol, Milan, Bergen and Ljubljana amongst others.
Flaxton is a lifetime Academician at the Royal West of England Academy of Art; until recently he was Professor of Cinematography and Lens Based Arts at University of the West of England. In 2015 he started CineFest. He is widely recognised as an artist who creates challenging moving image work that has been featured in publications including A History of Video Art, Bloomsbury, 2006 and 2014; Diverse Practices, University of Luton Press, 1996; and A Directory of British Film and Video, Arts Council England, 1997. His works are held in various collections including Lux London, Video les Beaux Jours Strasbourg and AICE Milan. His 2008 work In Re Ansel Adams is in the permanent collections of the Harris Museum in Preston and the Royal West of England Academy of Art.