Soil Culture

Bringing the Arts down to Earth

Initiated by the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), Soil Culture is a three year programme which reveals how arts and culture explore the vital, ecological importance of soil. It’s important cultural partners include Kew Gardens, London and Eden Project, Cornwall.

Soil Culture demonstrates the UK contribution to the United Nations International Year of Soils, 2015. The programme consists of various events, in particular 12 artist residencies (featuring Touchstone Collaborations, Bristol, and Karen Guthrie, among others) aimed at encouraging an exploration of the ecology and importance of soil.

The project has climaxed with a major group exhibition, Soil Culture: Deep Roots (Falmouth Art Gallery and Plymouth Peninsula Arts in 2015/16), which brings together the work of six important international environmental artists: Paolo Barrile, Mel Chin, herman de vries, Richard Long, Ana Mendieta, and Claire Pentecost.

The range of artworks includes work by Mel Chin, who uses plants to extract heavy metals from contaminated land, to that of Claire Pentecost who has sculpted soil into the shapes of gold ingots to reflect its true worth. Also featured are works by seven British artists, including Chris Drury, Andy Goldsworthy, and David Nash.

A Gaia Project and CCANW/Falmouth Art Gallery co-publication, this book documents all aspects of the interdisciplinary Soil Culture programme, and features exclusive essays by artists, scientists and curators.

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