From Stream to Sea: Aligning Artist Practices with The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere

Emma Chow & Dr Catherine Kelly

Archive Events & Talks (17 July 2024, 6.15pm - 7.45pm)
Join artist Emma Chow and geographer Dr. Catherine Kelly as they share insights from the "Stream to Sea" residency, exploring the connections between human and water lifecycles in The Living Coast UNESCO Biosphere.

In this short public seminar artist Emma Chow and geographer Dr Catherine Kelly, from University of Brighton share and explore their learnings from Stream to Sea, an artist residency undertaken by Emma Chow between May and July 2024 in the The Living Coast (the Brighton & Lewes Downs UNESCO Biosphere).

About The Living Coast:
The Living Coast is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve encompassing urban, rural, and marine environments across Brighton, Lewes, and the surrounding areas. It aims to balance conservation, sustainable development, and community engagement, fostering a harmonious relationship between people and nature.

About the Stream to Sea residency: Emma was selected via open call for this year’s Living Coast Residency whose theme is exploring parallels between Human and Water Lifecycles.

During her residency, she has been researching the River Ouse and the chalk reef at the Undercliff Walk: tracing water’s journey from stream to sea and exploring how water shapeshifts, gives life to fauna and flora and how human behaviours affect bodies of water in the Biosphere. Through her use of site-specific material, evocation of place, recall, metaphor and imagination, Emma is working to understand something of the human relationships that underpin these behaviours with water.

Funded by a research grant from University of Brighton, in part the residency’s intention is to analyse how this artist’s practice, her biography, skills and knowledge may be able to increase Care and Custodianship in the UNESCO Biosphere. This seminar, led by Dr Catherine Kelly seeks to share specific learnings arising from Emma’s residency whilst touching on the broader programme of artist residencies that The Living Coast has commissioned since 2021.

About The Artist

Emma Chow (born 1993) grew up in Toronto, Canada. Although she studied visual arts as a teenager she didn’t take the traditional path of an artist. Instead pursuing her passion for sustainability by enrolling in environmental studies, economics and sociology in the USA, at Bowdoin College. Emma has spent the last decade working at the forefront of positive systems-change, most recently leading the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Food Initiative. After a major burnout in 2021 Emma was forced to take a journey of inner-regeneration, during which she developed her art practice to work in the service of Nature. Moving her art medium from painting to textiles she embarked on travels to Mexico, Peru and Guatemala where she learnt from local natural dyers and indigenous textile artists about natural dyeing techniques. She was able to further develop her skills during an artist residency at Soltera in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2022.

Talking at Nexus Europe 2023 Impact Investing Gathering about What is regeneration
Emma Chow Talking at Nexus Europe 2023 Impact Investing Gathering about 'What is regeneration?
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