UPDATE! We are delighted to inform you that your entry has been selected for the January shortlist. Your submission will now go ahead to the upcoming judging panel. Winners of each monthly award receive £250 and are automatically shortlisted for the annual winner's prize of £2500. We are also excited to let you know that all shortlisted submissions are now automatically included in a new annual exhibition, the first of which will take place in Summer 2023. Yay!
Shall We Dance?
Over 200 years ago, scientist, explorer and naturalist, Alexander Humboldt, wrote about “the chain of connection, by which all natural forces are linked together and made mutually dependent upon each other.”
Today, confronted by accelerated environmental change, the full complexity of this ‘chain of connection’ is coming to light. We are not separate to the workings of the planet but are deeply entangled. The bottom line is that we need it more than it needs us, yet we destroy it.
This paradoxical relationship with the natural world is explored in my artwork, Unlikely Kin. Dried kelp, copper-covered seaweed and mirror interplay in a dynamic arrangement on a circular rotating base. The different materials and forms create tensions but like dancers, also create a new unity. It is not fixed but fluid as both the copper and the kelp will respond to moisture.
To dance with the natural world, for instance by not only taking from it but also giving back to it, could lead to new harmony which is mutually beneficial. It would be to embrace Anna Tsing’s notion of ‘collaborative survival’ – a world where not only humans flourish but every other living thing does too.
Why, why, why?