I am the founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, an innovative educational charity focused on exploring new understandings of our place within Nature through the Arts. Its aim is to inspire people to engage with environmental and social issues by kindling the imagination, opening minds to innovative possibilities and engaging communities.
CCANW opened in Haldon Forest Park, nr. Exeter in 2006 and now attracts 40,000 visitors / participants a year. It is largely funded by the Arts Council and this year's programme 'Games People Play' also received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Past programmes have ranged from those promoting the use of timber in architecture to eco-fashion.
My career as a curator started at Arnolfini, Bristol in 1974 and I opened Mostyn Art Gallery, Llandudno as its Director in 1979. From 1985-89 I curated dozens of contemporary and historical exhibitions, ranging from the work of David Nash to J.M.W. Turner. I was managing director of a commercial gallery in Bond Street, London where I took particular responsibility for developing the career of Andy Goldsworthy. In 1992, I wrote the catalogue raisonne of Peter Randall-Page's sculpture for the Henry Moore Centre and co-ordinated a major exhibition on the history of British landscape painting for a tour of Japanese museums. In 1995 I was one of the commissioners of Korea's first international biennale, focused on the Middle East and Africa.
In 1997 my wife, Jill, and I moved to Devon with the intention of establishing CCANW. We supported the development of the project through a research post at the University of Plymouth and through curatorial work for Carlisle Museum and The Lowry, where one exhibition won the Museums and Heritage Award for Best Temporary Exhibition in 2003. I was one of the judges of the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2005, External Panel Reader for the new MA Art and Environment course at University College Falmouth in 2010 and am currently a member of CIWEM's Arts and Environment Network's Steering Group.
Forthcoming programmes under development for CCANW include 'Soil Culture' (2013/14) and 'Islam, Nature and the Arts' (2014/15). Further details and some of my archived essays can be found on our website.
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