people land art culture ecology
using art to inspire and amaze
and to enrich research within our wider communities
working together to fuel creative action and meaningful change
welcome to place
The PLACE Collective is a community of artists engaged with issues of nature, environment and rural landscapes. It is inspired by a recognition of the critical need for more sustainable ways of living and the value of art in conversations, research and action.
The PLACE Collective values the power of art to move, engage and inspire, to embrace and celebrate wonder, and to ask difficult and exciting questions. We know that creative practice is crucial on a shared journey towards a positive and resilient future for humans and for other species, and for the natural environment we all inhabit.
art as a catalyst
As a network for knowledge-sharing, research and collaboration, and through a programme of events, PLACE aims to create links between artists, rural communities, academics, and organisations charged with caring for landscapes. Its work begins in areas designated as special, or in need of specialist attention, including National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – but is not limited to these areas. A designation or a label is only that: PLACE artists will be working outside designated areas. There is no end to these!
PLACE includes a diversity of practice and art forms and embraces multiple value systems and voices, including other-than-human communities. It is committed to continually challenge assumptions in a way that enriches discussions, shifts the dynamics of relationships, and offers gateways for changing behaviours.
natural cultural environment
PLACE sits within the UK’s Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA). The Centre is located on the Ambleside campus of Cumbria University – right in the heart of England’s Lake District, which is a National Park and a World Heritage Site, designated as a UNESCO Cultural Landscape. This is a great place to be based: it’s a small region that celebrates nature and culture yet faces complex issues around landscape management and the fragility of rural communities and ecosystems.
The work of artists in the PLACE Collective begins here but extends beyond – just as the research interests of the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas embrace an international perspective. One of the roles of PLACE is to step outside individual disciplines or silos, to work at the intersections of perspectives, and tease out new ways of questioning, looking and showing.
meet the artists
Our growing community of artists brings a range of questions, approaches and skills.
PLACE will evolve to reflect the diversity of interests among its members and the researchers at the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas. Its location within a National Park and a World Heritage Site will enrich enquiries into cultural landscapes and nature recovery, and will be a starting point for considering issues that are relevant here and in many other areas.
A key ambition of PLACE is to connect artists and researchers with people who have different skills within local communities and can share specialist knowledge acquired from experience. The community will extend through online events and site-specific projects. We want research and practice to be inclusive, with an emphasis on collaboration.
out & about
PLACE Collective artists are unavoidably engaged with the outside world. We’re looking forward to creating opportunities for fieldwork, walks and outdoor events, including performances and installation art. We’ll twin these with online events and live streaming to increase accessibility and to allow artists from around the world to connect.
The PLACE Collective came into being in March 2021. Our programme of events will begin with live-streamed conversations and webinars. Later in the year, as social contact restrictions are relaxed, we will host actual face-to-face events.
what will our view be
in five, ten, a hundred years’ time?
this tattered land, Healed,
through acts that begin
with the simple practice of listening?
“Art does not show people what to do, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your senses, body, and mind. It can make the world felt. And this felt feeling may spur thinking, engagement and even action.”
Olafur Eliasson – World Economic Forum 2016
The PLACE Collective is imagined and run by Harriet & Rob Fraser, of somewhere nowhere.
The PLACE Collective sits within the UK’s Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, at Cumbria University.