A message of farewell

February 3, 2023

Like many cultural organisations – small and large, funded and unfunded – art.earth ultimately struggled financially during a time of general downturn. The 2020s were not a time when the UK flourished, perhaps unsurprisingly after more than a decade of destructive, market-focused increasingly right wing government intent on demeaning and ultimately deleting so much of what made the UK a culturally rich and rewarding place to live.

On Friday December 16 2022 the Board of Directors voted to close the company, feeling that despite the importance of this work and the enormous goodwill that has always powered art.earth and remains today, the company was unable to meet its financial obligations for 2023 and would be unable to invest in the necessary development work that keeps small companies like ours afloat.

We want to say that the extraordinary generosity of spirit that has underwritten all our work over the past six years has been a source of great joy and has kept us going through the inevitable challenges of operating a small arts organisation. Without you all we would not have been here in the first place. In the past few months staff have been working unpaid trying to put in place a workable programme for 2023 but these are challenging and difficult times to be creating new partnerships and new programmes. 

We would like to send our very best wishes and thanks to the entire art.earth community and we urge you to continue fighting the good fight in your attempts to speak to the world about the world using your many different artforms. 

All of us at art.earth; Richard Povall, Minou Tsambika Polleros and our wonderful Board of Directors Julia Bond, Mat Osmond, Mary Waltham, Jane Hodgson and Emma Yorke want to say thank you all for your dedication over these past few years. We also want to thank our past board members: Mark Leahy, Walter Lewis, Katrina Brown and Lucy Kerr. Thank you for jumping onboard this ship and for your guidance and passion! 

A huge thank you to all our partners over the years without whom our events would have been less exciting or not happened at all! As Dartington community partners, we want to thank especially the teams and people at Dartington Hall Trust, everyone in the Art, Event, Estate, Property and Hospitality team who have hosted and supported so many of our events with generosity and cross-collaboration. Thank you also to our friends at Soundart Radio 106.5FM. Dartington continues to be an exciting place bubbling with new degrees, courses, performances and projects, and we have been very fortunate to be able to base ourselves here for so many years. 

Looking ahead

Even though art.earth will cease – we, the people & practitioners are not going anywhere. We will all be continuing our work developing our artforms, pushing our agendas, fighting for a more ecologically minded and beautiful world.  

Our social media channels will continue to be a place where we can inform each other of the work we do, the interesting opportunities that arise, and call outs, all wonderful things from the world of art & ecology, see Facebook and Instagram (@artdotearth). 

The art.earth website will become an archive that you can visit. It will take us a few weeks to make this accessible. 

Check out the rich resource that art.earth TV has become over the years. It is an eclectic archive of recordings from our events which will over the next few months become the  @artdotearth YouTube channel and will be retained as long as it is used. 

For those of you who would like to buy one of our books, the art.earth imprint will continue. The bookshop will remain available at art-earth.org.uk/bookshop

For your diary 

To celebrate you, our art.earth community, we invite your reflections in the form of artworks, written statements, documentations or small videos, to allow you to respond to our closure, and to create a space for your works, voices and reflections about the legacy of art.earth and what it stands for. Please send these to us here farewells@art-earth.org.uk by the end of February. 

Our plan is to share your reflections on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube (please let us know if you prefer us not to share your message). 

The Evolving Forest Film Festival will go ahead this autumn under the auspices of our partners Evolving Forest, the event will bring together filmmakers and film enthusiasts who are passionate about forests and the life of trees. The event will take place over 3 days at Dartington as well as online and information remains at evolvingtheforest.uk

Because we love what we do, we are developing a book from our last symposium: Sentient Performativities: Thinking Alongside the HumanThe book will be published under the art.earth imprint and will have a limited print run. Information on how to submit will be announced soon on art.earth Facebook and Instagram channels (@artdotearth). Presenters will receive a personal invitation to submit their works and abstracts to the book. 

Warmest wishes to all of you from all of us here at art.earth 

Richard, Minou, Julia, Mat, Jane, Mary & Emma