From agriculture, expanded urbanisation and industrialisation, humans have been having an impact on the land for thousands of years. The creation of cities and towns, areas devoted to agriculture, transportation, logging, mining and energy extraction, and the modification of natural systems, present some of the forms of human alterations on the planet, which are hard to ignore, especially in recent times.
Quarry Bank, a key site where the industrial revolution began, is a good example of significant changes in the land and environment brought about by the industrial revolution. Developments and advancements in manufacturing, trade, agriculture, transport, and many other areas have been made possible, but not without the exploitation of resources, growing pressure on the land and of course increase of fossil fuels and air, water pollution.
In the current era and as we continue to deplete natural resources, but at the same time experience the effects of climate change and extreme environmental conditions – with many areas affected by flooding, drought, wildfires to mention a few, what does this mean for the future of our land, food production, wellbeing, access to green space, and species survival?
On one hand, there is important work taking place that could help us achieve much needed systemic change – Quarry Bank is an example of National Trust’s strategy to change land use, restore degraded landscapes, and work with farm tenants to deliver nature-friendly farming – but there is an urgent need for more collective action.
In this panel discussion, part of the Unintended Consequences programme, we are bringing together experts in art and environmental research, ecological planning, sustainability and restoration to explore work, research and ideas around land regeneration, farming and biodiversity, and how art research contributes to these conversations.
The event will be free and will include free access to the Unintended Consequences: Gathering Downstream exhibition.
With Prof John Handley, Professor Emeritus of Planning and Environmental Management, University of Manchester; Maya Marshak, artist, researcher and resident artist, Politics of Food programme, Delfina Foundation; Dr Jen Southern, artist, researcher and Associate Director at the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University; Dr Joanne Tippett, Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning in the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester.
Moderated by Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director, FutureEverything.