The art we need in an age of ecological crisis should be fundamentally relational rather than self-expressive because of the heightened need to nurture respectful connectedness among people and with nature.
So said Suzi Gablik in The reenchantment of Art and quoted in the Ecobardic Manifesto – a recently published short pamphlet calling for the arts to respond whole-heartedly to the ecological challenges facing our planet.
The manifesto proposes five ‘ecobardic’ principles, the first of which nicely wraps itself around most of the work (and leisure pursuits) I have been doing recently:
1. connecting with one’s own roots in time and place while celebrating the diversity of other cultures and traditions;
At the end the manifesto flags up that the ecological crisis presents practical conflicts that are very difficult to manage which is very timely and I see that yesterday Natural England published a response to the latest DEFRA Climate Change predictions stating that
we have to allow natural processes within the environment to function. We cannot rely on technology or on building our way out of trouble.