Ethical considerations with artists’ materials

I’ve been hunting around the web for information on sourcing artists’ materials ethically.  It is extremely difficult to find any information.  From what I’ve managed to find, here is what I could do to mitigate potential impacts (environmental, social, and animal welfare).  I’ll update this post as I find new information. Continue reading


growth n

1. the process or act of growing, esp in organisms following assimilation of food
2. an increase in size, number, significance, etc.
3. something grown or growing
4. a stage of development
5. any abnormal tissue, such as a tumour
(taken from Collins English Dictionary, via

fungal growth on a tree

“To say that a stable no-growth economy is impossible simply shows the poverty of our imagination.” Rod Dixon from Red Ladder Theatre Company shares his views on the necessity for the left to find sustainable alternatives to ‘growth’.

And theatre production Ten Billion directed by Katie Mitchell is a sell out, delivering a “dramatic warning about the planet’s future” – but will people listen?

It seems that theatre can deliver personal growth in terms of development of understanding, without requiring the production of more ‘material stuff’.  Perhaps our new economic model should involve more theatre?

Edit (11/10/12): Listening to Becs Andrews talking about her practice of Theatre Design this week, she highlighted that actually there is an enormous amount of waste in Theatre Design.  Despite her best efforts to recycle materials through resource centres, in reality the majority is skipped after each performance.  In her talk, she was mulling over whether digital sets would reduce this waste.  Although, as she pointed out, there is also waste from digital technologies – much of which is toxic – which is simply shipped and dealt with overseas.  So – does this leave us with the travelling theatre company, who keep their props in a bicycle trailer and re-use them?


Site specific project

I’m currently working on a proposal for a site specific artwork to be sited within a school nature trail.  The nature trail came from a patch of school land that had been ignored for a number of years.  The current school caretaker took a look around it, and realised that over those years a number of wild species had taken up residence.  He proposed that the land could be turned into a community and education resource by turning it into a nature trail.  The project also includes raised beds and composting areas where the children and community can learn about growing food.

My proposal is to build a huge spider’s web (complete with spider) to help visitors see the site from a bug’s perspective.  The site is used for bug studies (amongst other things) and hopefully the piece may highlight the importance of these smaller creatures to the health of the soil.  Here’s how it might look.