A new creative project exploring land, commons, community and ecology – in the UK and with international aspects. Artistic co-creation using video and sonic methods.

Antony Lyons is an environmental artist and creative researcher based in Bristol, UK. His video, sonic and sculptural work ranges across the ecological, social and geographical.  His creative works and projects are based on long-term deep connection with landscapes (and waterscapes), ecologies and communities.

From April 2021-March 2022, as part of this new project, he reactivates a previous association with the CCRI – as ‘artist-in-dialogue’ – to explore braided themes of ‘shared eco-commons’, sustenance, land futures and land justice (including eco-social justice). Planned outputs include a series of ‘portrait films’; a creative documentary; geopoetic video-installations, online works (radio/podcast); work/play-shops with young people and a discussion forum. The focus ranges from deeply local to global dynamics. The primary funder is Arts Council England.

Antony Lyons

The project investigates and assembles material around three focus areas:

1.  Reflecting & Remembering: Diverse personal cross-cultural stories and reflections (with invited participants) on perception of home, land, migration, community, freedom, protection, belonging, in-between-ness etc. The idea of ‘the stranger’. Production of short films as subjective ‘film portraits’.

2.  Learning & Sharing: Dialogues with academics, activists and others, producing a set of creative responses to inspirational international models, solutions, indigenous knowledge and grassroots movements. Cultural practices & landscapes; community management of resources (co-operation and anti-monopoly); adaptations to land abandonment and urbanisation; agro-ecology, regenerative agriculture, conservation, rewilding and the multi-species commons; links to folk traditions (music, song).

3.  Imagination, Mystery, Strangeness: Speculative video-sonic explorations of connection/togetherness and disconnection/separation/alienation, via concepts of dark ecology, deep-time, entanglement, collective unconscious (symbolism, psyche, shamanistic, animistic), liminality etc. This aspect of the project is anchored in a specific landscape – Orford Ness (Suffolk), site of a recent artist residency by Antony Lyons (Sensitive Chaos).

Observations and provocations based on symbiosis, ecological awareness and historical perspectives are interwoven throughout, as is an interest in the dynamic between city, countryside and the ‘in-between’ (or peri-urban). In all three strands, the aim is to venture beyond the rational and perceptual, allowing space for the emotional, affective and imaginative registers.