21 March 2014

The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), based at the University of Gloucestershire, is currently involved in an exciting new project called Sabrina Dreaming which connects environmental art with academic research and study environments.

Thanks to an ‘Artist in Residence’ grant from the Leverhulme Trust, Antony Lyons will spend a year   in the CCRI. Over that time, his topic of interest is the Severn Estuary coast.

Whilst the debates over environmental and economic concerns for the construction of a Severn Barrage and two new nuclear power stations on the Severn coast  continue, Sabrina Dreaming will creatively engage with this estuary coastline and floodplain, involving a mix of environmental science, folklore, heritage, stories and more.

Lyons will draw on his previous extensive experience of water environment issues such as pollution, landscape-change, climate-change and biodiversity. He will link the project to some of the CCRI’s research areas, including landscape policy, ecosystem services and water/food security.

Sabrina Dreaming will initiate new conversations about, and perhaps alter perceptions of, the Severn Estuary through assembling experimental film and sound-based artworks, derived from the often hidden and intangible ecological uniqueness of this water landscape.  In early 2015 there will be a film or performance-based event based on these creative investigations.

Lyons commented, “Sabrina Dreaming is an open-ended, experimental project in which the surreal and unsettling qualities of a dream will come into play, anchored in the real, physical, sensuous experience of these tidelands and tidewaters. Therapeutic possibilities of water environments; symbolic associations; environmental change; these will be explored in a creative way, using film, sound and sculpture”.

Lyons will be meeting with local community groups, artists and organizations such as the Severn Estuary Partnership, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and others, and hopes to open up new research questions, possibilities and perspectives. The residency will contribute to growing interest in trans-disciplinary responses to situations of environmental change.


Notes for Editors:

The title -Sabrina Dreaming Most rivers have sacred personifications – in the form of tutelary deities. For the River Severn, this is ‘Sabrina’, or ‘Hafren’ in Welsh. The project will seek to expand and deepen the ways in which water landscapes are encountered and understood – scientifically, artistically and socially.

Sabrina Dreaming is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is intended to bring artists into academic research and study environments.

Extra information: Some planned components of Sabrina Dreaming (Severn Estuary Tidelands) include:  Fieldwork, for film/sound recording and artist-led walks.  Production of film/sound artworks, including sonification and visualisation of scientific data-streams to help create a bridge between the direct sensuous experience of the landscape setting and research carried out at CCRI and elsewhere.  Early in 2015, there will be a film-based installation or performance-based event.  As well as a project blog (http://sabrinadreaming.blogspot.co.uk/), Lyons will produce a series of recordings for wider distribution, supplemented by publications including journal articles.

More project information:  http://www.ccri.ac.uk/air/ Artist information:  www.antonylyons.net

Contacts: Antony Lyons, CCRI Artist in Residence, antonylyons@mac.com Julie Ryan, Communications Officer, jryan@glos.ac.uk

CCRI The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) is one of the leading specialist rural research centres in the Europe with programmes of research in rural community development, rural poverty, agri-environment policies, agri-tourism, local sustainability, local economic development, EU and UK rural development, and the planning system in the countryside.  See http://www.ccri.ac.uk/ for more information.

Countryside and Community Research Institute  Oxstalls Campus  University of Gloucestershire  Oxstalls Lane  LonglevensGloucester  GL2 9HW Telephone: +44 (0) 1242 714122

Leverhulme Trust logoThe Leverhulme Trust

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing over £50m a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit www.leverhulme.ac.uk.