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Art Changes People

In the whirlwind of lectures, talk, chatter, discussions, seminars at Communicate 2017, the Rainforest Room at Bristol Zoo hollered my senses at a toolbox session on the subject of “Art Changes People” given by Tim Goodwin of Human Nature and ATM, an artist.

Tim’s core belief is “to make art that inspires and engages people on the environment commonplace and to have a positive impact”. Tim believes that provocative and idea driven art that can transform our relationship with the natural world.  “Human Nature” want to run projects with artists making art in local spaces where everyday people are everyday.

Tim talked about a recent project working with graffiti artist Louis Masai on the project called the “Art of Beeing” which has high lightened the extinction crisis by putting up murals in major US cities from New York to Phoenix. These large and wildly colourful spray painted walls show a creature on the brink of extinction with text giving information on their present situation.

The text on the frog states: “90% of yellow legged frogs have disappeared with in the last 100 years” by Louis Masai.

Tim was followed by the artist ATM who paints with brushes onto walls rather than sprays with cans.  ATM had a great love of birds and was painting large murals on very public spaces in the UK to highlight habitat loss for many species.  ATM did not put any text with his murals and this became a subject of debate by those attending.  Some felt that images need text to explain them to the viewer, to make the image more understandable, the reason more coherent.  Others, including myself thought that the image was enough.  The sheer beauty gave a space in which the public would want to find out more.  Does every image have to be explained through a caption card or is it more important to pull the public in and make them think where are all the sparrows?

Tim and ATM want to take these paintings further and put them in places where people go everyday, car parks of shopping malls, retail parks.  Art to become the fulcrum for change.

Paintings by ATM:

Tim Godwin is the creative director of Human Nature. Human Nature connects artists with organisations and creates provocative environmental art in unusual places.

ATM brings colour and beauty to neglected parts of cities and hopes to inspire people to get actively involved in creating a better environment, by transforming towns, cities and countryside for the benefit of wildlife.

Thanks to Joanna Wright for writing this blog, Joanna is a Visiting Researcher in Department of Social & Policy Sciences at the University of Bath.

We’d love to hear your experiences from Communicate 2017, if you have any thoughts from the conference and would like to write a blog get in touch!