We’re excited to welcome Léonie Hampton from the artist collective Still Moving to our group and department for a 6-month artist residency.
Together, we will develop a project exploring perceptions of human and plant “nativeness” to perceive ourselves in relation to biodiversity and climate crises.
Activate from the series ‘Beyond Triffids: Plants without Prejudice’ 2023 by Léonie Hampton.
Beyond Triffids: Plants without Prejudice
Invasive alien species are recognised as one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity, their invasion facilitated by, and compounding impacts of, climate change. Within ecology and conservation biology there is a heated debate about whether alien plant invasions are good or bad for biodiversity. Do human-introduced alien species increase diversity and compensate for native species loss? Or are alien plants a major threat to biodiversity, warranting active management and restrictions on trade and travel?
Through the lens of alien plants we will particularly focus on perceptions of “nativeness” – both human and plant. Our interdisciplinary approach – co-created between arts, science and humanities – will challenge and interrogate understandings and value judgements, and how these values may need re-evaluation in light of biodiversity loss and migration.
Just as speculative fiction creates the potential, far off in space, where we might see ourselves more clearly, this creative collaboration will work with the perceptions and values of plants to perceive ourselves in relation to our urgent biodiversity and climate crisis.
Our first public outreach event through this collaboration will be held at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton on 4 March: Climate Conversations & Honiton Seed Swap. This will take place on the final day of Léonie’s exhibition “A Language of Seeds“.
The residency is funded by King’s Culture and supported by our ERC project AlienImpacts. More about this collaboration and five others supported by King’s Culture can be found here.