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Call to Action: Cultural Olympiad and the Natural Environment

01 May 2012

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Jon Adams' Disarticulate at Kyance Cove, part of Discovering Places and the Cultural Olympiad.Jon Adams' Disarticulate at Kyance Cove, part of Discovering Places and the Cultural Olympiad.

It’s May and very soon our blog will be taking to the road and following the Torch Relay. But this week, while the Torch is being prepared in Greece for the lighting ceremony, we’ll go exploring our UK’s natural environment through the wealth of artistic projects that have happened as part of the Cultural Olympiad, Inspire and Legacy Trust programmes and of course Discovering Places.

Before my Discovering Places days I worked producing street theatre.  I became passionate about how the arts, weather it was visual, digital, circus, spoken word, music or dance could engage a local audience with their everyday surrounding.  How it could animate and reinvent a place/space and how a community would or could be inspired to then care for and invest their time and energy into the space.

Rachel Henson, Box Hill Flickers project.

Discovering Places has been working with the artist Rachel Henson as part of the Cultural Olympiad.  In 2011 we commissioned Box Hill Flickers and soon we’ll be able to announce our second Flickers commission.  Box Hill is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has special scientific interest and is the venue for the off-road cycle race. Our animated flicker-book walk leads you through this unique environment and brings to life the rare species of Box Hill that can be found along the way.

Across the UK over the last 4 years the Cultural Olympiad has been nurturing collaborations and artistic projects that have been inspired by and respond to the natural environment.  These include performances and projects that have not only used the landscape as a backdrop, but have also been integral to telling a place’s story and reaching new audiences.

I hope you enjoy this week’s blog posts. Have a look at our Uncover Discover page for more projects that celebrate the environment.  We’d love to hear from you about what you have seen and enjoyed or what you are looking forward to seeing in the coming London 2012 Festival.


Post by Claire Horan, Discovering Places Project Manager.

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