Among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, the collaborative team of Newton and his late wife Helen Mayer Harrison (often referred to simply as “the Harrisons”) has worked for almost forty years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.
The Harrison’s concept of art embraces a breath-taking range of disciplines, as historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries and art activists. The work involves proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context.
Past projects have focused on watershed restoration, urban renewal, agriculture and forestry issues among others. The Harrisons’ visionary projects have often led to changes in governmental policy and have expanded dialogue around previously unexplored issues leading to practical implementations throughout the United States and Europe.
On the Deep Wealth of This Nation, Scotland, proposes a climate change vision for Scotland based on the principles of the commons we share in the form of air, soil, forest and water, and a fifth “commons of mind” reflecting the challenge of arriving at commonly agreed action. This original vision presented in these new works proposes how one small country can mobilise as a nation to be the first industrialised country to move past the carbon cycle and become the First Nation to give more to the global environment, which the Harrisons call the Life Web, than it consumes.
On 20 September at 5pm, Newton Harrison will be hosting a discussion to accompany the Edinburgh College of Art exhibition, presenting a unique opportunity to hear directly from this major international artist.