Since its formation in January 2021, Fusion Arts and Tandem Collective have been supporting the Green Arts Oxfordshire Network, which was formed to unite Oxfordshire's artists and cultural organisations in their work to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. Follow their Instagram here!
Notably, in October 2021, the network finalised a Green Arts Charter (drafted in July during a workshop attended by 25 artists & cultural organisations) that is designed to help organisations, practitioners, suppliers and individuals take accountability for and minimise/neutralise their carbon footprint as well as inspiring other to do the same.
The final draft was made into an infographic and launched on social media by Oxfordshire artists & organisations on the COP26 Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, 6 November. Organisations shared the Charter with their action points, prompting team meetings focusing on climate strategy, using the Charter as a framework. Pegasus Theatre rewrote their entire environmental policy to coincide with the launch. Take a look at the charter below.
Over the past year, Fusion Arts has organised and supported various workshops, from ones aimed at artists to anyone involved in arts and cultural organisations across the county, thinking through ideas of sustainable materials, practises and outlooks.
In September 2021, the network collaborated with the Oxfordshire COP26 Climate Alliance to involve artists and arts organisations in the Great Big Green Week, leading to numerous awareness raising and action catalysing events across Oxfordshire.
For Oxfordshire's Great Big Green Week, Fusion supported several eco-photography workshops led by John Blythe, two 'Red Alert' events led by a group of Magdalen Road Studios artists, and an exhibition and eco-techniques workshop at Fusion's temporary space at 95 Gloucester Green.
Artist Mani Manson-Reeves produced the incredible green banner below for Oxfordshire's Great Big Green Week launch event that was carried during the pre-launch Walk For Life on Earth on Broad Street.⠀
As part of Oxfordshire's Great Big Green Week in September, Fusion Arts supported Fig and artist Nor Greenhalgh to put on a drop-in workshop and a three week long exhibition for their Elder Vernacular project at 95 Gloucester Green, and then later at 51 Between Towns Road.
Elder Vernacular is a research project that is working to compile a palette of art materials and pigments that come directly from the ground of East Oxford. Together, Nor and Fig are interested in the rediscovery of a visual 'vernacular' in the contemporary context of COVID and climate change, both of which have encouraged city dwellers to embrace their immediate local surroundings for their psychological and physical wellbeing.
For the workshop, people were invited to drop-in and experiment with a number of the natural and locally sourced materials, made from plants, flowers, dyes and papier-mache, to create biodegradable artworks.
Hence, the final exhibition featured artworks and materials that were developed in these workshops, directly embracing both the land and the people of East Oxford in a beautiful new way.
You can find out more about Elder Vernacular and the other Green week events that we supported over on our blog.
In October 2021, the network coordinator attended arts sector-specific Carbon Literacy Training run by SAIL. In a follow-up meeting, SAIL offered to share their resources & train up Eleanor Warr (theatre practitioner at the Oxford Playhouse) as a trainer for the network. As the accreditation and training process spans several months, the network steering group ran a interim Carbon Literacy and Communication course on 24 November led by Chris Church.
Now over 90 members strong, the network has many ideas for 2022 to support organisations and artists to meet their pledges. Plans for the coming year include: Rolling out Carbon Literacy Training to all network members; checking in every 2-3 months with those who have signed the Charter to hold them to account & offer support; coordinating a programme of talks/workshops/networking events responding to the needs of organisations and artists; and creating a website that hosts the charter, action plans, a list of network members, Carbon Literacy Training and other resources that spotlight best practice within the sector.
Fusion Arts work with artists, groups and communities from across Oxfordshire and beyond to support a variety of imaginative and socially engaged projects.
A new exciting intergenerational project to bring about a greater sense of community through the arts.
We have been activating empty spaces in Oxford for creative purposes.
Exciting new exhibitions popping up in Friars Entry, Oxford!