What LAN Stands For
Change is afoot in the governance of our urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes. Austerity is redrawing the role of the state, and consequently that of the private and not-for-profit sectors, in the husbandry of place. A landscape-led approach to policy is gaining ground as the most pragmatic framework for delivering this change.
There is an opportunity for artists, working collectively, to become indispensable and very influential in this climate, in a good way. Francis Carr’s founding vision for the Landscape and Arts Network – to create connections across disciplines and sectors for the sake of the environment – remains as pressing now as it was in the eighties when the network was set up. A new context means that the network can really thrive. To do this, our strategy is to:
- Advocate a civic role for artists in taking a leadership role in landscape scale initiatives.
- Engage with government agencies, HLF, NGOs, Universities and others heavily involved in landscape strategy and help facilitate their engagement with artists and scholars in landscape change.
- Develop a UK wide network of artists, scholars, collectives, projects and research centres able and interested to bring their expertise into landscape policy, practice and research.
- Generate more opportunities for artists to influence public engagement with landscape and to communicate its public health benefits.
- Heap special attention on the swathes of unloved and neglected landscapes that slip beneath the radar of investment.
- Promote a culture of public art commissioning, not least within HLFs Landscape Partnerships.
Curating symposia will be one of the ways we take this forward,An example of this is the forthcoming symposium Artists, Farmers and Philosophers in Teesdale, Co. Durham. LAN has designed this much anticipated event on behalf of the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership. It is indicative of how we intend to set the agenda,
Francis Carr, LAN’s Founder, died in 2013. LAN remains as a symbol of his contribution to 20thC Art, much of which is outlined here in this tribute from the 20th Century Society.
Membership fees are necessary because that is what enables us, collectively, to set the agenda (rather than have it set for us). If that makes sense then do please register to join and so become a contributor to our efforts to redraw the place of the arts in public life.
Ewan Allinson, Chair