It’s all go!

Clare got some excellent news this morning. Exeter City Council have approved a small arts grant towards a Particulart exhibition.

The exhibition will be entitled “Up in the Air”, and will take place at the Glorious Art House from 11-24 July 2015. It will have a number of aspects:

  1. 3D knitted representations of a series of the greenhouse gases that are most implicated in climate change. The particles will be hung in the main gallery space, with their positions determined by three pieces of data: concentration in the atmosphere (width); lifetime in the atmosphere (depth); and Global Warming Potential compared with carbon dioxide (height). The public will be welcome to touch and interact with the particles.
  2. Variants of the games ‘Top Trumps’ and ‘Happy Families’, using data and information about greenhouse gases and their constituent atoms, giving the public another opportunity to participate and interact with the installation, ‘learning through play’.
  3. An inflatable globe showing the physical geography, as a reminder of the fragility of our one planet and its atmosphere, which can also be used in play.
  4. A free knitting workshop, date to be confirmed, open to the general public.
  5. Posters providing the data and more information about each knitted greenhouse gas, and interpretation of the installation, including some guidance on “So what can I do?”.
  6. A book collecting responses to the installation.
  7. A website, which will be both a source of information during the exhibition, and a legacy. It will include: more information about climate change and the data presented in the exhibition; downloads of the posters and games; and after the exhibition, publication of the feedback gathered from the book and an online survey.

The Diocese of Exeter has also confirmed £100 sponsorship of “Up in the Air”. The particles will make a guest appearance at a meeting of the six Dioceses in the Southwest in September.

Exeter City Council Diocese of Exeter

In other news…

The “A Stitch in Time” exhibition in Bristol Cathedral has ended. Clare is speaking at Exeter Pint of Science on 18 May, and has an article on Craftivism in Third Way Magazine in May. She may also be making an appearance at the Small is Beautiful festival in September.

Timings of “A Stitch in Time”

“A Stitch in Time” will be exhibited at Bristol Cathedral from 6th March to 6th April as part of its Lent carbon challenge. The Cathedral says:

Each Lent churches in the Diocese of Bristol set themselves an environmental challenge. This year the challenge is all about saving and conserving water and we have developed a free exhibition to explore the issues further. Bishop Mike and BIshop Lee recently went on a trip to Uganda, which is linked with the Diocese of Bristol, and saw at first hand the issues communities face with gathering and managing their water supplies. Local priest, Rev Chris Dobson, who was travelling with Bishop Mike took photographs of the local community and we are also featuring photographs which show the beauty of water as a natural resource. Alongside that we also have a ‘Particulart’ exhibition entitled ‘A stitch in time’ which helps people visualise the carbon particles in our environment through a display of knitted particles, which has been developed by Clare Bryden. We are very grateful to both Chris and Clare for helping us with this exhibition. Admission is free – come and visit the south choir aisle.

To download the Carbon Challenge click here. To find out more about ‘Particulart’ click here.

Reflections on Particulart

Clare has written a blog post reflecting on the development of Particulart, from the initial spark of an idea in conversation with Diana to the exhibition in Real Food, and the responses it provoked both in her and the visitors to the exhibition. We hope you enjoy the read.

Last night, at somewhat short notice, Clare also gave a St Michael’s Lecture, entitled “Particulart, or the art of knitting, chemistry, meditation and gentle protest”. She liked the title so much, she changed the strapline of this website.

Further communications with Devon CC

Diana followed up Devon County Council’s response to our initial letter about Particulart on 21 December 2014 by email:

Just a note to thank you for taking the time to give a thorough response to our letter.

I remain concerned that the long term health impacts aren’t being assessed and I will feed that into the low emissions strategy plan feedback for ECC.

The Government document on the guidance in relation to reducing contractor costs did seem to me to include PPP contracts and I hope the Council can follow that up. How much is the value of the contract with Viridor?

I do hope that DCC will look to introduce a zero waste strategy over the coming years, rather than continuing with these incineration plans.

Perhaps just before Christmas wasn’t the best time to write, and a bit of prodding was required. It elicited the following response on 13 February 2015:

The value of the Exeter Efw contract is around £210 million over the contract term. As you can imagine the investment to build these plants is significant – approx £46 million for the Exeter facility. Hence the contracts for their operation have to be for a longer term duration in order to cover the capital and operational costs.

The County Council working in partnership with its Districts are committed through our Waste & Resource Management Strategy (http://www.devon.gov.uk/dcc_waste_strategy_review.pdf) to manage waste at the top of the waste hierarchy promoting waste reduction, re-use and recycling before recovery and we have high targets to aim for. Devon is still among the top performers nationally for recycling and the opening of the Exeter and Plymouth plants will not affect that. The Efw plants are being used to divert waste away from landfill and recover value from it, not to impact on waste reduction, re-use and recycling.

Lent Carbon Fast 2015

You’ve probably heard of Lent fasts: giving up chocolate or biscuits or swearing for the 40 days before Easter. But did you know that in 2014, the Church of England in the south west ran a Carbon Fast? And they’re going to be running another one again this year.

During Lent 2015, which starts on 18 February, the particular focus for the Fast is on the link between our use of water, which needs to be pumped, cleaned and stored; our energy use; and the things we consume. For example, it takes 11,000 litres to make a pair of jeans and 140 litres of water to make a single cup of coffee. For each day of Lent, everyone who signs up will receive a daily email with an action to consider (except Sundays) and a specially written reflection. The Carbon Fast 2015 will also consider broader climate issues, in the run up to the Paris negotiations in December. You can find out more on the EcoChurch Southwest website.

“Particulart” is going to be involved in the Carbon Fast through a new exhibition in Bristol Cathedral called “A Stitch in Time”. Watch this space for timings.

Anyone can undertake the Carbon Fast Challenge at any time of the year. The 40 days need not be the 40 days of Lent. You see, carbon fasting doesn’t need to cost anything. Every step you take counts for something. You will be surprised at how much difference even the smallest steps will make. And then you can keep taking them.

Councillor responses

Councillor Keith Owen responded to our letter of 6 October after only a few days. He is the Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health and Wellbeing on Exeter City Council. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the exhibition launch.

Cllr Owen response - RE_ Energy from Waste

Councillor Roger Croad, who is the Cabinet Member for Community and Environmental Services on Devon County Council, required substantially more prodding. Eventually, in late November, we received a very full response (pdf) from the County Waste Manager.