Close Of Play: Walking Forest
GSA Exhibitions/School of Fine Art

Event Type:

Close of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action




18 Oct 2021
14:00 - 15:00



‘Roots Hands'
Walking Forest (2019)

Close Of Play: Walking Forest

Event info

Close Of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action

Walking Forest, a collaborative ten-year artwork

2pm, 18 October 2021 – book online via Eventbrite

As COP26 comes to Glasgow, The Glasgow School of Art begins a yearlong series of online public talks, 'Close Of Play: Climate Emergency and Creative Action’. This series will explore the ways in which creative actions and multi-disciplinary practice can address the climate emergency, sustainability, and climate justice. Each talk is hosted by a different department of GSA.

The first ‘Close Of Play’ event is hosted by Sculpture and Environmental Art and is in association with Climate Emergency Network (University of The Arts London).

Walking Forest is a 10-year interdisciplinary project culminating in 2028 the planting of an intentional woodland to honour women Earth defenders, inspired by Batheaston’s Suffragette Arboretum planted in the early 20th century and led by artists Lucy Neal, Anne-Marie Culhane, Ruth Ben-Tovim and Shelley Castle.

Walking Forest looks back to the collective actions of the campaigners for women’s suffrage who stood for radical democratic change. Where they campaigned to change how women were represented in legal and political systems, activists today work to change the way the natural world is represented in legal, political, economic and cultural systems. Walking Forest looks forward to the next 100 years when articulating and standing up together for the well-being of Earth is key to planetary survival.

Intimate and mass, local and global, online and on the ground, Walking Forest forges a network of women to embolden action, share stories, create expressive responses and support one another in the face of the climate and ecological crisis. After an inter-generational camp in Coventry woodlands for women activists in May 2021 we are co-creating a two-day performative action in October and moving on to COP26 in Glasgow to collaborate with women artists and activists in the city and amplify the voices of women from around the world.



Anne-Marie Culhane is an eco-social artist, activist, performer, educator, and facilitator working collaboratively across disciplines and art forms to engage broad public participation, address specific ecological challenges and catalyse systemic change. Starting from a point of listening, she co-creates events, performances and long-term projects inviting people into active, reflective, and enquiring relationships with each other, the land, and our wider earth system.

Lucy Neal is a writer and artist with a background in theatre - initiating and co-directing LIFT (London International Theatre of Festival) ’81-’05. Her practical handbook ‘Playing for Time - Making Art as If the World Mattered’ (Bloomsbury) maps an emergent aesthetics of care with over 60 artists and grass roots activists reimagining our world at a time of systemic and planetary uncertainty. Her practice explores how finding new stories to live by can act as a catalyst for change.

Shelley Castle works collaboratively with other artists and makers in communities on projects that explore ecology and our changing world through procession, making and conversation. Bringing people with different life experiences together with specialists from various fields (such as marine biologists) projects are co-designed by all involved, bringing individuals and organisations into a close relationship with the local natural world and each other.