This theme encompasses human aesthetic responses to wetland environments, and the deeper understanding and engagement with these environments that can be fostered by this aspect of culture.
Architecture can reflect both cultural expressions of people’s relationships with wetlands and functional knowledge about inhabiting such places sustainably. Art can reveal centuries-old wisdom about the natural world, as well as providing new contemporary forms of imaginative engagement in planning and management.
The Art and Architecture Thematic Group of the Ramsar Culture Network is concerned with widening knowledge and understanding about the role these fields play in the relationship between wetlands and culture; and extending engagement of art and architecture practitioners in the work of the Ramsar Convention. The Thematic Group’s main aims are:
Chris Fremantle is an independent producer and researcher (part time Senior Research Fellow at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen). His principal research concerns are interdisciplinarity, collaboration, co-production and the practices of artists and designers demonstrating those modalities. He has a particular focus on ecological and environmental arts. He has worked with some of the most established and respected practices, including the Harrison Studio (http://greenhousebritain.net ), PLATFORM London and the Land Art Generator Initiative (http://www.landartgenerator.org ), as well as many artists in Scotland. Fremantle established ecoartscotland (http://ecoartscotland.net ) as a node of art and environment networks in order to support the development of art and ecology work in Scotland (art and environment has a human and place focus; art and ecology is focused by agency and interaction).
Fremantle has been working with Crichton Carbon Centre and Wide Open on issues of sustainability. The Crichton Carbon Centre's Nil by Mouth (http://creativefutureshq.com/projects/nil-by-mouth-food-farming-science-and-sustainability/) brought together artists and scientists to look at sustainability through the lens of food and resulted in an event in the Scottish Parliament. Fremantle was responsible for facilitating the art science collaboration as well as producing the event in the Parliament.
In addition to the understanding of artists working with ecological issues Fremantle has some understanding of indigenous issues and post colonial theory, significantly through a long term working relationship with Professor Gavin Renwick, University of Alberta, who has been working with the Dogrib Dene in the Canadian North West Territories for nearly 20 years.
Fremantle also manages arts & health projects improving the healthcare environment (eg http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/your-health/health-services/arts-and-health/new-south-glasgow-hospital-campus/)