Kevin Miles, Genoa #2, 2020, unique silver gelatine photogram, 45 x 60cm
The International Environmental Arts Research Network is an online forum for international researchers to share ideas, methodologies and concerns within environmental arts practice in order to critically engage and reflect in response to environmental concerns and climate change. Conversations and discussions may result in future projects, such as exhibitions, publications and jointly funded research bids. The network welcomes postgraduate students.  
Artistic research practice has a unique capacity to offer crucial insights informing our understanding of environmental challenges. The reflexivity inherent in arts research along with an emphasis on expressive communication as outcome offers significant scope for bringing crucial yet complex relationships between vulnerable species, human action, and climate change to wider appreciation among general audiences and key stakeholders. The network seeks to expand on and question how art can contribute to an understanding of contemporary environmental issues and challenges.  
The network organises a series of symposia and research seminars to bring together our international community of researchers and postgraduate students to share common research interests and develop new projects. 
It has developed from the longstanding research group Land/Water and the Visual Arts at the University of Plymouth. 
HDK Valand, University of Gothenburg, Sweden  
Contact person: Professor Tyrone Martinsson 
Leiden University, The Netherlands  
Contact person: Dr Maartje van den Heuvel 
Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University, New Zealand  
Contact person: Jonathan Kay 
University of Plymouth, UK
Contact person: Dr Heidi Morstang 

Past events

Visiting Speaker – Jonathan Kay 

Wednesday 18 January 2023 
Roland Levinsky Building Lecture Theatre, University of Plymouth 
Jonathan Kay will discuss how he utilises a range of photographic technologies, from historical processes to latest contemporary technologies to interrogate glacial landscapes. He will also discuss how a collaboration between art and science might facilitate an intimate connection that is based on both factual and poetic modes of communicating. 
Jonathan Kay is a photographic artist and lecturer in photography living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. His practice focuses on blurring the boundaries of art and science to render the unseen and challenge notions of landscape. His methodology employs photographic interventions within the landscape that are site specific and responsive. Exhibitions include Negative Mass (Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland), WAI - Manga Maha, Awa Kotahi | One River, Many Streams, (Aratoi -Wairarapa Museum of Art and History) Masterton and Nothing but Dust, (Wellington Museum). He completed a MFA with distinction at Massey University, Wellington, in 2013.

Symposium III: International Environmental Arts Research Network

Friday 23 September 2022, 09:00–11:30*
Theme: River Deep
Location: Gelderlandfabriek, Culemborg and online (Zoom link will be sent after registration and prior to the symposium) 
Access: Free 
Language: English 
Like in many places in the world, the water level of Dutch rivers has never dropped so low. This is also the case with the river Lek: a branch of the Rhine, where this symposium is physically located. There are artists worldwide who care about the changes that are happening in nature and who express this in their work.
At the River Deep symposium, artists and curators/researchers from different countries will show art and tell what is current in their work in the field of rivers and more generally climate change. 
The symposium is organised in collaboration with the LekArt foundation, Leiden University and the International Environmental Arts Research Network: a network of artists, curators and scientists from various countries, including England, Sweden and New Zealand.
*If you join via Zoom from New Zealand or the UK, there is a time zone difference: 
Netherlands/Sweden: 09:00–11:30 
UK: 08:00–10:30 
New Zealand: 19:00–21:30
Register for this event by emailing
Montage of people swimming in a river and the interior of a fish takeaway shop or restaurant. From the series River Road: Journeys through Ecology (David Cook/Wiremu Puke)
© David Cook – from the series River Road: Journeys through Ecology (David Cook/Wiremu Puke)

Symposium II: International Environmental Arts Research Network

Perspectives: glacial landscapes within contemporary photographic practices
21 April 2021, 08:00–11:00 (UK), 09:00–12:00 (Sweden), 21:00–00:00 (New Zealand)
How do we intervene photographically in the Arctic and Antarctic regions? The polar history has many examples of photographers and artists travelling to the Arctic region and Antarctica. Due to environmental change, the last two decades has seen a rise in Art and Science expeditions to these regions. 
During this event we will unravel various artistic research approaches by some of our network researchers who have worked specifically with glacial landscapes. We will encourage a discussion around the purpose of these practices and highlight why it may be of significance to our understanding of climate change, and how we can further act on positive actions.

Symposium I: International Environmental Arts Research Network

25 November 2020

Symposium is initiated, organized and hosted by:

  • University of Plymouth, UK 
  • Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
  • HDK/Valand, Gothenburg University, Sweden
Artistic research practice has a unique capacity to offer crucial insights informing our understanding of environmental issues in the Anthropocene. This symposium brings our researchers and postgraduate students together to share common research interests.

Johanna Mechen, video still from Sealing Ground (2020)
Johanna Mechen, video still from Sealing Ground (2020)
Laura Hopes (University of Plymouth), Speedwell 
Johanna Mechen (Massey University, Wellington, NZ), Sealing Ground 
Kevin Miles (Massey University, Wellington, NZ), Sailing Close to the Wind 
Kevin Miles, Genoa #2, 2020, unique silver gelatine photogram, 45 x 60cm
Kevin Miles, Genoa #2 (2020), unique silver gelatin photogram, 45 x 60cm