Alongside Chinese Arts Centre’s main environmental aims to make practical changes to the building for a more sustainable way of working, for the past two years, we have also been working with research consultant (Culture Probe). Along with this research consultancy, a range of guest speakers and an ever-growing number of artists and interested members of the public, we have been trying to explore the concept of ‘Life Friendly’. The Life Friendly programme at Chinese Arts Centre tried to explore in a systemic way how artists and arts organisations can redesign their practice to have benign/restorative impact on the natural world and on human quality of life.
The 2012 Life Friendly programme included a series of events, talks and a group artist residency, all of which brought together ideas, knowledge and potential outcomes for a more sustainable approach to arts practice. For the residency, a group of 10 local artists were given the opportunity to explore their own concerns about the environment and human well being through their own practice. The artists worked here for two weeks, working in the space, sometimes alone in contemplation, others very much in conversation, and some with a specific focus on collaboration.
What has emerged from this Life Friendly programme is a variety of visual, written, performative and in many respects unfinished outcomes. The group are now working on compiling what has been explored so far, along with new and developing thoughts and will produce a creative e-publication, which can be shared publically as a resource to others.