Now we had all met, Day Two was about sharing ideas and forming collaborative partnerships. The day didn’t go exactly as planned, the enthusiasm of everyone concerned meant that new plans were made that were better than anticipated. Instead of artists and scientists pairing, many wanted to work in more than one group so collective themes were arrived upon. These were:-
Farming and Environment Policy
Pollinators and their Habitats
Preservation (Wild Bees)
Lines and Journeys
Perception and Motivation
The process of arriving at these themes was fairly easy but required a lot of post-it papers and much discussion.
At the end of the day Professor Mike Christie talked about Policy making and Art, and Dr Natasha De Vere gave a tour of the wonderful National Botanic Garden of Wales, with a focus on the new butterfly house in the making.
The 7th and 8th April 2016 was an exciting time for the Cross-pollination project. During these two days the Intro Event took place at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Alex Campus, Swansea and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
All the participants came together to share ideas, discuss their wide-ranging research and start the collaboration process, which will culminate next year in exhibitions of art works and a major conference.
This project is developing an inter-disciplinary research network on pollinators. The network comprises of natural, social, economic and arts researchers, artists and policy stakeholders. During the project this network, through collaborative art projects, will explore how science and art research can interact to create new ideas and innovative methodologies for research into pollinators.
Participants of the project include award-winning scientists in the area of pollinator research from the UK and USA and high profile arts researchers from the fields of aesthetics, perception and community arts. Important additions are linguists studying the language of environmental research and its affect on perceived values. The project leader Professor Andrea Liggins (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) has undertaken a number of science/art projects, most recently with Dr De Vere Head of Science and Conservation at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, who is an important participant and was instrumental in the development of this project. Professor Michael Christie’s (Aberystwyth University) expertise in the Valuation of Nature for Ecosystem Service Sustainability, will provide a further focus for the project.
A number of the representatives in policy making organisations are also involved, such as members of the Pollinator Taskforce Wales and the Intergovernmental Science -Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Co-I Christie has led a number of research projects involved in the economic evaluation of nature and bio-diversity and was PI for the NERC Valuing Nature Steering project. Further confirmed beneficiaries, who have been involved in the development of Cross- pollination include the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (Bee Wild project), BugLife, The Bee Garden at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, and the Heart of Wales Line and Arriva Trains Wales 120 Miles of Garden project.
The day started with presentations about art/science collaborations from the perspective of firstly the artist and then the scientist. This was followed by 16 Pecha Kucha where each participant had 6 minutes and 40 seconds to describe their research, no easy task!
PechaKucha or Pecha Kucha (pronounced ‘pech-a-kee-shoe’ and is Japanese for ‘chit-chat’ ) is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total). The format was conceived to keep presentations concise and fast-paced. Pecha Kucha has been used by artists and designers to view several presentations within a short time period.
This was followed by a speed-networking event (a little like speed-dating) where each scientist and artist had a chance to meet and discuss possible collaborative art projects for 15 mins.
The day finished with a meal at a local restaurant talking well into the evening.