Our assertion is that through this festival the arts will promote sustainable development, which in turn will feed back into promoting the arts in a synergistic manner.

Through engagement with students, experts and academics and the general public at the festival, and through participation in the debates and workshops, we offer artists an opportunity to become more connected to prominent social issues, and more able to respond to them creatively through their work.

Our artistic programme will help to fill a seriously under represented gap that currently resides in the cultural landscape in Wales and beyond. Over just a few decades, creativity has radically transformed entrenched attitudes to gender, race, religion, class, smoking, health and safety, exploitation and equity. However, to offer an urgently needed mirror that can shine a light on that 1950’s fossil-fuelled dream which still quietly seeps out into the global subconscious, we must integrate our arts and sciences, and create spaces, both real and virtual, where inspiration, optimism and the possibility of positive change can be nurtured and explored. We are confident the event, with the inclusion of the arts programme, will offer such a space.

It has always been recognised that the Arts offers huge potential in gently, yet meaningfully engaging the immediate festival audience with the messages and ethos of Small is Beautiful.

Now, and following the success of last years’ festival together with an assured partnership with CAT, it is felt that the Arts should have greater prominence within the activity, interactions and philosophy of Small is.

The purpose of the current piece of collaborative work is to formalise these creative dialogues between the artists and those within the Festival organisation by providing a longer-term and integrated artistic vision and framework. It will be the means of influencing the delivery of a deeper, richer, more meaningful, open, nurturing, embedded and sustaining artistic thread throughout the work and messages of Small is Beautiful.

It will explore how to effectively and innovatively build on the artists activity of past years and reflect upon the Manifesto for the Imagination of last year in particular. In addition it will:

  • Reveal examples of best practice in academic and creative/scientific research

  • Develop links with new artists and organisations specialising in arts, the environment and climate change

  • Actively seek potential new partnerships

  • Find new funding opportunities.

This Action Research collaboration between the two artists will crucially validate the intellectual and creative contribution that the Arts and artistic thought and practice can bring to the festival and its future evolution, audiences, stakeholders and partnerships.

Furthermore, it will inform and underpin a commissioning programme in 2017 that will develop and present imaginative and unexpected artistic thought, work and activity produced in association with, and alongside the Festival scheduled for June 2017. It is anticipated that this programme will continually ask questions and seeks answers through public (and private) encounters and in activating spaces, places and minds, here and there, near and far. It sets the scene for future work and is thus about creative continuity.

If you are an arts practitioner who interested by the realm of arts and climate change, and you are interested in joining our ever expanding community, then we would love to hear from you. Open calls for thoughts, ideas and works are to follow in the months to come, but for now, if you are interested to hear more, please contact Scott Farlow

Michael Powell

Mike Powell - Our artist in residence

Michael Powell (1983) is an artist, educator and creative producer born in Lancashire and now living in North Wales, inside a cloudgallery.

He enjoys using his imagination to create stories and drawings of another world made up of mythic and hybrid creatures, images and objects, inspired by nature and its different connections, movements and relations, in an attempt of interpreting and explaining the world around him.

He enjoys working across a range of mediums, including stories, illustrations, installations, collages, paintings and poems. He is also a project coordinator and workshop facilitator, and has worked on a variety of creative and community projects working with organisations such as Migrations, Tate, Deaf Blind UK, Grow Blackpool, The Big Issue, Leftcoast and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Scott Farlow

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 11.57.40

Scott Farlow is a socially-engaged multi-media Artist, Creative Practitioner, Teacher and Mentor.

He works with people to understand and articulate physical and emotional landscapes of identity, connection and belonging by encountering, exploring and sharing responses to familiar and unfamiliar places. He is fascinated by ‘the extraordinariness of ordinariness’ and imaginatively seeks to interpret and reveal profoundly everyday narratives and that which makes here, there, everywhere or anywhere meaningful, distinctive and special.

His work is diverse, enriching and multi-faceted. It evolves through a layering and inter-weaving of enriching collaborations, thoughtful conversations and meaningful exchanges. It travels through deep explorations, via the wondering of minds and wandering of feet, with an occasional pause for reflection along the way. It is an appeal to the imagination and is underpinned by research and creative experiments, ideas and shared endeavour. What emerges might be permanent work, temporary installations, a film, an imprint, a photograph, poetry, spoken word, a publication or merely the enduring memory of a personal and collective experience. It is always transformational.

 Scott often uses ‘mobile objects’ as idiosyncratic and identifiable talking/meeting points – trolleys, tricycles, sandwich boards, himself. As well as their functional benefits, such curiosities (including the familiar lab-coat) also offer tangibility, directness and an engaging presence to his work. 

He also enjoys teaching, mentoring and ‘performing’ as a visiting lecturer and never tires of inspiring through learning and exchange. Of teaching Scott says: “This privilege is, in itself, a form of collaboration – a shared creative and dynamic experience – between myself and my students or, at the very least, it is a collective journey into unknown and previously unexplored realms of the imagination and intellect”.

Scott is based just outside Bristol. But works anywhere and everywhere.

He was Artist in Residence at the 2015 Small is Beautiful Festival and created the Manifesto for the Imagination as a poetic response to the festival ethos and his encounters with participants.

He has been practicing, collaborating, teaching, inspiring, imagining and making work since 2007.

Prior to this he spent 15 years as a Landscape Architect, Artist and Project Manager in the private, public and voluntary sectors.