Meet our academic and professional staff at Dartington Trust.
Dr Ric Allsopp
Dr Ric Allsopp is Associate Faculty for Reimagining Performance Practice.
Most recently he edited Blind Spot: Staring Down the Void with the artist Karen Kipphoff for the Norwegian Theatre Academy (PR Books, 2020) and Our Gruesome Cultural Heritage: Reframing Memory with the scenographer Serge von Arx, (NTA, 2021).
Alan Boldon is a practising artist and CEO of the Dartington Trust. He specialises in arts and ecology and systems thinking.
He has taught widely in higher education and was formerly Head of the School of Art, Design and Media at the University of Brighton.
Previous roles include: Associate Curator and the Head of Research at Arnolfini; Head of Arts and Ecology at Dartington College of Arts; Director of an International Arts Summer School in Luxembourg; Lecturer in Fine Art in Context at the University of the West of England. Alan has taught at and advised higher education institutions throughout the world including work at Trondheim School of Arts, University of New Mexico, Banff Centre for the Arts, LaSalle College of Art and Design, NTU Singapore, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Taylor’s University Malaysia, San Francisco College of Art and Design, University of The Fjords, Icelandic Academy of the Arts. He is on the board of MIT Press Leonardo Journal. He has worked with many Arts and Design organisations on strategy including the RSA, TATE, and the Tobacco Factory.
Emma Bush is senior lecturer, Poetics of Imagination and Associate Lecture for Reimagining Performance Practice. She works in the field of art and ecology, making performance, site-specific walks, writing and workshops.
She studied BA Theatre and MA Art and Ecology at Dartington College of Arts. Emma is also a Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the University of Plymouth where she is working on a PhD.
Mohini is Associate Lecturer on the Arts and Place programme.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, Mohini has received funding and awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Autograph ABP, the Arts Council England, the British Council, the Australia Council for the Arts and Asialink. Her work has also recently been recognised by the Hundred Heroines-Women in Photography Award and a nomination for the Jarman Film Award (2021).
She was awarded an Art Council/National Lottery grant for her project ‘Paradise Lost’ which examines the complexities of colonial seafaring through the archaeology of shipwrecks (exhibited at MIRROR in Plymouth, 2021) and a commission from Autograph for the new moving image work ‘Belated’, which explores the recent global pandemic within a Devon market town- incorporating the work of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. Mohini was awarded the 2021-22 Arts Institute Film Commission, to make the film ‘Tall Tales and Wonder Rooms’ (2022), and has been working with the Box Museum moving image collections and the SHIPS Project archaeology team in Plymouth. These recent projects explore links between the local and the global, examining untold tales of cultural encounter and our relationship with nature, within local mythology and seafaring narratives of the South West.
For Mohini, the combination of photography, found and archival material, moving image, sound and other installation media enables the visual expression of personal experience and a ‘mapping’ of alternate narratives within the complex conditions of globalisation. Her research encompasses both thinking and making around photography through a range of curatorial, writing and publishing projects. Her recent article Plane Views was published by Taylor and Francis in the Journal of Photography & Culture, while artist publications include the photobook ‘album pacifica’, published by Autograph and ‘Day of Shadows’ (published by the Artist Book Collective/ Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.
Her work is held in international collections including the Arts Council Collection UK and included in major survey publications such as Phaidon’s Art and Photography by David Campany and Bloomsbury’s Photography in India in Light Years and Digital Times, by Aileen Blaney & Chinar Shah.
Dr Mike Edwards is Senior Lecturer for MA Arts & Ecology. He has worked in the climate change and broader sustainability fields for much of his career.
In recent years, he has acted as Climate Change Advisor to a number of NGOs, including The Elders Foundation, where he was involved in helping support the climate change work of Gro Harlem Brundtland, Kofi Annan and President Jimmy Carter amongst others.
For the past 10 years, Mike has been the CLO (Chief Listening Officer) of Sound Matters, an organisation that is involved in soundscape restoration and sonic rewilding initiatives.
Dr Jo Joelson is Programme Lead for MA Arts and Place. She is a London based artist, researcher and writer.
Jo has been awarded International Fellowships and residencies to undertake research and fieldwork, including at the Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California; Headlands Center for the Arts, USA; Space Plasma Physics Group, Dept. Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester; Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts, Iceland; Vatnasafn/Library of Water, Iceland; Living Art Museum, Iceland; Northeast Greenland National Park; and Reserva Ecológica De Guapiaçu, Brasil. Her collaborative projects, films, artworks and architectures have received awards, honours and special mentions from Ars Electronica, VIDA International Art and Artificial Life, The Arts Foundation, AJ Architecture Awards and London Short Film Festival.
Jo has a Master’s (Distinction) in curating art, design and new media and completed her AHRC-funded doctorate in 2020, receiving her PhD for Library of Light: a framework to explore light, material culture and social experience from the University of Sunderland, UK.
Jo has co-edited a number of publications including Null Object: Gustav Metzger thinks about nothing, published by Black Dog (2012); Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture, a project centred on London Fieldworks’ Outlandia project in the Scottish Highlands, published by Routledge (2015). Her recently authored, Library of Light: encounters with artists and designers, was published by Lund Humphries (2019) and examines the role light plays in the new frontiers of art, design and technology and its impact on our cultural history. Most recently Jo has collaborated with writer and thinker Timothy Morton on a future documentary Confronting our Erasure Through Art for BBC4. She also recently contributed the essay Violence Power, Surveillance: From the Blind Lantern to the Searchlight for “White Torture” to a bilingual publication (German/English) published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König to accompany Power! Light! a forthcoming exhibition at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2021-22).
Natasha Rivett-Carnac is Curator of Arts and Ecology at Dartington School of Arts. She has been working in the arts and culture space for 20 years.
Her blog series for 1 Million Women, a campaign group of women and girls around the planet, features BBC’s The One Show reporter Lucy Seigle, London International Festival of Theatre founder, Lucy Neil, and others. As a founding producer and later Curator of Narratives at Outrage + Optimism, a weekly podcast co-hosted by Christiana Figuerres, Natasha has been at the forefront of communicating climate change and integrating it with arts and culture. It is the most widely listened to climate change podcast, topping the UK Politics podcast charts twice. It has been selected as the number 10 All-Time Podcasts on the Apple UK Charts, been the number 3 Politics Podcast on Apple Australia Charts and was listed at number 15 of The Guardian Best Podcasts of 2019. Outrage + Optimism was selected as the News & Politics Podcast Honoree in the prestigious 2020 Webby Awards. Natasha is also the coowner of Hallalen, an 8 acre re-wilding project in Devon, UK. Her current writing draws heavily from this project and includes themes around land observation, phenomenology, ecology, and place-based learning. She lives in Devon with her husband, son and daughter.
Alice Oswald studied Classics at Oxford and then trained as a gardener. She has written six collections of poetry.
Tom Rivett-Carnac is Associate Faculty for MFA Arts and Ecology at Dartington School of Arts. He s a political lobbyist for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and an author on climate change policy.
Martin is currently Reader and Programme Lead for our Poetics of Imagination programme. His work circles mythology and landscape, oral storytelling and poetics.
He founded both the Oral Tradition and Living Myth courses at Stanford University, and was Artistic Director of the Great Mother Conference in Maine for nine years, inheriting the position from Robert Bly.
His areas of interest are Irish myth and folklore, the philosophy of John Moriarty, the Grail legend of Parzival, Siberian folk tales and indigenous culture, contemporary Romanticism, Ethnopoetics, the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca and Ted Hughes.
His work has ranged from writing the 2019 catalogue for Ai Weiwei, Life Cycle, to a 101 day vigil in a Dartmoor forest, which became the book Wolferland. He has been awarded the Price, Bretherton, Elgood Award for outstanding achievements in the arts, and the Summerfield Scholarship to the British School in Rome. His first book, A Branch from The Lightning Tree, won the Nautilus Book Prize. Amongst others he has been published in The Mississippi Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry International, Orion, Poetry Magazine and the New England Review.
His books are Bardskull (2022); Elk Bone is Bright Owl (2022); A Hut at the Edge of the Village: The Beauty and Trouble of John Moriarty (2021); Smoke Hole (2021); Red Bead Woman (2020); All Those Barbarians (2020); Wolferland (2020); Courting the Wild Twin (2020); Wolf Milk: Chthonic Memory in the Deep Wild (2019); The Night Wages (2019, 2020); The Five Fathoms (Hedgespoken Press, 2018); The Mythteller trilogy: Scatterlings (2016), Snowy Tower (2014), A Branch from the Lightning Tree (2011).
His translations are Poems of Lorca: Courting the Dawn (with Stephan Harding) (Cista Mystica Press, 2019); Cinderbiter: Celtic Poems (with Tony Hoagland) (Graywolf Press, 2020).
His essays include Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle (Marciano Art Foundation, 2019); An Earth That Thinks in Myth: Temenos Academy Review (Temenos Academy, 2019); Ted Hughes: Etiquette of the Uncanny (The Ted Hughes Society Journal, 2018); Small Gods: Oikosophia, From the Intelligence of the Heart to Ecophilosophy (Associazione Culturale Mimesis, 2017).
Bram Thomas Arnold
Dr Bram Thomas Arnold is an artist who started with walking and kept going into performance, drawing, installation, writing and academia. He is Associate Lecturer for our Poetics of Imagination programme.
His research interests include autoethnography, ecological arts practice, conservation and conversations around re/wilding, regenerative agriculture and the politics of being and selfhood in the Anthropocene. He is currently developing a number of projects on the Lizard in Cornwall at the intersection of contemporary arts research and re/wilding, conservation and the politics of land in collaboration with Professor Caitlin DeSilvey at the University of Exeter. He has undertaken post-doctoral research as a National Productivity Investment Fellow at Falmouth University in collaboration with the National Trust. Published papers include writing for the New Statesman, Digital Creativity Journal and the Living Maps Review.
As an artist he has developed a practice of Romantic Conceptualism that does not restrict itself to traditional boundaries, mediums or modes of practice, but rather develops a responsive way of being and making that is composed of and by its present context. He has exhibited internationally in exhibitions from New York to St. Petersburg.
Exhibitions include: This is The Future, Chiltern Sculpture Trail; British Art Show 6, Newcastle; Deptford X Festival, London; Conflux Festival of Psychogeography, New York; Artisterium, Tbilisi, Georgia; Performance Writing 12, Arnolfini, Bristol; Sideways: a festival of walking, Belgium; Remote Performances, Outlandia/Resonance FM, Scotland; Venice Biennale; HIDE, Secret Garden Party, Cambridge; Hermitage, Newlyn Gallery and Unbounded, Eden Project.
Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas
Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas are Associate Faculty for MFA Arts and Ecology. Urbonas Studio have an interdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries.
They have exhibited internationally including the São Paulo (twice), Berlin, Moscow (twice), Lyon, Gwangju, Busan, Taipei Biennales, Folkestone Triennial – and Manifesta and Documenta exhibitions – among numerous other international shows, including a solo show at the Venice Biennale and MACBA in Barcelona. Their awards include the Lithuanian National Prize (2007); Best International Artist at the Gwangju Biennale (2006) and best national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007). They are co-founders of the JUTEMPUS interdisciplinary art program (1993), the first independent artist-led initiative in Lithuania.
Their writing on artistic research as a form of intervention into social and political crisis was published in Devices for Action (MACBA, 2008) and Villa Lituania (Sternberg, 2008). Urbonas co-edited Public Space? Lost and Found (MIT Press, 2017) that brings together artists, planners, theorists and art historians in an examination of the complex inter-relations between the creation and uses of public space and the role played by public art. Urbonas’s five-year research project Zooetics explored the potential to connect with the noetics and poetics of non-human life in the context of planetary ecological imbalance. Zooetics concluded in 2018 with a symposium at MIT and opened a new research program focusing on Climate Visions. They curated the Swamp School – a future learning environment at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. The book Swamps and the New Imagination: On the Future of Cohabitation in Art, Architecture and Philosophy published by Sternberg Press and distributed by MIT Press, is forthcoming in 2020.
Gediminas Urbonas is currently Associate Professor at MIT‘s Program in Art, Culture and Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has held teaching positions at NTNU – Norwegian University for Science and Technology (2005-2009), VDU – Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, CAFA – Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, and NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arte in Milano.
Tracey is a fiction and non-fiction writer and also works with text in the vicinity of art. She is an Associate Lecturer on our Poetics of Imagination programme.
Her recent fiction includes the future fiction, The Water Age (Meanda Books, 2018) and five historical novels set in medieval Europe. She was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for Fiction and is currently working on a biography of three medieval sisters, entitled Three Female Lords, which received an Authors Foundation grant. She was awarded a Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary and a Santander Research Award.
Tracey was Director of the Arts and Cultural Management programmes at Dartington College of Arts from 2002–2006. She was co-curator of the Edge Biennales in London, Newcastle and in Madrid European Capital of Culture. She was Combined Arts Officer at Arts Council Great Britain and Gallery Publications Officer at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. As an independent curator, she worked with a wide range of international artists including James Turrell, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, Marina Abramovic, Cornelia Parker, Helen Chadwick and Isaac Julien. Her books on contemporary art include The Midden (Garret, 2018), Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Routledge, 2015) and The Artist’s Body (Phaidon, 2000). She has published numerous catalogue essays and journal articles on a wide range of contemporary artists including Christian Thompson, Hayley Newman and Marcus Coates.