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Monique Jansen lecture: Drawing Ecology (2019)

Updated: Mar 22

Inspiration struck in the form of Monique Jansen’s lecture ‘Drawing Ecology’, which spoke about connective thinking and ecology at the Kelmarna Gardens; a unique experience to have had, particularly within an academic context. The underlying principle of the lecture was about the ecological mesh that connects everyone and everything, and the inevitable effects that the current state of society has had on it. Normally, this would be such a large, complex concept to try and comprehend that a deeper understanding of it would be difficult to acquire. However within the context of the Gardens, surrounded by smaller systems of ecology such as composting and permaculture, an understanding of this extensive concept seemed to flow effortlessly, as it could be seen in action on a smaller scale right in front of us. This meant that the infinite connections between the mosaic of all things that make up life became much clearer to see, and a greater awareness of the intricate entanglement of everything that is, was formed. This was a topic that I had not consciously realised I had any interest in, yet had been subtly underpinning a lot of key elements in my life both at uni and at home on more of a subconscious level. I found myself fascinated by everything Monique was talking about and utterly inspired to incorporate this new knowledge into my work.


Relevant notes from Monique Jansen's lecture:

  • connectivity, connective thinking, relationships between things

  • permaculture: permanent culture, sustainability of life on earth, design philosophy

  • main principles:

  • observe and interact

  • use slow and small solutions

  • scale - when things grow beyond a human scale we disconnect

  • integrate don't segregate

  • artists embody ecological thinking in everyday lives

  • capitalist system - endless growth has penetrated every aspect of life

  • art should project ahead of time

  • bio charcoal - artwork does a full circle - paper from trees, bio char to draw with, shredded and put on compost

  • see and value the connection between everything

  • circular systems, cycles

  • the ecological thought - everything in connected

  • mesh - ecological entanglement

  • Ghosts of a river bed - connects time and space, it is the space between things where ideas thrive

  • the edges of ecosystems


Jansen, Monique. “Drawing Ecology.” Lecture Presented at Kelmarna Gardens, May 20, 2019.


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