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Working together on ecological thinking: relationality and difference.

Fremantle, Christopher Nicholas



Sarah Buckler


This PhD by Public Output contributes to the wider understanding of 'ecological thinking' in the arts, through the portfolio of peer reviewed research publications of a producer of public art projects in the healthcare and environment settings. A timeline/visual map is included to draw attention to the interrelations between elements in the environmental domain and elements in the health and wellbeing domain. The researcher draws on both ecological understandings of relationality (Bateson, Biesta, Jacobs) and of difference (Morton) to frame the contribution made by the portfolio to ecological thinking in arts practice. The approach is based in practice-led research (Biggs, Coessens et al, Douglas, Nyrnes). Biggs provides an understanding of ensemble practices to inform the student's role as Producer and Researcher. Coessens et al. Douglas, and Nyrnes provide an articulation of the intrarelations between theory, material/context and the individual practitioner's voice. The works and reflective writings of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison are drawn on in various publications to exemplify ecological thinking in arts practice. Their conception of 'joining a conversation' complements the wider focus on shared agency that forms one of the aspects of 'common theme'. Specific papers and chapters address key aspects of ecological thinking including participation, collaboration and interdisciplinarity (which are framed as key to relationality in the arts), together with complexity and failure which are key to the framing of difference in the context of practice in the arts.


FREMANTLE, C.N. 2022. Working together on ecological thinking: relationality and difference. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis. Hosted on OpenAIR [online]. Available from:

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jul 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 13, 2022
Keywords Art and the environment; Environmental art; Ecological art; Practice research; Practice-led research; Art and society
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