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Greenhouse Britain: losing ground, gaining wisdom (2006-09): case study.

Fremantle, Chris



Greenhouse Britain: Losing Ground, Gaining Wisdom (2006-09) was a project resulting in a touring exhibition. It was created by the artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison (the Harrisons) and funded by DEFRA’s Climate Challenge Fund (£186,500). The Harrisons are pioneers of the ecoart movement and key examples of artist researchers. They collaborated with the Tyndall Centre on coastal defence aspects, with Sheffield University on landscape design elements, and with APG Architects. The work addressed the impact of sea level rise on the island of Britain and the transformation that this would effect. They proposed three strategies: of defence, of defence to enable withdrawal, and of withdrawal to the high grounds. It opened up space for the audience in which the narrative of climate breakdown was fully present, and the challenges of adaptation/transformation were explored. The audience, including the collaborators who might be regarded as the first audience, were led to think about the values that need to inform and underpin adaptation. The Harrisons’ contribution to ecological research can be characterised in terms of 'imaginative engagement with narrative using metaphor and concept.' They took the existing narratives and the best science and, focusing on metaphor and concept, they provided a novel and integrated high level analysis and proposal.


FREMANTLE, C. 2018. Greenhouse Britain: losing ground, gaining wisdom (2006-09): case study. Presented at 2018 Valuing nature annual conference, 13-14 November 2018, Cardiff, UK. Hosted on OpenAIR [online]. Available from:

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name 2018 Valuing nature annual conference
Conference Location Cardiff, UK
Start Date Nov 13, 2018
End Date Nov 14, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 15, 2019
Keywords Touring exhibition; The Harrisons; Ecoart; Artist researchers; Landscape design; Climate change; Ecological research
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