Artists in the Landscape workshop

Artists in the Landscape

Re/walking – Re/wilding – Re/generating & Agri/culture 2.0

“To be at all is to be somewhere, and to be somewhere is to be in some kind of place…” Edward S. Casey.

“Being is with, otherwise nothing exists.” Jean-Luc Nancy


AALERT 4 DM – Workshop/Writing retreat


The AALERT 4DM (Arts and Artists in Landscape and Environment Research Today for Decision Making) project invites you to a workshop on 21-24 November 2021 at Kestle Barton, Lizard, Cornwall.

The workshop aims to develop a clear overview of the benefits artists bring in landscape decisions in the context of private land. The discussions will be informed by the experiences of Kestle Barton and Trelowarren Estate on the Lizard. Through a series of presentations and walks led by Dr Bram Thomas Arnold, we will explore the advantages and challenges artists bring in transdisciplinary groups of scientists, landowners and other stakeholders working on projects blending cultural activities, art, hospitality, and the politics of food production in the vicinity of wilding and regenerative agriculture.

The workshop will be combined with a writing retreat that will enable knowledge exchange, comparison and contrast between the Cornish case studies and similar artistic interventions explored in earlier workshops organised by the AALERT 4DM project.

The workshop is by invitation only, and places are limited. However, accommodation, travel and subsistence expenses will be covered for a small number of participants who can travel to Cornwall. There will be the opportunity for a limited number of participants to join parts of the event online.

Please let us know by Monday 1st November whether you will be able to attend in person or online.


Kestle Barton is a cultural institution situated within a fifty-six-acre estate of productive agricultural land with long-standing plans to increase food production levels on its land by implementing experimental forms of agri/cultural production. At Kestle Barton, the transition from a traditional farm to a cultural space has involved artists and artistic processes right from the start. As a result, Kestle Barton opens up its land resource for meaningful audience participation on a grand scale through artistic means.

Trelowarren Estate on the Lizard is a thousand-acre family estate dating back 700 years. The current owners aim to transform the management of the estate through wilding and regenerative agriculture. In 2018 the Environmental Sustainability Institute (ESI), University of Exeter, Penryn, worked with the estate to host a workshop on place-based transdisciplinary research, which led to a pilot programme of baseline surveys to gather evidence to support the estate’s land management decision-making. Bram’s role as an artist and researcher embedded in the process was to utilise his transdisciplinary art-practice to integrate the activities of the researchers with each other and with the key stakeholders on the estate.


The AALERT team will bring together artists with natural and social scientists, policymakers, and land managers at Kestle Barton to consider the following questions through walking, writing, and talking them into the landscape:

  • Why are artists involved in wilding the land projects, and what do their artistic means offer?
  • How can artists contribute to wider understandings and valuing the land?
  • How can artists contribute to making better decisions balancing land wilding and food production?
  • What are the limitations of artistic interventions in privately owned land and what modes of best practice might the AALERT workshops be able to highlight?

Logistical notes

Accommodation on site is in Kestle Barton’s award-winning holiday accommodation a 20-minute walk from the famous Frenchman’s Creek on the Helford River on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall.

For participants travelling from further afield, it is suggested they arrive Sunday evening; we can confirm travel details with participants after registration closes on Monday 25 October. The nearest train stations are Redruth or Falmouth Town and we will coordinate transport from these places with confirmed participants nearer the time. Lunch and evening catering will be provided by artist Mollie Goldstrom on-site at Kestle, the self-catering cottages will be provided with breakfast options.

There will be an optional evening meal at Kestle Barton for ALL participants on Sunday 21 November

– Please confirm your interest in this by Monday 25 October.

Preliminary Map of a Three-day workshop

Workshop Program

Day one – Monday 22 November

9.30 am: Arrival at Kestle Barton – Avallen. As we will not all know each other, whether in-person or on-line, please bring a small object with which to introduce yourself; this may be as simple as a pencil, as ancient as a stone, as complicated as a Panasonic RX-FT500, as new as something you bought on the train.

10.00 am: Welcome/introduction by the AALERT team – Available online

10.15 am: Agri/culture 2.0 presentation by Bram Thomas Arnold followed by Q&A – Available online

11.30 am: Walking tour of farmland, led by Bram Thomas Arnold
Prerecorded Walking tour of farmland – Video Available online

1.00 pm – 2.00 pm: Lunch

2.00 pm: Zoom presentation by Paul Chaney/Prague followed by Q&A – Available online

3.00 pm: Refreshments

3.15 pm: Presentation/discussion with Caitlin Desilvey, Ferrers Vyvan (recording) and Bram Thomas Arnold – Available online

4.00 pm: Discussion opens to all participants – chaired by Tim Acott – Available online

4.50 pm: Closing remarks by Eirini Saratsi

6.30 pm – 7.30 pm: Dinner

8.30 pm – 9.30 pm: An iteration of Bibliotherapy for the Anthropocene centered around the landscape hosted in the pavilion – weather permitting

Day two – Tuesday 23 November

9.30 am: Object Relations interactive activity led by Bram Thomas Arnold

10.15 am: AALERT 4DM Reflections presentations on previous workshops followed by discussion – Available online
Scoping workshop with Eirini Saratsi
WetlandLife with Tim Acott and Victoria Leslie
Peatlands with Chris Fremantle

12.30 pm: Closing

1.00 pm – 2.00 pm: Lunch

2.30 pm: Collaborative writing in response to the presentations on Day One, the AALERT activities, and other relevant, independent research. Tasks to be set by participants. (Includes 15 minutes refreshment break around 4.00 pm)

6.00 pm: End of writing session

6.30 pm – 7.30 pm: Dinner

8.30 pm: Film screening including Robinson in Ruins (2010) with a discussion in the light of Mark Fisher’s writing about the film for the BFI.

Day Three – Wednesday 24 November

09.30 am: Collaborative writing, drafting academic and policy and practice outputs

11.30 am:
Recap and future planning

12.00 pm: Onwards – Departure
from Kestle Barton

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 988 5830 6089
Passcode: 549491

Some Useful Information

  • Kestle Barton is an old farmhouse complex with the main gallery being in one of the old barns; it features an original cob wall that the architects have left exposed, cob being a traditional form of construction in the UK using a mashed-up combination of clay, straw, horsehair, and water around a timber structure. Subsequent to this, there is the apple store.
  • The 56 acres of farmland are something we will tour during our time in Kestle Barton and include extensive grounds with landscaped gardens, an extensive meadow, and a well-established orchard and nuttery, featuring a pavilion built by the artist Paul Chaney. Feel free to explore these spaces as time allows.
  • Please keep track of where you are walking if you wander off so that we can find you should we need to. Wi-fi is not widespread. The phone signal at Kestle Barton itself tends to be good; the moment you drop into any of the valleys, including nearby Frenchmans Creek, however, you will discover signal disappears rapidly. In case of emergency, the grid reference for Kestle Barton is SW 75350.
  • Accommodation for the AALERT workshop is spread across Avallen, The Cottage, and The Farmhouse. Each building is self-contained with all its own facilities. Each participant will have their room and share bathroom facilities with one more person. You will find the kitchen stocked for breakfasts, teas and coffees. Your house comes fully furnished with everything you should need; however, you may find yourself wanting to take a plate, or a mug, or a glass into other houses at mealtimes or whenever. This is allowed, but you are responsible for ensuring your crockery returns to its correct house.
  • Please be aware that in Kestle Barton there are other accommodations potentially being used by other members of the public.

Recommended packing list
You will probably all think you are coming to the Cornish Riviera, but it is November and indecorously soggy around the edges. As we anticipate being outside for at least some of Monday and Tuesday, please make sure you pack practical walking boots/wellies and waterproofs.

Covid 19
We kept participation numbers to a minimum due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic. All participants who travel to Kestle Barton are expected before arrival to have a Rapid lateral flow Covid test and not attend the event if positive. Lateral tests will be available on site and participants will be expected to have a test every day.
Surface sanitising wipes will be provided in shared common areas, but it is the responsibility of the occupants to maintain the hygienic standards of the accommodation and respecting general social distancing guidelines. Rooms where we share meals and discussions will be well ventilated and hand sanitiser and masks will be made available.

Consent forms for documentation / recording:
Consent forms will be provided on arrival entitling you to opt out of documentation or recording. This will include an outline of the terms of use of any documentation.

By train: unless you have made am arrangement with us if you’re coming by train go to Redruth and let us know your arrival time to Redruth Station. We will arrange someone to come and collect you, this may involve a bit of waiting at the station.
By Car: The easiest route to Kestle on the Lizard is from Helston. For Helston take the A30 over Bodmin Moor into Cornwall then turn off at Redruth, and take the B3297.
From Helston:
Leave Helston on A3083 towards Lizard, driving past Culdrose RNAF base. At the mini roundabout turn left B3293 towards St Keverne. At the next mini roundabout in Garras take the third exit towards St Keverne, still B 3293 for about a mile. Take a left turn signposted to Helford and Manaccan. In Newtown St Martin turn right at the T junction and then immediately left, signed Helford and Manaccan. In about a mile and a half at the small cross roads take left turn to Kestle and first right to Kestle Wartha. Kestle Barton is about half a mile on the right.

Kestle Barton has post code TR12 6HU but beware of SAT NAV directions as the route it will send you is more difficult to drive. Kestle Barton is clearly signposted from the B3293 with brown signs.