Detail of the natural process of micro-organisms breaking down food waste for compost: MICHE FABRE LEWIN

Detail of the natural process of micro-organisms breaking down food waste for compost: MICHE FABRE LEWIN

Regenerating our soils, restoring our water, strengthening our communities - these challenges of our times call for ways of responding that recognise our interdependence with each other and the living Earth.

Art of Collaboration follows this call. It arises from an alliance between Touchstones; the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University; the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) at Stellenbosch University; and the Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch, South Africa. 

'As an alliance, we are committed to exploring how art can help bring together different approaches to understanding the world so we can act in more sustainable and respectful ways.' Dr Michel Pimbert, Director of CAWR

From 2015 our research and development phase between alliance partners has demonstrated how the living arts are vital to generating convivial and responsive solutions. By cultivating the multiple intelligences of our bodies, our senses, intuition and imagination, we remember our interconnectedness that is at the heart of life.

‘It has been a deeply rewarding learning journey that has opened space for everyone’s voice and identities to be heard and take shape. We are whole-heartedly committed to venturing bravely forwards together.’ Dr Jess Schulschenk, Director of the Sustainability Institute

Art of Collaboration is the next five-year phase of engagement for this intercultural, agroecological and educational arts research exchange. 

 Miche Fabre Lewin and Billy Langa at  Taste the Garden , Food Wine Design Fair, Johannesburg: TOUCHSTONES

Miche Fabre Lewin and Billy Langa at Taste the Garden, Food Wine Design Fair, Johannesburg: TOUCHSTONES

Our dedication is to deepen into and share more widely these artful and practical ways of human relating, being and responding with each other and the Earth. The particular fields of engagement are holistic education, thought leadership and transformative research. For this, we will be weaving together three streams of practice:

Research - collaborative research residencies to further explore, envision and embed the transformative potential of the arts
Encounter - participatory forums to encourage experiential learning practices which reach across diverse communities
Communication - co-creating a resource of films, publications and exhibitions shared through Art of Collaboration website

'Our commitment is to understand, extend and exchange these transformative practices with wider communities in ways that are inclusive, respectful and celebrating of cultural difference.' Miche Fabre Lewin and Dr. Flora Gathorne-Hardy

Touchstones arts and research practice, Timberyard, UK, is at the fore of re-enculturing the arts as an everyday encounter with food, soil and water. CAWR, Coventry University, UK, is committed to resilient food and water systems, pioneering democratic approaches for citizen participation in research. CST, Stellenbosch University, brings together complexity thinking, sustainability science and transdisciplinary research methodology; and the Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch, South Africa, is a thought leadership institute that researches, teaches and practices social innovation for the transition to just and generative futures.

 Co-creating a collaborative proposal for  Art of Collaboration  during a week’s residency at the Sustainability Institute

Co-creating a collaborative proposal for Art of Collaboration during a week’s residency at the Sustainability Institute