An innovative approach to sharing knowledge on regenerative agriculture to the wider community attracted farmers, artist, and regional and city folk to recent on farm open days. The project, Earth Canvas started this year with a vision from six regenerative farmers between the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers on the SW slopes of NSW.
Leading Australian landscape artist John Wolseley at the Bibbaringa Woolshed, north of Albury on the first open day in the series. John spoke about the synergies of the landscape with the human body, “When you look you see the heart, the lungs and different body parts reflected in the landscape. We need to understand the process of nature,” he said.
Six leading Australian artists were invited to work on their properties and share their knowledge and practice of regenerative agriculture. The artists came up with a body of work highlighted at six open days during November 2019. Over 450 people attended the series of open days. This was a unique opportunity to visit commercial size working farms and see the landscape from the artist’s perspective. Visitors learned how farms are building ecosystems to produce healthy food.
“It is about connecting all ecosystems to produce a healthier environment and food. Everyone is involved in this process. We all consume food, and all rely on healthy soils and agriculture to produce the food”, says chairman of Earth Canvas Gillian Sanbrook.
“The artist can help us see the fragility and beauty of nature and the importance of balancing economic and environmental outcomes. Improved farming practice is part of the solution to climate change and to make the world a better place.”
Earth Canvas artists John Wolseley commented, “The language of art and regenerative agriculture are the same. You must immerse yourself in your subject as an artist and it is no different for the farmer.”
Artist Jenny Bell from Goulburn took a holistic approach in her artwork of 15 images reflecting the importance of decision making by the people who manage the landscape and the effect that regenerative practices have on the soil microbes, animals, water and energy from the sun and the moon.
We are grateful for the support of Soils for Life CEO Rod Chisholm who was a speaker at four of the days. Soils for Life agro-ecologist Kirsty Yeates spoke about cutting edge research at the plant science division of ANU. Earth Canvas looks forward to working with the Soils for Life team when coordinating future events.
The next event will be a Writers and Readers Festival at Bibbaringa north of Albury on April 4 and 5 2020. Follow website for workshops programmes throughout the year.