Ambiosonic Festival, Forêt des Maures, Provence, France
The installation was created between 20th to 22nd June in the days before the 2012 Ambiosonic Festival. The semi-annual ambient music festival connects 'Arts, Nature, Body and Soul'. Over sixty artists, dedicated to well-being with nature, get together in a large natural and protected area of mediterranean forest at
Collobrieres, Massif des Maures, Provence, France.
A paper chain of trees instead of people... It was located on a hand rail across the dry river bed at the heart of the festival site. The 10ft flourescent acrylic paint on canvas cut-out reconnects two sides of a stream divided by a concrete ford. It is at the centre of a clearing in the forest - the home of the festival organisers.
Trees shaped like oak leaves, a re-imagined line of trees, in a forest that has been replanted with olive and sweet-chestnut for many generations. The Massif des Maures is named after the Moors, whose empire extended into the Massif in Southern France before they retreated back to Spain.
I’ve been working on interrelated series of artworks inspired by areas of native woodland since 2003. Boundary lines that separate, link, divide, protect or connect people and places are central themes in my work.
Since childhood I see hedges as remnants of ancient forests; pathways sheltering wildlife and connecting diminishing areas of woodland. There is invariably a link, tangible or intangible, between the conceptual statements inherent in the installations and my paintings and photographs.
Where possible my art installation work reflects the 'slow movement' ethos: embracing diversity and creativity; valuing local cultural and natural heritage; and exploring new ways of promoting sustainable development.
The Ambiosonic Festival organisers implement over fifty environmental actions for the creation of an eco-friendly festival. They aim to reduce the impact made on the environment, while responding to and acting on two fundamental questions: “Is it really necessary?” & “What is the solution that supports most Nature”.
"To help us to simplify this decision-making, we direct ourselves to reflect on the fact that the modern society is based on growth and in particular an industrialised mind-set with the goal to encourage us to over-consume. This vision gives us a complete other angle of attack. The rubbish for example, instead of focusing on the sorting for recycling, we aim at simply not creating the rubbish in the first place."
The ecological actions and their respective strengths, used during the festival, share a common point: - they are sustainable systems.
- Eco-friendly festival (with a focus on minimising the environmental impact of the event and sharing this concept of eco-responsibility within and outside the festival)
- Ambient music (soothing, stimulating well-being, helping artists perform who are excluded from the commercial music scene)
- A botanical discovery pathway (a gateway to the natural cultural heritage, entertaining without waste products)
- Land-Art Decor (no use of energy required, all local natural resources, promotes an appreciation for the beauty of nature, not leaving landmarks, time evolving, no waste products)
- Environmental Art Decor (no use of energy required, promotes an appreciation for local heritage and natural forms in the environment, not leaving landmarks, time evolving, no waste products)
- Lighting of public areas by solar L.E.D.s (total autonomy, automatic, no electrical grid, limited light pollution, little impact on nocturnal animals, 100% of the festival site serviced)
- Solar detector L.E.D. lighting for the toilets and isolated areas that light up on arrival. (total autonomy, automatic, presence detection, cost-effective, limited light pollution due to detectors, little impact on nocturnal animals, 100% of the festival site serviced)
- Decor Lighting by L.E.D.s (fittings discreet and in proximity to decor, limited light pollution due to detectors , very low voltage without risk of combustion or electrocution, very high efficiency, supplied by accumulated solar energy without drawing on any other energy source)
- Stage lighting by L.E.D.s (fittings discreet and in proximity, limited light pollution due to detectors , very low voltage without risk of combustion or electrocution, very high efficiency, unbreakable, a very long life span of the light generating element, light-weight, without loss of lighting strength, supplied by thin cables deriving from an accumulated solar energy source, innovative artistic creation)
- Equalised hemispherical sound system (a contained sound zone, sound pressure distributed equally within the zone, accessible to young children, spatialisation of sound, high quality environmental)
- Solar electric reserve (lighting and sound autonomy on stage, very high efficiency, supplied by accumulated solar energy without drawing on any other energy source, no pollution)
- Water supply pre-festival from underground spring water (no permanent water network installations, very high quality water, non-treated, no extraction by aquifer levels)
- Solar heating for the sanitation systems: the kitchen and staff/artists and camping showers. Pre- festival accumulation system without heat exchanger: no upkeep, no breakdowns, 0% energy use
- Solar refrigerant accumulator (cold accumulation pre-festival, Solar photovoltaic pumping, no energy use, use of cold at the source)
- Wood and combustible cooking furnace (use of local dead wood, avoids GHG production during decomposition, renewable energy, no transport necessary)
- Wood collection (cleaning of forest, apprenticeship of local tree species, increasing awareness of our use of materials and energy, active social participation during the festival, festive)
- Reusable kegs and Freshly-squeezed local fruit juices made to order
- Solar drying room (continual flow and reduction of dishes, no energy use)
- Composting squat toilettes (using local compost, sawdust and ashes saved during winter)
- Doses used for sawdust in composting toilets and Composting on site
- Rubbish bins provided that separate each waste type
- Organic filter and recuperation of waste water and Reusable cups and dishes
- Construction/creation with recycled materials and Reforestation of urbane City Garden
- Paperless advertising, Eco-friendly internet site, Environmental Artists Label, Paperless ticketing
- Information panels (information on environmental gestures, specific simple instructions of use)
- Conferences (creation of awareness, communication and thoughts shared between festival goers)
- Eco-festival exchange (between local and guest parties on environmentalism and diversity)
- Internal festival shuttle with horse and carriage and Car-share and public transport
- Festival goers and participants communal shuttle
Acrylic on Canvas, 2012