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biography

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[more]As an ecological artist-curator-researcher,  I believe that art can have a significant impact on how we perceive the living environment. I think that perceptions of the climate crisis can be changed through creativity and co-production. I help people get closer to their communities and environments through social interactions and creative encounters in nature. I collaborate with artists, activists, communities and stakeholder organisations to create events, exhibitions and projects that explore the interplay between ecological concern and the embodied process. My multi-faceted practice engages with liminal spaces such as coastlines, salt marshes, mangroves and woodlands, and the people who exist on, move within and observe those spaces. Art-making activities help to raise ecological awareness through direct sensory experiences, experiential learning and new modes of creative activity, with the aim of putting people back in touch with environment, community, and self.
 

Statement

 

Laura Donkers is a multi-media visual artist, curator and independent researcher . Her work mediates complex ideas associated with contemporary, historical and cultural readings of place through a variety of methods, strategies and processes. She employs field-based research, interdisciplinary collaboration and socially engaged activism to explore the interconnections between nature, culture and science. Works are expressed through conversations, actions, drawings and public interventions in collaboration with artists, scientists, organisations and communities.

 

She holds a BFA Hons in Fine Art, MFA in Art, Society, Publics, and PhD in Contemporary Art Practice. Her Practice-led PhD research was carried out at University of Dundee and awarded an AHRC scholarship. This work explored collaborative artistic co-creative methods to strategically promote eco-social regeneration for small island communities. This included research visits to Elam School of Art, University of Auckland to undertake comparative research into Kaupapa Māori - a Māori term that refers to a set of values, principles, and plans that serve as a foundation for action. She received several awards to develop this work further in Aotearoa New Zealand leading to the development of LimenLab, which delivers eco-art projects that document and promote the exchange between society and ecosystems, and thus the connection between human and non-human beings at a time of climate change. 

 

 

 

Record of ArtisticPractice

Art Education 

2021: Contemporary Curating in Art + Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee UK

2020: PhD Contemporary Art Practice, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. AHRC Creative Economies funded research entitled Deploying collaborative artistic co-creative methods to strategically promote eco-social regeneration for small island communities

2014: MFA Art Society and Publics, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), University of Dundee

2011: BFA Fine Art Honours (First Class) - University of the Highlands and Islands, Moray School of Art, Elgin

 

Awards 

2023: Arts Grant Lopdell Trust, Titirangi, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand 

           Creative Communities Grant Auckland Council/Creative NZ

2022: Project Grant Foundation North, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

          Creative Communities Grant Auckland Council/Creative NZ

          Prize Winner DEAR2050|Oceans on the Rise, Climanosco, Switzerland

2021Creative Communities Grant Auckland Council/Creative NZ

2020: Creative Communities Grant Auckland Council/Creative NZ

2019: Artist-in-Residence Award Scottish Graduate School of Arts & Humanities

2018: Visiting Doctoral Research Award Scottish Graduate School of Arts & Humanities

2017: Creative Economies DTP Scholarship Scottish Graduate School of Arts & Humanities | AHRC

2015: Visual Arts & Crafts Award Creative Scotland/CNES

          Writer and Travel Grant Connected Communities Bursary through a-n

2012: Visual Art & Crafts Award Creative Scotland/CNES

2011: Talent Development, Investment Programme 4 Creative Scotland

          Research Grant Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust

 

Curatorial Projects and Workshops

2023: Nature Printing Te Uru, Titirangi, Auckland Aotearoa NZ

          Botanical Monoprinting Kaipātiki Project Environment Centre, Auckland Aotearoa NZ

2022: Blue Radius Art + Climate Science Exhibition/Events Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

          Botanical Monoprinting EcoArt with Natural Environmental Defense Foundation, Albany Aotearoa NZ

2021: EcoArt with Kaipātiki Project Environment Centre + NorthArt, Auckland Aotearoa NZ

2020: EcoArt with Kaipātiki Project Environment Centre + Auckland Print Studio, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

2017-18: Grow Your Own Community CCF4968 for Tagsa Uibhist (Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund) Outer Hebrides UK

2016: Sewing Wildflowers for GROW WILD (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew) and Tagsa Uibhist, Outer Hebrides UK

2015-17: Local Food for Local People for Tagsa Uibhist + Cothrom (Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund), Outer Hebrides UK

2011/13: Art and the Machair with Olwen Shone, for MachairLife+, Outer Hebrides UK

 

Residencies

2023: The Church, Rawene, Hokianga, Northland, Aotearoa NZ

2019: Kaipātiki Project Environment Centre, North Shore, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

2017: Kunstverein Schwedt e.V., Galerie am Kietz, Schwedt/Oder, Germany

2015/16: DRAWinternational, Caylus, France

2013: Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Fort William,

2011/12: Cuan Uibhist/The Secret Sea, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Art Centre, North Uist , Outer Hebrides UK

2011: Arteles Creative Centre, Hahmjarventie 26, 38490 Haukijarvi, Finland

 

Exhibitions 

Solo

2022: Land Radius|2, Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ 

2019: RE-Generation, NorthArt, Northcote, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

          Meeting Ground, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Art Centre, North Uist UK

2017: Apparitions DJCAD, Dundee UK

          Monument Game Tournament Cultivating Perspectives on Landscape, St Andrews University UK

          Proposition for a Reading Group Stuff of Research, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow UK

2015: Proposition for a Reading Group Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Art Centre, North Uist UK

2014: Landship Public Art sculptural intervention for Dundee City Council, Magdalen Green, Dundee UK

 

Group

2023: Stormy Weather, Climate Conscious Film Shorts (Auckland Climate Festival) New Zealand Maritime Museum, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

          Metamorphic + Matai, Members Show, NorthArt, Northcote, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

2022: Blue Radius, Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

2021-2022: Land Radius|2, Dear2050: Oceans on the rise, guest exhibition at Kunst(Zeug)Haus Rapperswil, Schönbodenstr. 1, 8640 Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland

          Touching Wood, Artweek Auckland, ReFabCabins, Grey Lynn, Auckland, Aotearoa NZ

          Towards the Water Eco-tone exploring the challenges of Argyll's environmental stewardship during COP26, Dunoon Burgh Hall, Dunoon, Scotland

2021: High Water 8.30-22.00 on 30.03.21. An online celebration and vigil of the vernal spring tide with 60 artists from across the world | a project of Tidelines and art.earth supported by the Low Carbon Devon Project (University of Plymouth Sustainability Hub)

2020: Wild Garden, Whenua Ūkaipō Connectedness 2020, a celebration of te taiao/the natural environment, the United Nations at 75, Public Trust Hall, Wellington, Aotearoa NZ

          Entangle Edge and Surface, The Book as Art v8.0: Infinity. Decatur, Georgia, USA

2019: Path Drawing/Apparitions. Rock-Paper-Scissors. Expanded Drawing Exhibition, Circus Artspace, Inverness, UK

2017: Entangle Edge and Surface. In the Open, Sheffield Institute of Art, Sheffield, UK

          Wasserwirtschaftliche (Water management). Spurensuche (Traces), Galerie am Kietz, Germany

2016: You are not outside. Weit Genug, Kultursentrum Klosterkirche, Angemunde, Germany

          Wall Paper Plant. Open Studios, DRAWinternational, Caylus, Midi-Pyrennes, France

          Monument Game. Worlding Place, Art and Geography Conference of Irish Geographers, DCU, Dublin                            Tha mi a bruadair. I Have a Dream, Vancouver Biennale, I Have a Dream Global Art, Farming&Peace

2015: Tha mi a bruadair. Faith in Paris, Raising Farmers Voices in Paris, ArtCOP21, Paris, France

2014: Land Radius. SSA Annual Exhibition, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK

          Relic. So much depends upon, Members Lounge, Scottish Parliament; and The Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, UK

          High Points: The future is behind you, the past is in front of you. Winter Salon, Timespan, Helmsdale

          Land Radius MFA Show, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, UK

2013: Finding. New Highland Graduates, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Inverness, UK

          High Points: The future is behind you, the past is in front of you. Äkkigalleria, Jyväskylä, Finland

2012: Connections. Ways of Seeing, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Art Centre, North Uist, UK

          Cove. North Light, Dunbar, UK

          An Roinn/The Sharing. Cuan Uibhist/The Secret Sea, Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist, UK

          Connections. Space, An Lanntair, Isle of Lewis, UK

2011: The naive evidence of things. Open Studios, Arteles Creative Centre, 38490 Haukijarvi, Finland

 

Collaborations | Commissions | Roles

2023: Stranraer Community Garden Consultant for The Stove, Dumfries, Scotland

2022: Island Hands Across the Atlantic, young people's collaborative film project with Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath (North Uist  Historical Society) and Barbados Museum 

2020: Wā Kōrero Public Programme, Whenua Ūkaipō Connectedness, Public Trust Hall, Wellington, Aotearoa NZ

2019: Art in the Capitalocene, with Prof. Karen Till and Dr Huhana Smith, shared insights with communities and networks in Rathangan, Maynooth, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Burrenbeo Trust, about global ecological and climate crises (supported by Irish Research Council)

2018: To St Kilda and Back, with musician Julie Aitken

2017: Locating Lorne, with  Dr Deirdre MacKenna, Cultural Documents

          Monument Game Tournament Cultivating Perspectives on Landscape, with SGSAH Student-let Cohort, University of St Andrews

          Proposition for a Reading Group Stuff of Research Symposium, with SGSAH Student-led Doctoral symposium, Glasgow

          I have a Dream Global Art, a Farming & Peace project, with Shweta Bhattad, Vancouver Biennale

         So much depends upon… Nil By Mouth with Hans K Clausen, Crichton Carbon Trust, Edinburgh

         An fheadhainn tha laighe samach (They lie silent and still), WW1 Commemoration with Comann Eachdraigh, Uibhist a Tuath, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, North Uist UK

2011/13: Art and the Machair Project with Olwen Shone, for MachairLife+, Outer Hebrides

 

Talks | Tutoring | Lecturing

2022: Changes to Climate, Changes to Environment. New relationships through art practice.
a conversation with Laura Donkers and Reiko Goto.
CEAC Glasgow UK

2021: Working with Communities|Ecological Arts Practice GAP (Greening Arts Practice), Visiting Artist Talk, Chrysalis Arts, North Yorkshire UK

         Engaging with the Real LAU Visiting Professionals Talk - Leeds Arts University, Leeds UK

         Collaboration as a Tool of Resistance, Panelist in No Borders Art Festival, Ottowa, CANADA

         Getting Out into Nature Artist Talk Programme, An Lanntair, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides UK

         To Engage with the Real|Drawing Outside, Co-Natural Makers On-line Research Symposium, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth UK

2019: Guest Lecturer - Cultural Geography, Maynooth University EIRE

2019: Guest Lecturer - Visual Art, MIC University of Limerick EIRE

2016/18: Visiting Tutor - Masters in Art and Philosophy, DJCAD, University of Dundee UK

2016/18: Guest Lecturer - Masters in Art and Philosophy, DJCAD, University of Dundee UK

2014/15: Guest Lecturer - BFA Fine Art & Design students, UHI Lews Castle College, North Uist UK

2014/15: Visiting Tutor - BFA Fine Art & Design students, UHI Lews Castle College, North Uist UK

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