Chris Fremantle is an independent researcher and producer. He chaired the EAFS Gathering #4 Landscape as Resource: Why Environmental Art? He is co-producer of Scotland's national public art development programme and contributes to Edinburgh College of Art's MFA Art, Space and Nature. He is currently working with Wide Open and the Crichton Carbon Centre on Nil by Mouth: food, farming, science and sustainability.
A quiet region of Scotland is building a reputation (and tourism) through art that connects nature and community.
When I heard about the Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS) it stuck me as curious that this was the first time that there had been one. After all Scotland's environment has always been important as an inspiration for artists, writers, composers, scientists whether that's Edwin Landseer, Margaret Tait, Robert Burns, Hugh McDiarmid, Felix Mendelsshon, Martyn Bennett, James Hutton or Patrick Geddes.
The landscape is rich in folklore and mythology and articulated by prehistoric monuments and signs of thousands of years of inhabitation. In fact even the word 'environment' was coined by Thomas Carlyle when he was living in Ecclefechan in 1828.