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Creative projects

Creative Projects

Creative Projects

Creative Projects

Our researchers are always looking for new ways to communicate their work and are keen to collaborate with artists. We have recently hosted Anne-Marie Culhane through an Arts Council funded residency which culminated in the Earthwalking project. Similarly Professor Claire Belcher is working closely with artist Charlotte McDonald on the European project ECOFLAM looking at visions of fire and ecosystems.

Field of Wheat

Between Autumn 2015 and Autumn 2016, a collective made up of members of the public, the food industry, farming community, artists and researchers became active stakeholders in a field of wheat in Branston Booths, Lincolnshire, England. Throughout its cycle from drilling the wheat in October 2015 to harvest in August/September 2016, the community of participants took part in an exchange of dialogue with the farmer, each other and the artists through online platforms and events on the farm. Please see the project website and listen to the BBC Radio Four interview (25 September 2016) to find out more.

Dr Tom Powell spent time on this project, testing the soil of Middle Field and you can read his blog post here.

Artwork inspired by the Climate Change MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Louise Graham completed the Futurelearn on-line course on climate change led by Professor Lenton in 2014. She was inspired by the knowledge that she gained and became motivated to produce the following paintings that challenge the viewer to think about what might happen if we do not do more to mitigate the effects of climate change. An exhibition of these works took place at the University in January 2016. They now adorn the walls of the Earth System Science office in Laver building.

A prediction Mixed media (acrylic paint; tape; permanent marker) on canvas 36 x 24". A semi-abstracted piece capturing the feelings of anguish that the world is continuing as usual despite unequivocal evidence that the consumption of fossil fuels is causing our climate to change and leading us towards a terrifying future.

Pail and Insignificant Acrylic on canvas 24 x 26". A still life symbolising world food shortages and the devastating impact of climate change. Maize was chosen because it forms the basis of a staple diet for a large number of people. The galvanised pail represents drought and flooding - two of the main challenges of extreme weather brought on by man-made climate change. Placing the dead plants within the pail represents our dependence on water to grow our food and the insignificant growth fo the plants shows the fragility of this relationship.

Our Septic Isle Acrylic on canvas 17 x 24". A conceptual landscape visualising a future of catastrophic sea level rise, sea acidification and life-threatening levels of carbon dioxide, water vapour and pollutants in the atmosphere.

Chemtrails Oil on board 16 x 23". An imagined skyscape generated as a reaction to the idea that geoengineering can be a solution to climate change and specifically questioning the view that we can use aerosols to control the weather and adapt to man-made climate change

The bearded lady project

"The Bearded Lady Project" is a documentary film and photographic project celebrating the work of female paleontologists and highlighting the challenges and obstacles they face. Watch the mid-project teaser trailer below.


This event was devised by Anne-Marie Culhane and inspired by her Exeter Enquires residency in Earth System Science. It involved a two-day journey walking the East Devon coastline between Beer and Sidmouth to explore Earth as a living system through different stories of the sea and land, time and change. Contributors included Professor Tim Lenton; Dr Tom Powell, Researcher, Land Use; Dr Luke Mander, Research Fellow; Dr Ceri Lewis, Marine Biologist; Anne-Marie Culhane, Artist; Dr Michelle Bastian, Edinburgh College of Art; Storm Songs, Encounters Art; National Trust Branscombe; Vision Group for Sidmouth.

Read Anne-Marie's blog of the adventure here

Philomena Cunk's Moments of Wonder - Climate Change

Philomena Cunk interviews Professor Andrew Watson on Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe.

Windows to an Ancient World

Windows to an Ancient World is a new 'Evolution Walk' that has been developed on the University of Exeter's Streatham Campus by Dr Claire Belcher, Associate Professor in Earth System Science together with Charlotte Gurr, Scientific Illustrator. The walk will guide you through the evolutionary history of plants using the exceptional botanical collections of the University of Exeter.  Download the walk map here.

Libby's Lab ipad App

Developed by Associate Professor Claire Belcher and WildFIRE Lab Graduate, Olivia Whittle, Libby’s Lab was created to provide an accessible and interactive way to engage children of all ages, sexes and backgrounds in science.


Professor Tim Lenton is on the board of Kaleider, an innovative organisation based in Exeter which aims to bring people together to face some of the world's greatest challenges. For information on projects and events see the Kaleider website.