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In The Open | Iain Biggs, Christine Baeumler & Mary Modeen

Iain Biggs is an art-scholar, formerly Director of the PLaCE Research Center at University of the West of England, Bristol, England, and now co-convener of Land2 and Mapping Spectral Traces. He publishes extensively on deep mapping and related interdisciplinary arts, and has supervised many interdisciplinary arts-led PhDs. As an independent researcher and UWE Emeritus, Biggs has long experience in mentoring place-based practices; he merges this with his artistic practice in painting and photography, with critical writing, academic guest lecturing and wide-ranging publications.

Christine Baeumler is an art-scholar based in the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis-St. Paul (USA), whose work --in addition to her role as an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies-- is dedicated to ecological art actions. In her practice she seeks to raise awareness about ecological issues by engaging communities in environmental projects focused on ecological observation and restoration.  Her collaborative projects include Roof-top Tamarack Bog (2011-17), and Pollinators at the Plains Art Museum, in Fargo, ND (2012-17), which included a summer youth internship program called Buzz Lab.

Mary Modeen is an art-scholar, Chair of Interdisciplinary Art Practice, Associate Dean (International), Co-ordinator of PhD Studies, and founder and Course Director for the MFA in Art & Humanities at the University of Dundee, Scotland. She has many years of PhD supervision experience in interdisciplinary research, conducting an international practice in place-based research through creative art and writing. She co-convenes three place-based research networks: PLaCE International, Land2, and Mapping Spectral Traces, and is dedicated to a reflective practice of situated being, examined as a response to one’s environment.

The installation In Praise of Wetlands is a hanging fabric piece that is an image constructed of 3 wetlands: the wooded bog of northern Minnesota, the rich peaty bog of Exmoor, and light on a Scottish moorland. It is printed on lightweight fabric and hung slightly away from the atrium wall with the aim of creating movement through air drafts and the motion of passersby. As an evocation, it works like memory: insubstantial, multi-layered and more about a changeable and complex remembrance than any single depiction. A soundwork completes this work: its ambient bird calls and wind underlie a remembrance of wetland places, a reflective recall of ‘when the snow melts along the Mississippi’, or somewhere, or ‘manywheres’…