Reimagining lost and forgotten landscapes: vanishing military bases
Artists can interpret and provide different viewpoints on things society takes for granted or ignores, nature being a particular case in point. In these ways, artists can challenge how society ascribes values or ignores values. The value of military land for nature is a good example of this.
We are developing a new project to celebrate commemorate and bear witness to the extraordinary wildlife and history of old military sites, especially those which are being transformed into new developments, such as for new housing.
Our aim is to provide a group of artists, including writers, poets visual artists, musicians and possibly experimental theatre, with access to areas which are rich in nature and history, such as former areas used for military training.
The juxtaposition of the extraordinary nature value, historical associations with conflict and harm will be explored through a variety of art media. The art produced will be displayed on or near to the site and through social media.
Events will commemorate and celebrate the history and nature of these military sites, combined with remembrance of those who gave their lives in military conflicts.
Through art, we will explore what nature means for those in the military forces, during active service, and on return.
Does nature help resolve personal trauma experienced in war; can it be used to much greater effect?
A similar approach could be used for other contested landscapes – e.g.
the Rampisham Down Transmitting Station in Dorset (now SSSI)
Fylingdale Golf Balls.
The Greenham Common bunkers
Dungeness nuclear power station.