This award is given annually in recognition of an outstanding contribution in the field of environmental arts, and administered by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW). Two organizations received commendations in addition to the award winner.
Recognition of The Branch is especially touching for us given that this year’s winner was Common Ground, who are a great inspiration to our own work, and have been working since 1983 — when I was still living in a crib — to connect people with nature, inspiring individuals to be responsible stewards of their local environments. Other past winners of the award include The Harrison Studio and Richard Long.
In the words of CIWEM, the award celebrates an artwork, project or field of activity by an artist (or group) that has contributed innovatively to CIWEM’s vision of “putting creativity at the heart of environmental policy and action”. This high-profile award recognises excellence in work by arts practitioners, or environmentalists engaging with arts practices, whether well-established or newly emerging, in the UK or elsewhere in the world.
We’re thrilled and inspired to have the commendation. If anything, it gives us some fuel to push our space and our actions even further.
About The Branch
Developed and built as an arts and environment project by myself and partner Suhee Kang — along with dozens of volunteers and donors — The Branch opened in March 2018 as an ecological art space, pocket farm, and community cafe in Osaka, Japan. We are aimed squarely at cultivating relationships between people and nature. Our space welcomes locals and visitors from abroad to explore the nature of sustainability together through interactive exhibitions and workshops featuring a wide range of artists and practitioners.