image of Stephen
STEPHEN WHITEHEAD
Environmental Art Intervention
tel: 07946432452
email: stephen@orgonesea.com

About Stephen Whitehead

Essentially, I am an artist who works with people and communities, responding to environmental issues. It is important to me, that I ensure that my work has scientific validity and has meaning to the people I work with.

I aim to make environmentalism personal and relevant to everyone, with nothing about this project being purely academic. "Where is my Shelter?/ (Wo ist meine zeltbahn?) is all about involvement with people, our personal development and our relationships.

What you want to achieve through this project will not be the same for everyone I work with, the results may be unexpected and depends only on your requirements/ personal responses. For that reason, it is quite difficult to define what 'WZb?' is as the project will be something totally different when we approach it together. I have many years experience working in this way, which makes my practise relevant in an educational setting.

I am an environmental artist.

I create art that asks questions.

I work with communities and groups of people and collaborate with scientists and educators to involve people in creative activities to promote environmental awareness and empathy.

I use art to change the way you think about your understanding of your relationship with the environment.

I work in the realm where we create the psychological preperation to ask the right question...

...Wo ist meine zeltbahn?

My current C.V. can be viewed here

Why I Do What I Do

As I read about the mounting environmental problems in the world I decided to change my practise as an artist and see if I could use art to Understand why we do not act in the best interests of our own life support systems. Science provides us with the reality of how our ecosystems work but the facts did not seem to be compelling enough for many people to change their harmful attitudes and practices. Art had always been one of the ways I used to understand the world, so why not encourage others to enquire through art practise.

Our intransigence to respond to the ongoing ecological problems seems to me to be a lack of empathy whether with people, animals or the whole planet. We all in theory care about the environment but this does not necessarily translate to a real change in our actions. My work seeks to find the empathy we need to change our response to the world.

I use creative practise and enquiry in the neutral space created by art, to enable people to experience their own emotional response to, and relationship with nature. I think of it as psychological preparation for the engagement people then need to make with others to effect real change in our attitudes and actions. Art does not change the world but it can make us see things differently and it is that that makes other ways of thinking and therefore new action possible.

My participatory/relational art is a process and is only really understood by participants not passive observers or by talking about it.