Drawing Inspiration: New Networks for Nature 2014



drawing inspiration by Sam Taylor - www.samdrawsthings.com

Last week I visited Stamford in Lincolnshire for the New Networks for Nature conference.  It was my third time at this event, which brings together conservation and creativity, and features talks about wildlife, poetry, musical performances, art exhibitions, writers, photography and debate about our efforts to protect the natural world.  There’s a really nice Storify by Kate Risely summarising news from the event here.

This time, I took along my sketchbook, and busily doodled away during the rich variety of talks.  The theme was ‘A sense of scale‘, and we zoomed in on close up photos of tiny marine worms and the elegance of haiku poetry, and out to Blue Whales and sounds from outer space.  It was all rather mind blowing and my head is still a bit full….  It was a really lovely drawing challenge though – people moved quite a lot as I was trying to capture them, and it was great to get to practice doodling people rather than animals for a change (although a few other species did sneak in).  I hope I don’t offend anyone with my attempts to capture them!

The event opened on the Thursday evening with Tim Dee interviewing Richard Mabey.  One of my favourite moments was Richard talking about his book Nature Cure and refuting the idea that we should all be happy all the time, and that contact with nature will make us happy.  He feels it’s more complex than that – being in nature can be ‘profoundly therapeutic‘ as it ‘expands your wisdom of what it means to be a living thing.’

Tim Dee & Richard Mabey - www.samdrawsthings.com

Tim Dee in conversation with Richard Mabey

Some doodles from Friday’s programme…

from Four FIelds by Tim Dee - www.samdrawsthings.com

A quote from ‘Four Fields’ by Tim Dee. “A fallow field is life in waiting.”

spoon billed sand piper - www.samdrawsthings.com

Debbie Pain from the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust shared the story of conserving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Question time at New Networks - www.samdrawsthings.com

Some of the Question Time panel discussing nature conservation and the global economy

marine worms - www.samdrawsthings.com

The surprising beauty and amazing adaptations of marine worms, from a talk by Andrew Cleave

Callum Roberts shared some incredible historic photos that really brought home the scale of the depletion of fish in our oceans.  It left me thinking ‘there’s plenty more fish in the sea’ is a phrase we soon won’t be able to use any more…

abundance of fish - www.samdrawsthings.com

overfishing - www.samdrawsthings.com

Peter and Liz Cowdrey perform bird song - www.samdrawsthings.com

Peter and Liz Cowdrey played music based on bird song, including a gypsy fiddle Goldcrest and a Chifchaff piece

Some drawings from Saturday’s programme…

Paul Evans - www.samdrawsthings.com

Paul Evans vividly recounts eating Skunk Cabbage (not recommended!)

the guardian country diary team - www.samdrawsthings.com

Some of the team involved in the Guardian’s regular Country Diary 

Jeremy Mynott - www.samdrawsthings.com

Jeremy Mynott chairs a section on our relationship with birds

Michelle Remblance - www.samdrawsthings.com

Michelle Remblance revisits Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’

Helen Macdonald - www.samdrawsthings.com

Helen Macdonald reads from her award winning book ‘H is for Hawk’

little earth - www.samdrawsthings.com

A great way to finish –  thinking about space with Chris Hudson and a performance of ‘Edge’ by Katrina Porteous and Peter Zinovieff

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