Above: Vetch Veg, Owen Griffiths, 2019
Owen Griffiths, Extreme Views Artist in Residence
Owen Griffiths is an artist, workshop leader and facilitator based in Wales. His practice and research is connected to land use, urbanism, regeneration and community food systems, creating work which seeks to challenge normative practices which can alienate, marginalise and disengage communities, giving voice to and empowering communities to articulate change.
Owen joins Art Gene as Extreme Views Artist in Residence for 2019 – 2021. He believes community land projects and alternative models of ownership or land use are vital tools and spaces through which to re-imagine the future of our environment and our connection to them.
I’ve been following Arts Gene’s inspiring practice for many years. It is a radical and unique practice in the UK, located in the locale, in the land and in the communities and layers of time and activity which makes a place – land use, culture, survival, anti tourism, alternative economies, new ecologies, post industrial land and people…
I’m interested in the shared territories which intersect: Our future needs – This historic landscape; Rising tides – Costal identities; Continued Austerity – Connection to place
I hope to explore the importance of digging where you stand – working in your local, in new centres which is something I have been doing for some years. Activating local spaces and communities using art as a tool to engage and be useful rather than servicing agendas of austerity or regeneration to ask how we could model alternatives in collective, radically inclusive and collaborative ways.
Owen Griffiths, 2019
Above: ‘Imagine this landscape in 100 years time’, a provocation, Owen Griffiths
Extreme Views: Armchair Walks
Owen’s work with Art Gene will explore the role of green space within the urban core. 2020’s Extreme Views event was postponed due to COVID-19, and reinterpreted online as Extreme Views: Armchair Walks.
Architects, artists, naturalists, and landscape designers were invited to share their work and views at three online Zoom events, in July – August 2020. The events explored a route trough Barrow-in-Furness, from the manicured landscape of Barrow Park, through a Green Corridor on the site of the Old Grammar School, leading to an unused suburban green space at Lesh Lane. Each event took the form of an online video dialogue, featuring film and images of the route with narration by the invited expert speakers, followed by time for questions or discussion towards the end. READ MORE.
In 2014 Owen was a British Council Fellow working with artists and community growing networks in California. In 2016 Griffiths was awarded Creative Wales Ambassador role by Arts Council of Wales researching land use, community and participation through food, placemaking and regeneration.
He has developed projects with Cultural Olympiad Wales, 1418Now, National Museum Wales, Social Services, Natural Resources Wales, Housing Associations HM Prisons Services, as well as Galleries and cultural organisations and local authorities. He is a graduate of the School of Walls and Space a radical pedagogic space at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and is a member of Social Sculpture Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University. Griffiths is 2017-19 artist in residence at St Fagans National Museum of Wales. He leads two long-term community projects GRAFT a soil based syllabus and The Trebanog Project.