Projects and Exhibitions

Projects archive

Visit archive for artist residencieslong-term projectslectures and articles, and conferences.


Projects & Exhibitions


Games People Play

Round 1: 6 April – 23 September 2012

Games hold a mirror to civilization; they build bonds, trust and strengthen social relationships.

 For the Cultural Olympiad, CCANW is exploring – through a range of exhibitions and activities that are participatory and fun – what games can tell us about ‘human nature’; and how a deeper understanding of the advantages of cooperation can help us all to address the needs of the planet at this time.
The first shows a selection of remarkable early board games – some of which may be played – which were intended as guides to moral improvement or general knowledge, war games devised by Guy Debord and H.G. Wells, and documentation of unusual local games, past and present. 

Round 2: 6 October 2012 – 3 March 2013

In this year of the London Olympics and Paralympics, Games People Play explores what games can tell us about human nature.
This second part focuses on contemporary photography and video by 16 important international artists who use sporting imagery to make wider comments on the human condition. Here, we see explorations of territorial control and attachment to a team, fascination with spectacle and the culture of competition.

We will also focus on the new generation of video games such as Free Rice and Phone Story which turn away from wasteful escapism to address real social and environmental challenges.

As part of our Games People Play programme we highlighted unusual heritage sports and games in the South West. Click here for a calendar of these games thrughout the year.

We also created a .pdf e-book of the local heritage games information that was featured during Games People Play Part 1.



Rising Sap: Young Peoples Artwork Inspired by Trees

4 – 26 February 2012

This exhibition of work submitted by young people and schools in Devon continued CCANW’s 2011-12 theme ‘Tree Culture’ which explored our relationship to trees. The work is made in a variety of media, from exploratory mark-making using twigs from Haldon Forest, bowls cut from a single felled oak tree, to photographs of sculpture made in the Park during school visits and more.

Saatchi prize winner, Julia Whiting, who graduated last year from St. Margaret’s School in Exeter, showed two drawings of trees as part of the exhibition.

Each year CCANW provides an exhibition opportunity for schools and young people in Devon to show and curate work at the gallery.


A Conversation Between Trees

8 October 2011 – 19 February 2012


Active Ingredient visualised and interpreted environmental data from trees in England and Brazil as a new interactive artwork. Their ‘climate machine’ was a kinetic sculpture that scorches the levels of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere onto recycled paper. Visitors were encouraged to go out into the forest and become human sensors and control the way the forest is captured, visualised and sensed as they explored.


David Nash: Sculpture and Drawings

22 April – 25 September 2011

Opening of Nash at CCANW

This exhibition was selected from the large Nash retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The exhibition touched on the main areas of David’s production; sculpture, drawings, films and studies. These range from the series of sculptures largely ‘quarried’ from fallen trees and left to crack and warp, others grown from saplings and fletched into domes and other shapes, and films such as Wooden Boulder which documents the 32 year-long journey of an immense oak boulder along streams and rivers to the sea.


Fashion Footprints: Sustainable Approaches

1 August – 21 November 2010 

This exhibition is based around the book Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys by Dr. Kate Fletcher at the London College of Fashion. Curated by four of her students, this series of events, workshops and exhibitions focuses on eight areas in which the fashion industry can work towards a more sustainable practice and consumers can make environmentally responsible choices. The nine garments on display each demonstrate an element of this vision.


Lucy Orta

29 May – 25 July 2010

Artist and fashion designer Lucy Orta showed a selection of drawings, clothing, videos and plates that responded to the modern social issues of recycling, homelessness and urban survival. Lucy’s creations are both functional and artistic. These are some of the ‘social sculptures’ she creates in order to be worn and displayed in public spaces to stimulate discussion and debate about social and global issues.


Forest Tunes – The Library

10 October – 22 November 2009 

Founder and director of the Israeli Forum for Ecological Art, Shai Zakai showed an installation based on 14 years’ work. The ‘library’ was a collection of up-cycled boxes containing organic material – leaves, twigs and seeds – from 19 countries. Accompanied by stories and photographs, they recorded evidence of the imprint of humankind on the environment. Engaging our senses of touch, smell, sight and sound simultaneously, this collection highlighted the daily effects of global warming set in motion by human beings, e.g., the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and human indifference.

A section of the exhibition included contributions by local artists and environmentalists, who each created a black box containing organic material inspired by personal memories of a particular natural environment.


Art, Ecology and the Economy

16 January – 28 March 2010


The project took the form of an exhibition in two parts, displayed simultaneously and four forums. Its aim was to demonstrate how environmentally friendly approaches to manufacture and collaboration can help make the creative industries more profitable. In turn, they show how profitable creative industries impact on other important regional industries, particularly tourism, by providing products and services that enhance local distinctiveness.


Peter Randall-Page: Natural Selection

10 April – 31 May 2009 

The sculptor, Peter Randall-Page is noted for his stone carving and fascination with natural form; most recently with the complex relationship between geometry and biology. As a prelude to Peter’s major exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (27 June 2009 –early 2010), CCANW focussed on work permanently sited in the West Country; specifically, the remarkable sequence of sculptures – and a garden – created in the Teign Valley 1990-96 and Seed, a massive granite carving commissioned for the Eden Project in 2003.


6 – 28 June 2009 

eco poetry

Ecopoetics is the study of the ways that creative writing can address ecological issues. Historically associated with Romantic and pastoral poetry, this investigation now extends further into new realms such as urban environments and digital technologies. Skylines featured work by 15 poets, including Sean Bonney, Allen Fisher, Cynthia Hogue, Redell Olsen, Maggie O’Sullivan and Alice Oswald and was curated by Devon-based poet, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett.

Reflections on Water

4 July – 4 October 2009 

Water is both essential to life and the great symbol of life, and this is reflected in both ancient mythology and contemporary ritual. As a substance, its composition, states, and cycle – now threatened by climate change – has fascinated many artists, from Leonardo to Hockney. Our Summer exhibition in 2009 brought together the ‘reflections’ of four contemporary artists: the large-scale photographs of Canadian artist Marlene Creates, two Devon-based artists, Susan Derges and Vikky Minette, and the work of Slovenia and US-based filmmaker Andrej Zdravic.

The Animal Gaze

24 January – 5 April 2009 

The Animal Gaze was a contemporary art exhibition that explored the complex relationship between animals and humans. It featured the work of over 40 international artists at four exhibition venues in Plymouth; and at CCANW. This exhibition was also part of Darwin200, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin and marking 150 years since On the Origin of Species was published. The exhibition’s curator Rosemarie McGoldrick explains: ‘The Animal Gaze is an exhibition showing how animals currently appear in Western contemporary art. The work has been selected, from a range of national and international artists, for its new approach to animals, taking into account ethics, politics and aesthetics.’

Haldon’s Hidden Heritage

4 October 2008 – 18 January 2009 

The Haldons are often referred to as the ‘hidden’ hills of Devon. Apart from its forests and landmark tower, most people know little of its rich heritage. This unique exhibition and its accompanying activities touched every aspect of the Haldon Hills, through geology and prehistory, to the establishment of its grand country mansions. The panels are still available to be shown in local community and school halls. Click here to see them as a pdf. Please enquire from CCANW if you wish to borrow them.

Wonder Wood: Inspirational Contemporary Designers from the South West

19 July – 14 September 2008

Wonder Wood was the climax of the series of exhibitions in the year-long Wood Culture festival which celebrated the beauty, usefulness and sustainability of wood and explored its many uses in contemporary architecture and design. The exhibition drew on the work of 20 designers in wood across the South West region, from established makers to this year’s graduates, ranging from innovative steam-bent seating to a woven boat and a timber bicycle.

Ghosts in the Wood

6 September – 30 November 2008 

ghosts in the woods

Why, in an increasingly urban world, do we still have a primal connection to the wild places and with folklore and mythology? In Ghosts in the Wood, artist Mike Smallcombe explored our need to create narratives to make sense of a fast-changing world, through large photographic images in Haldon Forest.

Timber Talent South West: Architecture for the 21st Century

26 April – 13 July 2008 

Timber Talent South West featured CCANW’s selection of sixteen of the most inspiring recent examples of the use of timber in contemporary architecture. Its South West focus included both recent innovative timber buildings from the region and timber structures made elsewhere in the UK by SW based practices, documented by photographs, plans and models.

Wood Works: 13 Years of the Wood Studio, Helsinki

26 January – 30 March 2008 

Wood Works featured models, photographs and plans of 19 wooden buildings, ranging from a sauna to a café. All were produced over the past 13 years by students of Wood Studio from the Department of Architecture at Helsinki University of Technology. The Wood Studio at HUT was launched in 1994 with the support of the Finnish Timber Council and the City of Helsinki, the idea being to learn about wood by practical experimentation and by focusing on future needs. In 2001 the English language Wood Programme for international students was added.

Greenhouse Britain: Losing ground, gaining wisdom

17 November – 23 December 2007 

Greenhouse Britain was a new exhibition by the eminent American ecological artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison and their British associates and it dramatically addressed the environmental, political and economic challenges of rising sea levels caused by climate change. Its central feature was a multimedia video projection onto a giant relief model of mainland Britain on which one saw the waters gradually redraw the coastline.

Inspiring Futures: European Timber Architecture for the 21st Century

7 July – 16 September 2007


Our summer exhibition in 2007 was CCANW’s selection of the most inspiring examples of contemporary European timber architecture. Twelve projects were selected by a panel of architecture, engineering and forestry experts. Projects were chosen that make enlightening and inspiring uses of timber and demonstrate the beauty and usefulness of this material. These showed how the challenge of building sustainably is being met across Europe. They included work from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, the UK and Russia. A fully illustrated 40 page catalogue of the Inspiring Futures exhibition was produced, price £5 . It includes an essay by Oliver Lowenstein.




Wood Culture 2007

In May 2007 CCANW launched Wood Culture – an ambitious year-long festival celebrating the beauty, usefulness and sustainability of wood and exploring its many uses in contemporary architecture and design. Over the year, five different exhibitions were accompanied by a series of events and activities designed to be engaging to everyone, from those with a professional interest to our youngest visitors.

Wood Wisdom: Tradition, Innovation and Sustainability

5 May – 1 July 2007 

The first exhibition in the Wood Culture series sought to connect us with the rich history of timber construction, from Neolithic trackways, medieval building to ship and aeroplane building.

It also identified how timber growing, new technologies – such as glulam and computer-aided design – and the use of wood in construction and as fuel, can provide considerable environmental benefits, particularly in helping to reduce global warming.


Forest Dreaming

15 April 2006 – 29 April 2007 

The experience of entering a forest stimulates our imagination and sharpens all our senses. The feelings it can evoke range from ones of fear and mystery to those of enchantment and wonder.

This year-long evolving exhibition showed work by over 50 artists who have responded in different ways to the forest environment. It was organised in eight parts and was researched in consultation with curator Angela Kingston and with the help of Stuart Arnold, a student at Bath Spa University. Part 8 showed documentation of Jamie McCullough’s The Beginners Way created in Haldon Forest in the 1980s.


Dendros – Horizons of Change

dendros plaque

15 April 2006 

‘Dendros’ (from the Greek for ‘tree’) was an installation along one of the forest trails by conservationist and artist Dave Pritchard which explored timescales of environmental change, as viewed through our relationship with trees. The project was organised in association with Research in Art, Nature and Environment at University College Falmouth.

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