This Online Archive of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) spans a 25 year period 1995-2020, and I am grateful to Bath Spa University for financial support that has paid key staff and colleagues to help provide me with information and photographs.

The archive is divided into five sections, with the first two acting as a guide to the greater detail in the following three. The Home section gives a synopsis of the locations in which we had sought to establish CCANW, the projects we were involved in and the fundraising challenges we faced. This Prologue leads to a wider overview of projects delivered by different staff and trustees. An Appendix lists articles, presentations and publications, followed by a note over Acknowledgements and Permissions.

The purpose of this Archive

The purpose of the Archive is basically two-fold; to document and celebrate CCANW’s achievements and draw lessons from our successes and mistakes for the benefit of future generations. In this task, I go beyond the convention of an archive being a box of files and documents which may only be interpreted by the occasional academic researcher. Instead, I have tried to both articulate and comment upon a narrative which will inform anyone who has the ambition to work in the field of ‘environmental art’ in the future.

The narrative may well seem highly detailed and seamless, the result of an excellent memory, but this is not the case. Because of my former notorious lack of computer skills, every correspondence and report had been originally backed up by paper copies, running into dozens of files. When we were asked to remove our equipment and files from Dartington in 2018, they were stored in a barn near Totnes. Files and books were eventually moved to a storage facility in Stroud, where my wife Jill and I had moved in 2014.

Many hours were spent ‘weeding’ files in our garden with a considerable amount of unwanted paper copies going in sacks to recycling. The key documents that were carefully retained included minutes of meetings, annual accounts, reports, programmes and press cuttings, and from these this Archive has largely been put together.

Help and support in creating this Archive

Kate Weedon, the Archivist of Poltimore House Trust, lent me folders and press cuttings that I had previously deposited with them. Chris Lewis, a staff member at Haldon, selected a large collection of his photographs. Our colleague Johanna Korndorfer provided additional information and photographs. Rob Shaw of Northbank, our designer from 2000-13, provided me with digital artwork of programmes, publications and exhibition graphics. Martyn Windsor lent photographs taken in the period 2013-16, and Richard Povall filled in detail that I had already forgotten from our most recent time at Dartington. Daro Montag and Dave Pritchard contributed significantly to sections on Research in Art, Nature and the Environment and the Arts and Environment Network. Long-time collaborator Shelley Sacks contributed a chapter on The University of the Trees and Veronica Sekules kindly wrote an Epilogue.

Crucially, I had extracted the hard drives of every computer CCANW had used over the years and these were accessed for me by Media Makers in Stroud. Conrad Bohl, the teenage son of a neighbouring sculptor, then worked with me over many months to retrieve more photographs, adding them to those by Chris and Martyn, and to laboriously file them chronologically against the narrative.

Johanna Korndorfer and Conrad Bohl working on the selection of photographs. Photo Clive Adams.

Once copy had been checked by former key staff and Trustees (including our Chairmen), I worked with our son Tom Adams, Director of the web design company Scend in Portishead, to integrate photographs and other reference material into the copy and create the Archive. We have tried to select photographs that were not already used in our 20 printed programmes which can be accessed here though links.

Whilst working on this Online Archive, contact was made with Devon Archives and Local Studies at the SW Heritage Trust who expressed an interest in hosting the CCANW physical archive. During 2024, it is hoped that work will be completed on cataloguing and transferring the material.

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Experience & Motivation

25 years of


In the autumn of 1995, encouraged by the opportunities offered by Arts Council England’s Arts Capital Fund from the proceeds of the National Lottery, the search began for a location in Devon in which to establish CCANW.

The search for a base

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