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Modelling Perspectives

Using found materials to represent what they see and feel, participants in groups create a mini-landscape in a glass tank. As the task progresses, facilitators ask open questions and discuss the process of construction.

– Rapid model making
– Co-created perceptual data
– Social science analysis

Working with small groups of four or five in an outdoor setting, I encourage participants to explore the immediate area. Using found materials to represent what they see and feel, they create a mini-landscape in a glass tank. As the task progresses, facilitators ask open questions and discuss the process of construction, then participants write just one or two words on glass slides, placing them in their mini-landscapes. In the closing stages, the groups come together to share each other’s work, which is documented (visually and through transcription).

Mauritius workshop with the Coral Communities team and Reef Conservation. A group use a word to code their coastscape that has a double meaning, 2017. Photograph: Andy Hughes

Coral Communities: West Indian Ocean

As part of the Coral Communities project, myself and the interdisciplinary team piloted this visual method in Mauritius to address the resilience of communities in the face of coral reef degradation. Glass tanks were commissioned so that participants could create 3D mini-coastscapes inside them, using materials from the marine environment. The activity enabled communities to find a voice and communicate how they felt about their own landscape, and they were encouraged to record their work using video and photography.

“The video, photographs, and the making are about perspective taking, but also understanding each other’s perspectives and building empathy.”

Louisa Evans, Senior Lecturer Environment and Sustainability, Exeter University:

Tagscape, Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Grant with Dr John Martin. Artist Dominica Williamson experiments with coding a woodscape 2016 for an exhibition at the University of Plymouth.

Tagscape: Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Grant, University of Plymouth

This project, using glass tanks to model mini-landscapes, came to fruition during my time as a Leverhulme artist-in-residence with Dr John Martin and the University of Plymouth. The aim was to co-develop the project with different stakeholders, and I have since co-run workshops with Dr Martin in many settings. The work, currently in publication, is used in a range of environments with various organisations and networks, including the project Ruritage. Video and photography have become integral to the method so perceptual data, including visual data, is captured. Social science analysis of the work is also taking place.

As our group collaborated to create our miniature landscape, we used our bodies and verbal language; our miniature landscapes expanded our gestural and verbal communications into inscriptions.”

Lili Raygoza, Culture and Performance masters student, UCLA

Mauritius workshop with the Coral Communities team and Reef Conservation. A group's coastscape 2017. Photograph: Andy Hughes

Mauritius workshop with the Coral Communities team and Reef Conservation. A group's coding of their coastscape, 2017. Photograph: Andy Hughes

Mauritius workshop with the Coral Communities team and Reef Conservation. A group recording each other talking about their coastscape. Photograph: Andy Hughes

Tagscape workshop at the third edition of the International Summer School - Learning by Game Creation - organized by a Joint Project of the Politecnico di Torino and University of California, 1st to 8th September 2019, Torino. A group made their landscape in a giant light bulb vase. Photograph Andy Hughes.

TAGSCAPE exhibition, workshop session and panel discussion, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London. 2016. A participant's landscape.

TAGSCAPE exhibition, workshop session and panel discussion, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London 2016. A landscape by a group in Dartmoor who connected virtually to landscapes made in London. Photograph Jason Parsons.

Tagscape workshop with Trevithick Learning Academy, Dave Davies from Sustrans. Walking in Crenver Grove, Praze-an-Beeble (looked after by charity Sustrust) a child excitedly grabs a glass case to get making. Health and Safety kicks in! Photograph Andy Hughes.

Tagscape workshop 2016 with Trevithick Learning Academy, Dave Davies from Sustrans, Ryan Putt from the University of Plymouth. The workshop took place in Crenver Grove, Praze-an-Beeble (looked after by charity Sustrust.) A coded landscape by a group of children. Photograph Andy Hughes.

Tagscape workshop 2016 with Trevithick Learning Academy, Dave Davies from Sustrans, Ryan Putt from the University of Plymouth. Cited in Crenver Grove, Praze-an-Beeble (looked after by charity Sustrust.), Ryan Putt discusses the landscapes with the children. Photography Andy Hughes.