Radical work of Common Ground on show at YSP

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The radical and vital work of Common Ground – the Dorset-based arts and environmental charity – goes on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in early May through an archive display, an exhibition documenting recent artist residencies and a new open-air commission by artist James Webb.

Founded in 1983 by Sue Clifford, Angela King and the writer Roger Deakin, Common Ground has collaborated widely across the arts to celebrate the relationship between people and place.

The idea of ‘local distinctiveness’ is at the heart of everything they do, and for the last 35 years they have inspired people all over the country through campaigns like Apple Day, Parish Maps, New Milestones and Trees, Woods and the Green Man.

Common Ground champions the ordinary, everyday aspects of the local environment, such as tree-lined streets or garden wildlife, and draws attention to the easily overlooked richness of local landscapes.

Through music, film, festivals, photography, publishing, building, sculpture and poetry, Common Ground encourages people to express their own relationships with nature and brings communities together through activism, celebration and conservation.

In the Garden Gallery, an archival display documents some of Common Ground’s most iconic initiatives over three decades. The Bothy Gallery exhibition concentrates on Common Ground’s work with a new generation of contemporary artists.

It shares the outcomes and documentation of new commissions developed by Common Ground to mark the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, in collaboration with the Woodland Trust. The exhibition also offers visitors the chance to see Arcadia, a provocative and poetic new film co-produced by Common Ground about our contradictory relationship with the land, crafted from footage in the British Film Institute National Archive.

A range of merchandise and a publication will accompany the exhibition.