In the Time of Art with Policy

The Practice of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison alongside Global Environmental Policy since the 1970s

Authored by: Chris Fremantle , Anne Douglas , Dave Pritchard

The Routledge Companion to Art in the Public Realm

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138325302
eBook ISBN: 9780429450471
Adobe ISBN:


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From around 1970, the artists Helen Mayer Harrison (1927–2018) and Newton Harrison (b. 1932), known as ‘the Harrisons’, started to focus on ecology and ecological systems, influenced by, among other things, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published in 1962. ‘Earth Day’ was established in 1970. Limits to Growth was published in 1972. 1 Global environmental policy took a step change with the first of the global environmental conferences – the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm (1972) – as well as the adoption of the first of the modern global treaties on the environment – the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention, 1971) and the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972). 2 What might a juxtaposition of the trajectory described by the work of the Harrisons with the expansion of global developments such as these since the 1970s reveal about the potential cross-currents between art in the public realm and public policy?

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