Here Commons Everybody

Ecological recovery: land, shared commons and coexistence

Reflections, undercurrents and new pathways

Videosonic explorations and compositions

UK & international programme


Working closely with:

CCRI - Countryside and Community Research Institute (UK, co-funder)

Jesse D Vernon 'Morning Star' (composer, musician, conductor, Bristol & Paris)


Connected to an artist-residency project in Portugal, supported by the Endangered Landscapes Programme & Rewilding Portugal

The Letterpress Collective & Nick Hand (Bristol; socially-engaged print studio)

Situations, explorations and locations included:

Regional rewilding in the Greater Côa Valley, Portugal, working with rural communities.

Upland sites in Wales (connected to an artist-residency with Elan Links)

Knepp Wildland (major rewilding project, UK)

Forests and coasts via the Satoyama Initiative & Satoumi (traditional approaches, Japan; dialogues with CCRI)

Historical practices in Ireland (Meitheal, Turbary, Land League legacies etc.; creative research)

The primary programme funder was Arts Council England

(individual artist residencies had additional funders)

The lead artist, Antony Lyons, is an ecological artist and creative researcher based in Bristol, UK. His video, sonic and sculptural works engage with ecological, social and landscape futures, with a deep-time lens. Creative 'geopoetic' responses are based on long-term connections with territories in flux, focusing on ecological coexistence and eco-social healing.

New stories, new voices:

In this experimental project, he reactivated a previous association with the CCRI - as ‘artist-in-dialogue’ - addressing braided themes of ‘shared eco-commons’, community sustenance, ecosystem recovery and restorative agriculture. Bridging diverse perspectives and agendas, the focus ranged from the deeply local to global interactions. Coexistence and re-connection are core themes.

Outputs include a series of individual ‘film portrait’ stories; a creative, poetic documentary; work/play-shops with young people; and printed works.

A follow-on project is planned to happen in 2023/24 - titled 'What Commons Next?'.

The project aimed to investigate and assemble material across 3 connected clusters:

Reflecting & Remembering

Diverse personal cross-cultural stories and reflections (with invited participants) on perception of home, commons, migration, community, freedom, protection, belonging, in-between-ness etc. Production of a series of short films, forming individual subjective 'film portraits'.

Cross-Cultural Learning, Sharing & Communities

Creative dialogues with academics, ecologists, activists and others, producing an assemblage of imaginative responses to inspirational international models, solutions, indigenous knowledge and grassroots movements. Cultural practices & landscapes; community management of resources (co-operation and anti-monopoly resistance); adaptations to land abandonment; agro-ecology, regenerative agriculture, rewilding and the multi-species commons; linkages to folk traditions (via music, song, poetry).

Imagination, Mystery, Flow [Terrains Vagues: once and future Arcadias]

Speculative videosonic explorations of connection/togetherness and disconnection/  alienation - via concepts of dark ecology, deep-time, entanglement, collective unconscious (symbolism, psyche, shamanistic, animistic), liminality etc. This aspect of the project is anchored in three specific landscape settings:

- Orford Ness (Suffolk), site of an artist residency by Lyons in 2018-9 (Sensitive Chaos).

  1. -Cornwall Clay-Mining zone, site of an artist residency by Lyons in 2018 (Limbo Landscape Lab)

  2. -Avebury/Silbury (Wiltshire), an ancient mound; a pastoral landscape. What undercurrents do we find?

Observations and provocations based on symbiosis, ecological awareness and historical perspectives are interwoven throughout, as is an interest in the dynamics between city, countryside and the 'in-between' (or peri-urban). In all three strands, the aim was to venture beyond the rational and perceptual, allowing space for the emotional, affective and imaginative registers. The geopoetics of art and science.

Follow-on project in preparation 'What Commons Next?'



Summer 2022 blog & news updates: