The driver for Phil Barton’s practice is the sixth great extinction ushering in the Anthroprocene Era crystalised by Gustav Metzger’s 2015 Worldwide Call for Action to Remember Nature. This formed the basis for his final major project on for his MA in Art and Science at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London which he completed in July 2020 with Distinction. You can see his research paper here: Phil Barton’s Submitted Research Paper and his UAL Graduate Showcase here: Phil Barton Graduate Showcase 2020
Based in Rusholme, Manchester, jointly with, and inspired by, his life partner Helena Kettleborough, Phil has established the Centre for Connected Practice and initiated Creative Rusholme.
Phil is an Eco Artist whose practice is rooted in a lifelong commitment to working with the natural and built environment by bringing together communities and organisations from all walks of life to take practical action. Using print, lens-based media, installation and scientific evidence, he works to foreground the assault both on our natural life support systems – trees, climate, ecosystems – and on the other-than-human who share this precious planet with us.
Conceptual model for Phil Barton’s creative practice
He builds his creative practice on a 35 year career as a social entrepreneur in local environmental regeneration during which he established and built a number of not for profit organisations including Keep Britain Tidy, Groundwork, the Mersey Basin Trust, the National Centre for Business and Ecology and the Community Technical Aid Centre in Manchester.
Read Phil’s Remember Nature Manifesto. He has proclaimed it at Launceston Town Square, Cornwall (4th November 2021), The Street, Central Saint Martins (4th November 2019) and Islington Mill, Salford (4th November 2017).
As from 2021, Phil Barton has been using the seal above to sign his print and other paper based works made up of two symbols – the Chinese red dragon symbol which he first knew playing Mah Jong with his father as a teenager and the Greek capital letter Phi from his given name.
The red dragon represents the animal kingdom, including humanity, and the character zhōng also means centre, middle, achievement. The letter phi, as well as forming the first syllable of his name, is used to represent the golden ratio, section or mean and is a symbol for wave functions in quantum mechanics and Schrödinger’s Equation.
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