Catherine Dee BA(Hons), MA.LA, Dip.Ed, MA.CFA.
Telephone: ++ 44 (0)114 2220603
Floor 12, Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
I’m interested in the necessity of landscape art as functional, spatial improvisation. Actively combining art practice, academic writing, and taught experimental design studios, I aim to demonstrate how ‘making landscape’ is ‘thinking landscape’
I am an artist and landscape architect. My work concerns the theoretical and practical development of landscape architecture as an art. I’m interested in the necessity of landscape art as functional, spatial improvisation. Actively combining art practice, academic writing, and taught experimental design studios, I aim to demonstrate how ‘making landscape’ is ‘thinking landscape’. The current focus of this work is with trees as a vital medium for urban environmental and cultural health. Throughout my studies and teaching three concerns endure: aesthetic rigour; knowledge through practice; and the necessity of contemporary art as a philosophy and ethics of landscape architecture.
LSC6004 Landscape Design and Art Practice
I teach across landscape architectural design, contemporary fine art, drawing and material practices. I lead ‘theorised’ studio and field projects, site design and installation. In teaching specialist courses, landscape design, theory and methods I bring to bear practice in contemporary sculpture and drawing as well as philosophy of art and aesthetics. I encourage students to develop a strict discipline of craft and experiment with the materials and media of landscape, with the clear edict that this practice must always be underpinned and contextualised by knowledge of theoretical, historical and contemporary landscape architecture and a thorough grounding in contemporary cultural ideas and practices more broadly.
Current Art Practice & Research
My research, research supervision, and art practice are currently organised as two related fields:
1. Contemporary art & Landscape Architecture theory and methods
- Art as necessity: Investigation and development of theory, practice and pedagogy of experimental, improvised and low cost contemporary art/landscape architecture
- Investigation and development of new research methods arising at the interface of contemporary art and landscape architecture practices.
- Examination and re-conception of aesthetics and culture of landscape through visual media, with particular emphasis on sculpture, installation, film and drawing.
2. Forest Landscape Architecture & Urban Design in the context of climate change
Writings on and experiments with trees to develop new cultural spaces of the city and rural landscapes in the context of climate change prevention and adaptation, with particular focus on use and renewal of:
- austere geometries: grids, squares, circles, as forest space ‘constructions’.
- forestry techniques using densely planted saplings to quickly establish groves, thickets, coppice, and forest, and test climate-resilient species
- 17th Century concepts of tree 'wildernesses’ combining intricate formality and wildness,
- 'the plantation' as new cultural landscape- (a genre of landscape architecture with un-deserved negative connotations)
- Climate and light/dark as cultural and spatial medium of trees/forest
I welcome applications for creative practice-based and conventional PhD study in the fields of forest landscape architecture and urban design, experimental landscape architecture, visual media and changing landscape climate, culture and aesthetics, and contemporary and environmental art practice and theory.
Applications for Practice-based PhDs in contemporary fine art with trees and urban or rural (‘Zero’) wilderness are welcomed
2017 Arts Council Funding: Making Ways exhibition: ‘Parliament of Trees’ Spring 2018. 2004-06 Establishment of JoLA (see above) funded by LE:Notre project European Union funded Erasmus Thematic Network Project 2002-05 Funding for Coordinator Landscape Architecture Theory Working Group for LE:Notre project (Landscape Education: New opportunities for Teaching and Research in Europe) European Union funded Erasmus Thematic Network Project 2003-04 AHRB Innovations Award: `Eye and Mind´ A project to investigate and outline the potential for `critical visual methodologies´ and peer-reviewed visual research journal papers for landscape architecture
Selected Exhibitions and Workshops
2016 Improvised Wood: Sticks and Zeroes Solo Exhibition. Exchange Place Studios, Yorkshire Arts Space, S2 5TR. 2-9 December.
2016 ARTXL Seminar Series Autumn. 1. What kind of art is Landscape Architecture? Dee. 2. Colin Okashimo: Creating places of calm through art and environment. 3. ‘Why doesn’t democracy produce art quality?’ Dee. 4. Ewan Allison, Landscape and Arts Network: Intersections between art, environmental philosophy & landscape governance. University of Sheffield Department of Landscape
2016 ‘The Necessity of Landscape Art’ Department of Architecture , Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture Helsinki. September.
2016 Art Practice and Landscape Design Experimental Studio project: Bridge Royd Wood and Menagerie Wood with Yorkshire Sculpture Park, South Yorkshire, and MA students, University of Sheffield. Autumn.
2015 Tree Urbanism: A Forest Ring Park for Sheffield experimental design studio Exhibition at Action for Trees and Woods. Organised by the Woodland Trust, Sheffield Hallam University, and the South Yorkshire Biodiversity Network as part of Sheffield Environment Weeks 2015
2014 ‘Grove’ Landscape Architectural Drawings. Solo Exhibition at University of California Berkeley, College of Environmental Design Gallery. January.
2014 Thunderdome Debate: Drawing in Design: Discovery or Illustration with Chip Sullivan. Chair and organizer Kristina Hill. Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley. February.
2013 Black and White: Drawing Landscape Architecture Workshop with Faculty and students. Department of Landscape Architecture, Kyoto University of the Arts, Kyoto, Japan. November.
2012 Art Practice and Landscape Design experimental studio ‘The Garden as Art’ Exhibition: installations, video. Arts Tower, Department of Landscape University of Sheffield. Autumn.
2011 ‘Aesthetics/Ethics’ ECLAS International Landscape Architecture
Conference Joint organizer and conference host at University of Sheffield Department of Landscape: September.
2010 ‘Circles we might call home’ Interventions at The Landscape Laboratory Woodland (Roland Gustavsson), at Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Alnarp, Sweden.
Selected Experimental Landscapes
2016-17 Zeroes. Birches and Small Leaved Limes at University of Sheffield, Crewe Halls of Residence.
2015 ‘Black and White’ Garden Wood experimental plot. Sheffield
2014 ‘Grove with III ways in’ with Natsue Sakurai, Anping Xie, Simeng Zhu.
Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire
2013- 2014 ‘White’ (White poplar) Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire.
2013-2014 ‘Black and White’ (Bramble) Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire.
2005-2014 ‘Lime XII’ Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire.
2001-2014 ‘The Slip’ Hornbeam enclosure Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire
2012-2013 ‘Sallow’ Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire
2011 ‘Thorns’ (Black) Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire
2011 ‘Black’ (Box) Garden Solitaire experimental plot, Nottinghamshire
2010 ‘Pit’ at Manor Lodge, Green Estate, Sheffield. with Jie Liao, Charlie Mitchell, Eleanor Hall, and Mark Collins.
2010 ‘Earthworks’ at Manor Lodge, Green Estate, Sheffield. with Jie Liao.
2010 ‘Cloister VIII’ Garden at Crookesmoor Building, University of Sheffield. with students of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield.
- Dee C (2012) To Design Landscape: Art, Nature & Utility. Routledge.
- Dee C (2001) Form and Fabric in Landscape Architecture: A Visual Introduction. Taylor & Francis.
- Dee C (2010) Form, Utility and the Aesthetics of Thrift in Design Education, Vol 29 (1), 21-35.