Earth Minus Environment: Opening weekend programme

25 June - 26 June 2022

Earth Minus Environment, takes it title from an unrealised sculptural installation by the late artist Gustav Metzger, proposed for the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, 1992. Metzger’s intention for the work was to create a ‘dramatic symbol’ that would provide clear thinking on environmental issues, by making visible the destructive capabilities of the ‘human environment’.

Although the work existed only as an idea, Earth Minus Environment is a powerful example of Metzger’s critical environmentalism and his concern towards the destruction of nature, which he believed was the utmost issue of our time. Yet the proposal also represents Metzger’s belief in the power of art to inspire radical change. He advocated for artistic practice that worked “at the forefront of the struggle”, so art could be used “for the good of our world”.

The exhibition, Gustav Metzger: Earth Minus Environment (25 Jun – 4 Sep), continues Metzger’s urgent messaging by bringing together three keystone works that relate to the UN proposal.

Trees are integral to the works on display in the gallery at Kestle Barton, which highlight uncomfortable tensions in our relationship to the natural world. A series of talks, panel discussions and workshops running over the opening weekend will explore our relationship with trees – from working with them to understanding their role in the ecosystems of the planet.

Please see the programme of events below and contact the gallery to book tickets as needed.

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Saturday 25 June 2022

11am – 2:30pm: Tree Talks

A series of 3 x talks about trees.

£5 for the whole series.

Tim Kellett, Ancient Tree Forum: Trees as ecosystems

Simon Miles, The Forest Garden: Agroforestry

David Wallace-Hare, University of Exeter: Trees & memory

See below for more information

To book tickets please contact the gallery.

2pm – 5pm: Exhibition Opening

All welcome. Free admission – including tour and panel discussion about Gustav Metzger’s contributions to art and activism.

3 – 3:30pm Earth Minus Environment exhibition tour with co-curators, Lauren Keeley and Dr Lizzie Fisher

3:30-4.15: Panel conversation:
Gustav Metzger’s environmental thinking. With Andrew Wilson, artist Jo Joelson, Metzger Foundation directors Leanne Dymterko and Ula Dajerling. Chaired by curator Lizzie Fisher

5pm An iteration of Bram Thomas Arnold’s performance Bibliotherapy for the Anthropocene.
In collaboration with Arts and Culture, University of Exeter


Sunday 26 June 2022

11am – 1pm
Seeing Nature in a New Way
Botanical  illustration    family workshop with Nick Koenig

£5 per person
See below for more information

To book tickets please contact the gallery.

2pm – 5pm: Active Presentations

A series of presentations and conversations by local environmental, and activist, groups:

Agri/Culture 2.0 collective artists’ presentation

2:45 – 3:15 Panel conversation:
Tree economies: accounting for the social, cultural, ecological and financial value of trees
Hosted by Agri/Culture 2.0. with Tom Kemp (Working Woodlands), Chris Jones (Woodland Valley Farm) & Ben Norwood (Forest for Cornwall)

Cool Earth
Matthew Owen is the director of this Cornwall-based charity that backs people to protect rainforest and fight climate change.


From Eco-Arts to Civil Resistance
With an eye to ongoing mobilisations by Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, this will be a facilitated discussion about the value of mass civil disobedience and its relationship to other forms of socio-ecological activism and related arts practice with Mat Osmond: a writer, illustrator and lecturer. He’s a co-director of the research collective Art.Earth and has worked with Extinction Rebellion since 2018.

These talks are free and open to everyone. No booking necessary.



Open Tuesday - Sunday 10:30am - 5pm. Closed Mondays but open for Bank Holidays