AER Conversations

AER Conversations is an informal talk series, hosted by University of the Arts in various London venues. Come and hear the artists who are exhibiting currently at Art for the Environment at GroundWork Gallery talk about their experiences at their various residency sites. These events are to be held both in person in London and on line. They will take the form of talks by artists who were in residence during 2023 for Art for the Environment residency programme and a chosen discussant who took that programme another year. They will be moderated by Camilla Palestra. Take this opportunity to get a deeper insight and to ask questions.

Dates, venues and line up:

16 April, AER Conversations # 1, 1-2 pm

Nicholas Holt talking to Daniel Ginsburg about Joya-AER, Spain

Beth Robertson and Magz Hall about NAHR, Art and Habitat Residency, Italy

Moderator: Camilla Palestra

Address: London College of Communication, Room LTC, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6SB

23 April, AER Conversations # 2 , 1-2 pm:

Sophie-Anna Gibbings * talking to Pat Naldi about Domaine de Boisbuchet, France

Lucy Jane MacAllister Dukes talking to Carly Breame about GroundWork Gallery and Mahler and Lewitt Studios, Italy

Moderator: Veronica Sekules

Address: Chelsea College of Art and Design, Red Room, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU.

21 May, AER Conversations # 3 , 1-2 pm

Rudy Lowe * talking to Professor Lucy Orta about LabVerde Brazil

Eleni Maragaki talking to Sara Grisewood about Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Italy and GroundWork Gallery

Moderator: Camilla Palestra

Address: Central St Martins, room D115, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA.


Book tickets to attend via Eventbrite

The events are all free, but you must book tickets in advance

  • speakers who are joining on-line

Supported by GroundWork Gallery, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UAL, Post-Graduate Community at UAL.

Arts Council logo

AER would like to thank our partnering institutions of 2023 and the UAL residents:

NAHR: Nature, Art and Habitat Residency, Italy – Beth Robertson

Domaine de Boisbuchet, France – Sophie Anna Gibbings

GroundWork Gallery, Norfolk, UK – Lucy Jane MacAllister Dukes

LABVERDE, Brazil – Lucy + Jorge Orta

Mahler & LeWitt Studios, Spoleto, Italy – Eleni Maragaki

Joya:  arte + ecología, Almeria, Spain – Nicholas Holt

Art for the Environment – Conversations at UAL

To coincide with the exhibition (16 March – 8 June 2024), celebrating the 2023 AER residencies, Art for the Environment – Conversations at UAL offer a platform for generative encounters in which ideas and experiences are exchanged between exhibiting artists and former AER residents. Building on shared experiences, common lines of enquiry and resonances in practice and research, new and past residents come together to reflect on the impact and legacy of their practices and to reflect on their creative role in envisioning a world of tomorrow.

This series of conversations is curated by Camilla Palestra (Centre for Sustainable Fashion) and organised in collaboration with UAL Post-Grad Community.

All sessions are free and open to all and available to book here

Online streaming is also available for all sessions, and will be sent out prior to the event to those who have signed up.

Exhibiting artists:

Lucy Jane MacAllister Dukes

As a transdisciplinary artist and philosopher and recent MA Art & Science graduate, I’ve been exploring how artistic practice can become “intra-actions” (Barad, 2007), revealing the entanglements between humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. To me, everything is drawing, revealing mutually co-constitutive relationships in the universe across micro and macro scales. Each mark is an exploration in moment of spacetime, each material holding embodied knowledge.


Lucy Dukes is a transdisciplinary artist and philosopher based in the UK, she gained her BSc in Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method from LSE (1st class hons, 2015-18), completed the Royal Drawing School Intensive (2019), then got her MA in Art & Science at Central Saint Martins, UAL (1st class hons, 2020-22). Lucy has exhibited work, completed residencies and run workshops across the U.K. and Europe, from Dartington and Chelsea College, to Berlin and Athens. She has taught on courses at CSM and ZHdK and collaborated with scientists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Iskratch Lab, QMUL and the Biophysical Sciences Institute. She grew up drawing in her mother’s studio, which they still share. Lucy works site-specifically experimenting and collaborating across disciplines and species, with artists, scientists and more-than-humans. Recently she was awarded the AER Art for the Environment Residency with Groundwork Gallery.

Sophie Anna Gibbings

I am a regenerative artist working in collaboration with nature.

I reference the practices of regenerative agriculture as an entry point to my work. My process is more about an ecology of the mind, rather than a regeneration of soil. The materials used for my artworks are found in the landscape and can be returned to the Earth, without any harm to the Earth. It is at this intersection of material and landscape that I explore the core values of my practice.

My works are ephemeral. I have no attachment to their permanence, we all come from nature and return to nature. By creating an opportunity for non-logical encounters with my artworks, I intend to increase the viewers sensibility to the environment. I am interested in what happens to the materials after and beyond their time on display, and how this consideration might help regenerate ecologies.


Sophie Anna Gibbings was born in Santa Barbara, California (1994) where she spent the first 18 years of her life. She received her BFA in photography from Lesley University College of Art and Design in 2016 (Formally The Art Institute of Boston). She recently earned her MA in Contemporary Photography: Practices and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins. Sophie was shortlisted for the University of The Arts, London Maison/0 This Earth Award. She is also a recipient of the University of The Arts, London Art for the Environment Residency Program (AER) at Domaine de Boisbuchet, France. Most recent exhibitions include Meant to Fade, Laneway Gallery, Cork, IE, Impermanent, Safehouse Gallery, London and Dance for the Sky, Slash Arts Gallery Houseboat, London. She also recently completed a residency at Joya: arte + ecologíca, Spain. Sophie is based in the UK.

Nicholas Holt

I am a lens-based artist based in the Peak District, UK. My practice explores meditated states in the landscape; in recognition of the interconnectivity that we have with the natural world. Increasingly, I see my work as an ‘act of restoration’1 for our relationship with the natural world; while appreciating those processes that exist beyond our understanding.

Eleni Maragaki

My practice engages with the idea of geometry as a fundamental language, that both systemises the urban environment and provides a means of comprehending the natural one. My research is focused on bridging the dichotomy between urban construction and the natural environment, as for me, architecture should be in constant dialogue with the landscape. As a response to the densely manufactured urban space, I am inspired by the delicacy found in the system of natural structures, including chemical elements and crystals.

Eleni Maragaki is a visual artist born in Athens, Greece. She studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2013-2018) and MA Fine Art in Central Saint Martins, UAL (2020-2022), with distinction, as a recipient of the Mona Hatoum Bursaries Award. She is the winner of the Muse Residency Award and the Tate Christmas Card Competition. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions including a screening in LUX Moving Image, London and a group show in the Art Station Dubulti, Latvia. Her latest project was a public commission for a light installation by Stavros Niarchos Foundation. She is also a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Lucy Orta (Studio Orta)

Never before has humanity experienced social and ecological changes on a such an interconnected planetary scale. In this new epoch termed the Anthropocene we are all responsible for Earth’s health, for the survival of species and the benefits to future generations. Perpetual Amazonia, places people at the heart of stewardship to encourage audiences to take responsibility for our future.


Lucy + Jorge Orta’s collaborative visual arts practice employs a diversity of media including drawing, sculpture and performance to realize major bodies of work that address key social and ecological challenges. Amongst their most emblematic bodies of work are: Refuge Wear and Body Architecture, portable minimum habitats bridging architecture and dress; Nexus Architecture investigates alternative models of the social link; HortiRecycling and 70 x 7 The Meal question the local and global food chain and rituals of community feasting; OrtaWater and Clouds reflect on water scarcity and the problems arising from its pollution and corporate control; Antarctica considers the effects of climate change on migration; and Amazonia explores interwoven ecosystems and their value to our natural environment. In recognition of their contribution to sustainability, the artists received the Green Leaf Award for artistic excellence with an environmental message, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme in partnership with the Natural World Museum at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway (2007). Numerous monographs have been published and Lucy + Jorge Orta’s work has been the focus of major exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Beth Robertson

My practise traverses boundaries of sound, ecology and geography in an interdisciplinary investigation into the testimonies of the more-than-human. By using field recordings and experimenting with playful interactive mediums of listening, I seek to challenge the way in which we interact with the world in, amongst and around us. The aim of my work is to follow the ghosts and unsettle the silences of the Anthropocene.


Beth Robertson is a sound artist based in London and Glasgow and a recent graduate of the Sound Arts MA at London College of Communication, UAL. Her intra-disciplinary practise seeks to queer the relationship we have with our environment through sound. With a background in Geography, Beth creates work that celebrates the hybridity of humans and uses activist listening in response to the climate crisis.

Through the use of field recordings, photography and composition she creates sound maps and installations that investigate entangled local ecologies and experiment with shifting place identities, she further explores these themes in a monthly radio show on Resonance FM. Beth was selected for the UAL Arts for the Environment Residency Programme at NAHR in 2023.


The Art for the Environment Residency Programme (AER) provides UAL graduates with the opportunity to apply for a 2 to 4 week fully funded residency at one of our internationally renowned host institutions, to explore concerns that define the 21st century – biodiversity, environmental sustainability, social economy and human rights.

Founded in 2015, internationally acclaimed artist Professor Lucy Orta, UAL Chair of Art for the Environment – Centre for Sustainable Fashion, launched the programme in partnership with international residency programmes and UAL Post-Grad Community.

UAL Post-Grad Community

Established in 2013, Post-Grad Community is an inclusive platform for all UAL postgraduate students to share work, find opportunities and connect with other creatives within the UAL and beyond. Find out more